Getting Out of the Problem and Into the Solution (Part I)
By Maryel McKinley
One of the first cardinal rules in a successful relationship is learning to get out of the problem and into the solution, as quickly as possible. How is this achieved? By being willing to be honest enough with yourself to realize you cannot change your partner, but you CAN change yourself. When you see yourself getting angry with your mate or at ANY person with whom you have a relationship, look at your anger as a red flag, or an alarm clock to awaken you. Why do you need to be awake? Whenever one is angry, it is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, there is something wrong with us. No one has the power to “hurt us” unless we give them that power.
How do we avoid reacting? By waking up, and remembering that reacting will not get us anywhere. What I am suggesting is to take action, rather than to react. Taking action puts the power back in our court. After all, most relationships are not in balance due to power struggles. If you stop struggling with power by trying to change someone else, and focus on what needs to be changed within yourself, the real magic of healing and true loving, honest relationships begin.
You may be saying, “Why would I look at what’s wrong with myself when this person keeps hurting me over and over?” Again, I reiterate that you simply will NEVER be able to change another person. Therefore, in changing your reactions to their behavior, you change the dynamics of the relationship. Believe me, it is like magic when you stick to this formula. Suddenly, the other person starts to act differently, because you have taken action and not reacted. You have stopped giving them the power to victimize you. You have gotten out of the role of victim, and this has a unique cause and effect ripple.
The problem is not the other person; the problem is how you react to the other person. If the other person is abusing you, then take action and resolve the issue, or get out of the relationship. Resolving the issue does not mean blaming the other person, because nobody will react well to blame. Furthermore, whenever we blame, we point one finger at them and three fingers back towards ourselves. Isn’t that ironic?
What DOES work is to say to ourselves, “OK, I am upset. I feel like blaming my mate because he came home late. It makes me feel angry.” Now take out the new tool I have suggested and remember the red flag, the alarm clock. Say to yourself something like “Wait a minute. I am angry and feel like blaming so let me wake up and recognize that I need to focus on me and my actions, not on blaming someone else. Let me take a deep breath and see what is really going on with me.”
Behind every angry person is a scared and hurt little girl and boy. The anger makes us feel powerful, but only assists the delusion that we have the power to change another. So, we need to be honest and say “I wish to stay out of “problem-oriented thinking” and get into “solution-oriented thinking.”
Ask yourself, “What is behind this anger? What am I afraid of? Am I afraid of losing something I have, or am I afraid I won’t get something I want?” Once you recognize what you are afraid of, turn it over to a Higher Power of your own understanding and mentally list 10 things you are grateful for. It is very difficult to remain angry or fearful when we are in a state of gratitude. You will be amazed at the results. Next issue we will expand on this theme, and why it works. For now, hang in there and remember there are no victims, there are only volunteers.
Dr. Maryel McKinley Ph.D. C.A.D.C. is a Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling, and utilizes her expertise as an addictions expert to include relationship toxicity and how to break long in-grained patterns of unhealthy relating in all relationships we encounter. If you are having trouble in your relationship, she urges you to call her for a free consultation at (949) 887-7957.
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