Why Transformation is Frikkin Hard
Transform, improve, up-level, achieve goals, be successful... Change.
Have you ever had any of these requested of you, or requested them for yourself?
I'm going to take a small leap and imagine that you have.
I know I certainly have.
And it's not as easy as all that is it?
How many times have you set a goal and not achieved it? (According to stats 80% of new year's resolutions don't stick.)
How many times have you created an intention to develop a new healthy habit and not stuck with it?
Or stepped out of a workshop/seminar/presentation feeling lit up and inspired to shift to a whole new dimension of amazingness, only to slowly fizzle back to reality a few days later?
How many times have you had relationship upsets and resolved to change. To cease defaulting to the maladaptive behaviour that upsets your partner? It may be a fiery temper or a tendency to shut down.
You know that these behaviours hurt your partner, fail to get your needs met and generally lead to ongoing future pain.
So why do we do it?
'Transformation' seems to be the catch cry of our generation. In all areas... Business, personal, fitness, relationships. Coaches in all areas will promise to transform you.
Sometimes the wished for transformation does occur. It's helpful to have a coach/mentor/guide. But at the end of the day what creates the transformation is YOUR internal willingness and commitment. And I'd even hazard to say that you pretty much always know what you need to do, you just need someone to kick your arse to make you do it.
So really coaches are just arse-kickers. (No belittlement intended. The world needs mentors that's for damn sure.) But when it all boils down to it all that's left is a thick gravy of personal accountability.)
In my experience the most difficult transformation is that of one's behaviours. And often the areas that need transforming are brought into light by an intimate other who is perfectly designed to push your buttons right where it hurts. And the message is, "Hey, thought you were cruising along ok? Well what about this? Ouch."
That shit is hard to change.
There are many, many theories that explain why... One that I find a lot of credence in is from Harville Hendrix who says that the point of relationships is to heal childhood wounds in order to restore wholeness.
According to this theory, whilst we might have a conscious 'shopping list' of our ideal partner, our subconscious takes over and we end up with someone who closely resembles the negative traits of our parents. WTF? Apparently healing can only occur when we are wounded by someone similar to our wounding parents. Not very romantic is it!
And how the hell does this happen? Well in fact it's romance's fault. It lures us in, renders us blind to those traits until we're entwined and then the real work begins.
It all sounds pretty depressing doesn't it.
But there is rhyme and reason in it...
It's a reciprocal arrangement. Not only are we with someone who could be a powerful healer for us, we will also be required to be their healer... So we get to poke back!! It's a crazy arrangement... Essentially what one partner needs most for healing, the other is least equipped to give...
Drum-roll... Until a part of the self that was repressed is activated and defences soften. As one partner is slowly able to transform in order to heal the other, he/she becomes healed in the process. Ah, now that at least is romantic isn't it?!
And hence the whole 'opposites attract' thing. What a cruel (but healing) joke that is!!
Let me give you some examples: (from Gary Brainerd - is that a real name?!)
If we learned to protect ourselves in childhood by suppressing our emotions, we will be attracted to someone who needs us to share our feelings for their own healing.
- If we were emotional in childhood in order to get our needs met, we will be with someone who requires us to be more rational and thoughtful.
- If it wasn't safe for us to reach out for emotional contact, and as a result we became distant, our partner will likely be someone who will want emotional closeness and demand us to initiate contact.
- If we became overly clingy as a child, we will be attracted to someone who needs space and freedom.
So what are we to do with all this?
Well let's go back to the start... The whole idea of 'changing, transforming, improving etc... We love to tell the world when we get it right, but does that mean it's easy? That we won't make numerous f-ups along the way?
Noooooooooo! It's possibly the most difficult work you'll do. The most challenging change to make, and the grandest of goals to aspire to.
So, be gentle, compassionate and patient with yourself and your healers.
As a great philosopher once said, "Et won't heppen overnight, but et well heppen."
>>> Leonie Orton is a writer, editor and marketing communications consultant. She'll create communication mediums in the shape of words, graphics and webs for your business, connecting you with the people who need you. Get in touch by email, facebook or twitter. And if you're not already signed up for new writings and special offers, get hooked up here.