Every once in a while someone asks about how I transformed my relationship with my mom. It is usually someone that has read my previous blog post on that topic and feels they struggle in that relationship.
Sometimes it astounds me how much our relationship has transformed. It even makes me wonder; can transforming a relationship really be that easy?
What is true for me, is that sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t.
Yes, sometimes I still get frustrated, annoyed, irritated around my Mom (Sorry Mom!).
Sometimes I get defensive with my two amazing sisters (Sorry you two… I love you!).
Sometimes I blame my loving partner for not being X, Y, Z or anything else (Sorry Love).
Sometimes I have shitty thinking.
Shitty thinking is just an overactive mind that is working way too hard. And it is all just a version of the same thing: Garden variety, insecure thinking.
Every single human being struggles from insecure thinking. It shows up differently for each of us. And, unfortunately or fortunately… it is arbitrary, meaningless, and without value.
What? You feel insecure at times? Me too. That insecure voice inside means absolutely nothing about you. Nope. Nada. Nothing. It is meaningless and has nothing on you. So, don’t waste your time with it. Leave it alone.
If you don’t take the bait when insecure thinking does show up, if you don’t buy into it, don’t keep playing that tape over and over, it will pass. Leave it alone and get on with your day. You are one hell of an amazing and beautiful human being. If you forget, call me… I’d be honored to remind you!
When the voice of insecure thinking quiets down, judgement, separateness, doubt, irritability, impatience, all of that stuff, also subside. Giving room in our heart and heads for curiosity and understanding.
If you don’t believe me, try this. Try being grateful and insecure at the exact same time. I’ll bet you a pony that you can’t!
If I leave that shitty thinking alone, and don’t buy into it, it settles. It’s like turning the volume down on it so it is just barely noticeable in the background. At some point, you just stop even hearing it.
What I have come to see, that in any relationship, the more I am up in my head, the more I struggle. The more I blame others, make people wrong, and have expectations of how I want them to be, what I want them to do, say, etc.
I know that the extent to which I can get along with and even enjoy the person in front of me has 100% to do with me and the degree to which I am in some story in my head. If I am curious and grateful it is an entirely different experience, turning into a completely different relationship and even a different life.
And that does not mean that the person in front of me is not caught up in their thinking. If they are, they will be experiencing their own version of judgement, dislike, irritation with me. But I’ve been in front of many people that were super caught up and even screaming. If I can stay out of their personal shitty story, I most often feel empathy and compassion for them.
Why? Well, I know what it feels like to be experiencing shitty thinking. It feels pretty awful. And since we all only experience what we are thinking, I recognize that jumping into their shitty thinking is like jumping into the Titanic to try to save them. We all know where that story goes. Down.
So what is the alternative? Remembering that the primary cause of any unhappiness is not the situation, but it is our thinking about it.
I remind myself what I am grateful for, which always leads to compassion and freedom of mind.
Freedom of mind helps me the volume down, over and over again, on my personal and insecure thinking.
When I have freedom of mind, I feel more connected with whomever is in front of me. I see less differences, and I feel compassion and curiosity. I respond differently. I ask questions and move to a common understanding together. I trust that we will always work it out. And it always does get worked out when I am not listening to my insecure thinking.
And… I don’t have to do anything to make that happen. I just have to not believe my own thinking.
Yes, sometimes I still do believe that insecure voice inside. But I also know that nothing ever gets solved by following that voice. At best, my ego will feel justified, as I’ve just hurt or pissed off other people, leaving me more alone.
But remembering that the insecure, judgmental, defensive thinking is meaningless and to not jump onto that ship… well, let’s just say that alone is what has kept my relationship with my mom afloat, and even fun and strong.