It's Not You - It's Me!

Love, Self

Are you really mad at him? Or the circumstances?

Who hasn't heard that before? The dreaded break up explanation! Usually, it's just a lame excuse or avoidance to not clearly state what one didn't like in the relationship. 

But actually it is totally true. That's a good thing and a bad thing at the same time. The circumstances of a relationship, job or life situation are not in our control, only our reactions to the circumstances are. Our reactions to the circumstance are created by the thoughts that we believe about a situation.

Do you ever think that your partner doesn't respect or love you, because the toilet seat is never down or you find old socks in the most unusual places of the house while cleaning? Let's paint a little picture here. Maybe scenes like that happen in real life, let's set the stage.

It's Saturday morning, you just had a nice breakfast together, a good conversation, great coffee and fluffy pancakes. You plan your weekend and decide together that one should start cleaning the house while the other goes to get the groceries. The earlier the chores are done, the earlier the weekend can really take off.

True to form, you start with collecting the laundry. The hamper is already filled but there is still more. Surely you find more in the bathroom and under the bed. All is well, the music is playing and you are in the zone!

You'll try and get the house nice and tidy, but you keep finding dirty socks under the bed, the couch and in the bathroom. It drives you crazy because you thought the laundry is already done and over with. The weather is nice and you expected that you would be finished by early afternoon.

The time goes on, the cleaning continues and you keep thinking: "He just doesn't care. He doesn't respect me. He is such a slob." The thoughts in your mind are on an infinite loop of self-sabotage.

How do you think that will affect how you communicate with your partner when he/she gets home? Do you think you will have a nice rest of the day? Now try and put yourself in the other person's shoes.

He left in the morning after a nice breakfast together. All was well but as soon as he arrives at the house, you snap at him. Your anger toward him grew all morning with every sock you found and he doesn't even know what you are so angry about.

The human response to your reaction is either defense or attack. Neither of the two will bless you with a nice rest of the weekend. But you have the chance (in my book, you owe it to you and your relationship) to turn this around before it gets messy.

Circumstances create thoughts, feelings, reactions and circumstances. The circumstance here is that there are socks lying on the floor. It doesn't matter how many, trust me I've been there. If you are in a bad frame of mind, one sock is too many socks.

Your thought that comes up is: "He is such a slob and doesn't respect me." If you believe that thought and just let your mind wander, this thought will begin to resonate with you as well.

The feeling that you create with this thought will be something like: "He doesn't care. He doesn't love me." Your reaction: rejection (sorry, the keyboard made me do this).

Now, the challenge is that we cannot control the circumstances. There are just way too many other people on earth for us to even start to try that. There will always be a faster car, a thinner woman or better weather. The best (and probably only) chance we have — that sounds so desperate, but really it isn't — is to look at our thoughts.

Just be aware and notice which thought creates what feeling. If you don't enjoy what you feel, take a look at the thought and not necessary the circumstance.