365Ways-004 How To Have a Great Relationship

Posted on : 01-05-2012 | By : Lynn | In : Communication, Heart Talks

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First YOU have to define what “great” means to YOU which may seem rather basic but it’s surprising how many of us don’t really know ourselves well enough to define what a concept like great means to us.  For me, having a great relationship means interacting with someone who I really enjoy and who I feel comfortable just being myself AND who lights up my lights!

Through the years, I’ve shared about the early days of dating my husband (we’ve been married for 20 years!) in that I was so out of touch with understanding who I was, much less liking myself, that I had no concept of what it meant to be “real” in a relationship.  I had spent all of my twenties reading numerous glamor magazines that supposedly had the goods on “how to get your man” and none on how to just be yourself and attract a better match the natural way.  I definitely enjoyed being chased and chasing too  but had no clue as to what to do with the guy once I “caught” them. In fact, looking back on those times I’ve realized that I usually attracted someone incompatible with my values and world views because who I was projecting to them was some figment of my imagination and not who I really was.  Those magazines really didn’t make that point clear.  I call those days the “catch and burn” time.

Fortunately, during the time period when I first met my husband I was diligently studying the 12-steps of AA and applying them to how I thought and acted. I was learning how I thought and felt and what I believed as well as how I showed up in life and how to treat others (as well as myself).  One of the traits that I embraced was honesty so that meant that when my honey and I interacted, I was invested in being as honest about who I was as I was able.  This was a time of many “firsts” for me from holding back and not pouncing on my husband right off the bat to learning how to surf the myriad of intense feelings upon meeting someone I was really attracted to and allowing time to really get to know each other.

After a few months of dating I knew that he was the one and was constantly turning over the outcome of whether we would end up together for the long haul to my higher power (who I choose to call God).  During that intense first year together, it kind of freaked me out when the more I was true to myself, the more he seemed to like me.  That just didn’t compute with what I had taught myself about how a girl should be to attract the perfect guy.  Who ever thought I’d meet someone who was as tired as I was after working all week at an intense job and all they wanted to do was watch good television and chow down on a pizza?!

I’m convinced that to have a great relationship you first have to be in the relationship.  You have to know and like yourself well enough to show up as the beautiful YOU that you are.  As my good friend and mentor used to tell me, “Lynn, life is hard enough to deal with in a good relationship so don’t settle for anything less”.   I’ve come to know how right she was!  Life is a curve ball thrower for sure and I can’t imagine anything suckier than to have some really crappy life occurrence happen and to be in a relationship that you’re already have to work really hard at just to keep it at neutral.

What attracted you to this blog?  Are you looking for clues on how to have (or find) a great relationship?  What’s been your experience in this area? Curious minds and hearts want to know!

DINK #105 Hope, Openness and Willingness

Posted on : 29-06-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Those of us who have darkened the doors of various recovery programs have heard many times that hope, openness and willingness are the “HOW” of the program and that the most important key is willingness. Years ago when I met my first mentor in these realms she suggested I pray for the willingness to be willing. You see for people like me it doesn’t often come naturally to just open up my arms wide-open with the willingness to have an open mind, take in suggestions and heed them.

Often as not, I’ve had to put up a fight. We’ve also heard it said that to study and live the 12-steps of AA is simple but is not easy. Also that being intelligent can sometimes be a hindrance to “getting” the gifts of living a life without all the hoopla that the ego almost always has to surround itself with for entertainment. Nope, really it takes being willing to consider that maybe you’re not always right. I think this piece is hard because if you spent as many years as I did running pell mell against the norm well then you probably had a little tiny self esteem and a great big ole inflated ego to help push past the barriers you’d erected between you and serenity.

The first step is to admit that we are powerless over people, places, things, alcohol, food–insert what is appropriate for you here—and that our lives had become unmanageable. A lot of us have gotten confused about that word powerless. Many of us think that this step means for us to drink the kool-aid (reference to Jim Jones Cult etc. from 1978) and have absolutely no control over ourselves or our lives. Well, it’s true that control is an illusion, none of us are really in control of anything but what admitting our powerlessness can do for us is to get us into a place of willingness to consider that there just may be, just might be a power greater than ourselves that could restore us to sanity. God knows I tried to restore myself to sanity again and again and I just kept winding up right back behind where I started.

That’s why the second step says, “Came to Believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity”. Then we slowly start getting it that perhaps we’re not all alone out here like we’d been thinking. The third step is about making a decision to turn our will and our life over to the care of our higher power as we understand it/him/she. Again, this is really a strengthening exercise but for our bolstered up egos it is scary as hell to go through this alone. That’s why there’s so many of us out here helping each other find their way. It’s a “we” program.

This weekend in San Antonio, Texas AA is holding its International Conference http://www.aa.org/subpage.cfm?page=199 beginning with registration on Wednesday, July 1 all the way through Sunday, July 4. If you don’t know anything about AA and have always been curious about what it is all about, well I invite you to go check it out. It’s pretty powerful to see the hope, openness and willingness of the steps coming through all kinds of people from all over the world. And if you know all about AA, well then I hope to see you there!

We are all one. We are all one. We are all one. We are all one!!