Monday, May 18, 2009

Accepting Reality When We Don't Like It

A very wise woman once said, "The hardest part about life is accepting reality when we don't like it."

The same can be said of our relationships. When we are having difficulty in our relationships one of the hardest parts is accepting that we may need to change. It is always easier for us to point fingers at our partner rather than look at ourselves. When we practice self care, one of our most important tools is our use of introspection. When things aren't going as we might like and we have hit a rough spot we ask ourselves, "How did I contribute to this mess?"

We take the time to review the recent incidents in our relationship. Has a pattern emerged? Have we been hearing the same complaint from our partner lately? Is there any validity to what is being said? Can we see the situation from their point of view? In every conflict there is our side, our partners side, and the truth, which generally lies somewhere in the middle. Keeping this in mind may help us to be more open to seeing our partners position.

If we can see our part in the situation and take responsibility for our behavior, we may be able to begin to build bridges instead of walls. When we reach out in honesty to our partner and acknowledge how we have added to the difficulties, we open a line of communication that may lead to a better understanding between us both. This doesn't mean that we take the blame for our partners behavior or misdeeds, only that we recognize where we have misstepped and be willing to take personal responsibility for our part.

It takes maturity and self esteem to be able to admit that we erred and make amends. It may be difficult to put our ego aside and see ourselves as we are. However, if we are to grow we need to be willing to see ourselves as others see us, even if that view brings us pain.

Consistent use of our tools strengthens our self esteem and makes taking responsibility for our behavior, whether we approve or not, our choice. This alleviates us feeling shamed when we misstep and feel we must hide behind a mask of perfection. We are all human and all make mistakes. We resist the urge to succumb to the pretense of perfection by practicing self care and increasing our self esteem. In this way we give ourselves the gift of humility.

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