Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Love and Closeness Challenge #2: Let Go of All Agendas

Today's challenge is simple in theory, but not so easy to put into practice. I personally find letting go of my agendas to be very difficult. There always seems to be something that I want, some outcome I want or a way that I would rather another behave. Not having any preference for a specific outcome or any goal or personal agenda in your relationships is tricky. We all want things to turn out in specific ways. For me right now, I can think of something very specific that I think I would really like to see happen in my relationship with my mate. It's an outcome that I imagine would make me happy. I say "think" and "imagine" because I believe that none of us really know what it is that we want. We really just want to feel good. That is at the core of all desire. When we say we want a specific thing it is only because we want what we think that thing will make us feel. Everything we want is truly just to change our emotional state.
When I get caught up in thinking about how I want this specific thing to happen in my relationship it sets me on the course of this kind of thinking: "I want this, and I want him to give it to me", "I want him to do this", "Why won't he do this? It's not fair to me", "Jane and Joe are doing it, why aren't we?", "If he loves me, he'll do it" and the worst: "If he doesn't do this I'm going to be so angry/sad/confused and he is going to pay". To sum it up, I get feeling resentful and angry and even if I don't directly take it out on him, he still feels it. That's not really conducive to my goal of increasing love and closeness. Letting go of agendas and outcomes and just letting another be exactly as they are and letting situations and circumstances be as they are as well can also be called acceptance. It is an absolute miracle worker in relationships and a prerequisite for closeness. It's very difficult if not impossible to have intimacy if there is no acceptance.
Don't come down on yourself if you aren't able to do this all the time. Acceptance also means accepting yourself the way you are and starting where you are. Simply let go of wanting to change the situation and/or person whenever you remember to do so. When you catch yourself feeling like you want to change the way another is or what he or she does, be thankful that you became aware of it and then refocus on loving them right now.

The Challenge
Whatever it is that you are wanting your mate (and others) to be or to do - let it go now. Even if you think that you are justified or "right". We all think we are justified in the things that we say and do, we all think that we are "right". When you make yourself "right" that must mean someone else is wrong. 
The tricky part is, when you focus on letting go of your agendas and your ideas of the way that things should be, you tend to focus on your agendas and how things should be. Instead, focus on building wonderful, loving moments in the now and making the other person feel good when you are with them. Replace your old agenda of wanting to change him or the situation into a new "agenda" to focus on the moment that you are in and what you can think/say/do to make it a great one. 
The difficult part for me has always been when the specific thing that I've been wanting to change or make happen is brought into my awareness. That's when I feel irritated or resentful. When this happens (which it often does), I have found it very helpful to repeat a mantra. A mantra is a short and simple rhythmic phrase that refocuses you on your intention. Mine is: "I am love". This reminds me that I don't need anything to happen outside of me to be loving and it always makes me feel a lot better. 
Also, stop talking about your agenda completely, stop discussing or mentioning what it is that want to happen with everyone. If someone else brings it up, kindly change the subject as quickly as possible. What you focus on you will get, if you're discussing wanting but not having or feelings of resentment, that is what you will increase.

“Renew, release, let go. Yesterday’s gone. There’s nothing you can do to bring it back. You can’t “should’ve” done something. You can only DO something. Renew yourself. Release that attachment. Today is a new day!” 
― Steve MaraboliUnapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

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1 comment:

  1. Such a great post!! :) This is something I need to work on. Letting go of what my thoughts and expectations are and loving what my husband has! :) P.S. I will respond to your e-mail in a few minutes.