Therapist Blog

Snickerdoodles, Pain and Discomfort

What might snickerdoodles have to do with relationships?
I was recently reading the Huffington Post with their pros giving tips on best strategies for health in 2013. In her short article Eve Hogan lists some smart and simple strategies for relationship health:
1) Remember What Your Goal Is: A Healthy, Loving Relationship
2) Step Two: Simply Notice Your Own Response To The Event
3) Step Three: Ask Yourself If Your Actions, Thoughts And Words Are Leading You Closer To Your Goal — Or Further Away
Of course these steps make perfect sense and are quite useful in bringing awareness to our actions with our partners and significant others. What is so interesting to me is that ALL of us WANT to be in a health relationship that is loving, compassionate, respectful and kind. How in the world do we get from such a strong and solid WANT to such a sticky mess that can bring us to our knees (or to divorce, estrangement, and incredible pain).
In most aspects of the rest of our lives, we simply manifest what we desire. I want to be an architect. I go to school and am an architect. I want to be vegan. I make life choices and am a vegan. I want to be a gardner. I take a class, get some dirt, plant some seeds and poof…gardner.
When you go to the kitchen to make chocolate chip cookies you pull out the necessary ingredients and you always get chocolate chip cookies. Always. They are never oatmeal cookies or snickerdoodles. When you move in with your girlfriend and want love and compassion…wait a minute…why are we not always getting love and compassion here?! I want love and compassion and am getting pain and discomfort. Think: I want chocolate chip but am getting snickerdoodles.
If you are cooking and discover that you have snickerdoodle instead of chocolate chip you likely will not begin to yell at the snickerdoodle dough that it is doing it wrong… You probably would not stomp around in exacerbation casting disdainful looks at the offending dough. You are likely not disturbed by its cinnamony goodness. If you are cooking, you would realize that you chose the wrong recipe and you would look for the recipe that produces what you want.
How come it does not seem to work out like this in our relationships?
On some level, deep down many of us have old beliefs that we are bad, wrong, unlovable, inadequate, broken, and not good enough. And when I say deep down…I do mean it can be deep deep down. These deep seated beliefs (think: recipes) have a powerful effect on what we manifest in our lives as they can play out for us over and over and over again.
The really cool part? We can change our beliefs! Yay and hallelujah!
Your job…find a recipe that words to produce the relationships that you want. Use it. Tweak it to make it just right. And then flourish in it!