Life is not complicated. We complicate life
Like the use of 'misdirection' by a magician, we direct attention away from the role we have played in our life circumstance. Ironically, though, our role is the only thing we have control over. Through 'blame,' we give our control away.
Blame is at the core of abusive attitudes and behaviors
Healthy and functional relationships depend on a balance between responsibility and accountability. Responsible means 'self management.' Accountable means others managing us.
Either you manage you or someone else will
While our role is to strike a balance between responsibility and accountability, placing importance upon being honest with ourselves and managing our lives in a manner that speaks to purpose and integrity, tips the balance to our favor.
If I choose to practice safe driving and do not speed,
I will not get a ticket and I will protect others from me.
However, the rules of the road, the speed limit signs,
other drivers, and the police do not change.
While most of my life was spent driving as a single occupant in the HOV lane, I now drive mostly in the far right lane.
Imagine a world where every one took stock of, and owned, their role in life.
Sure, we would still have problems
but our energies would be directed towards solutions
instead of, like monkeys, throwing our feces at each other.
Whether as therapist, consultant, friend, husband, father, neighbor, or citizen, my interaction with the world is inspired by two basic truths:
- We are temporary beings - this establishes FEAR as our primary emotion.
- We are contextual beings - this establishes RELATIONSHIPS as the setting within which we struggle with our fear.
One of the greatest gifts I've given myself is the gift of simplifying my thinking. I think in ones, twos and threes.
If the primary dynamic within all relationships is our struggle with fear, then what is the point of a relationship?
Thinking in terms of 1
The obvious question to follow, therefor is, if all relationships are about safety, where does the safety come from?
Thinking in terms of 2
Either the relationship keeps me safe, or
I keep the relationship safe.
– If the point of any relationship is SAFETY, then
- Rule 1 = I will protect you from me, however,
- Rule 2 = I cannot protect you from you.
There are 'two' arenas of conflict:
- Intrapersonal conflict (the conflict within us) and
- Interpersonal conflict (the conflict between us)
The more we acknowledge and own the conflict within our heads, the more effective we become in managing the conflict between us and the world.
Our problem is not conflict, as this website's subtitle states,
- Conflict is inevitable - Expect it,
- Conflict is unavoidable - Plan for it,
- Conflict is necessary - Grow through it!
Our problem is the denial of the conflict within us.
Working with me includes:
- gaining insight into your conflict,
- developing effective plans for growing stronger through your conflict, and
- making meaningful lifestyle choices & changes that emphasize a commitment to value centered living and agency.
Call or email me for assistance