Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Work that Struggle Muscle - Persistence

What is it, that inner something that drives us to keep on trying to figure out the solution to a dilemma? The answer is persistence. The part of us that believes that puzzling out the solution is a part of life's journey. We may be faced with serious problems or difficult situations that require introspection, communication and compromise, but persistence is the key to overcoming those challenges.

When we make a commitment to work on a relationship the path is often fraught with difficulties. Some days the obstacles may seem overwhelming. We continue to make the efforts because we believe that they will yield results. During our lifetimes we may have learned that increased effort on our part in trying new and different methods of solving life's problems have proved successful. When we continue to be open minded about the path that may lie before us, we give ourselves the opportunity for growth. We allow all possibilities to be presented to us for consideration. It may be that we cannot see the path that will lead us to joy. Our limited vision may not be able to discern the best road ahead.

Often times we may fear introspection, communication and compromise. If we have been seriously wounded in the past we may feel that looking within will leave us vulnerable to pain and injury once again. Our defenses may have left us with walls that permit no one in or out. If we stay behind these walls we may be safe, but we sacrifice intimacy and joy for our safety. Our partner may eventually yearn for the intimacy we do not permit and may be drawn away from the relationship.

To prevent ourselves from losing our relationship, we invest time in learning the skills needed to accomplish the introspection we require to see ourselves as others see us. We cannot do this alone. We can see ourselves only through the lens of our inner eye. The paradigm shift necessary for us to begin to see ourselves as others see us, requires input from an external source. We seek out a balanced individual with no stake in our lives to assist us in this journey.

We make the commitment to ourselves to learn appropriate communication skills, so as not to wound others with our pain. Recall that, hurt people, hurt people. No, that's not a typo. It is a fact. Once we are wounded, in an attempt to protect ourselves, we may fall back on survival and defense mechanisms learned in early childhood without realizing it. We inadvertently lash out, wounding others. Sadly, most often we wound those we love the most. Acquiring adept communication skills is a key to unlocking our survival and defense mechanisms. Once we can properly communicate with our partner, we can increase our intimacy level through introspection and compromise. These efforts take persistence and commitment to work through the challenges that present themselves as we shore up the foundation of our relationship.

As we practice persistence in our daily lives, and use our tools for self care, we increase our self esteem. Our belief in our ability to trust our decision making increases. We become more willing to risk vulnerability, leading us to the gift of intimacy in our relationships.

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