Getting to Good: Mini Relationship Tip

Love, Heartbreak

I first created a version of this Mini Relationship Tip four years ago, almost to the day.

I've added to and edited this oldie but goodie, and I know you'll find a gem of "life alchemy" in here for yourself.

You'll definitely NOT want to skip reading this one because at the end there is a piece of uber personal, amazingly timely news. ;-)

August 2007:

Like an acme safe ala cartoonland, I recently feel like I got hit on the head with EXACTLY HOW to have my life and relationship be great, gorgeous always full of fun and delight.

Only instead of landing like a ton of steel, this landed like a drizzle of honey on a bed of feathers.

The price to earn pleasure is not pain and suffering.

The price to earn pleasure is enjoying what is already here.

It is pulling your head out of your own a.s.s. and looking around and acknowledging all the good that is already present. The best place to start is approving of and appreciating what is SO.

It is looking around at this green earth and the flora and fauna and crazy humans
inhabiting it, and finding it good.

The key to getting the good stuff is to start with the good stuff. And the key to getting things to be better is to start with the good stuff.

Sometimes things in our life or relationship are really the opposite of good, right? They suck, they are hard, they are bad. I know.

The law of physics, so to speak, around having things get better is that things have to first start from a place of GOOD before they can get BETTER. Good goes to better.

If things are bad, and we only focus on that they are bad, they get worse. Bad goes to worse.

You have to notice the things that are good or find something good about the crappy thing that's happening before it can get better.

The law looks something like this: bad --> good --> better.

You can't get from bad to better, you have to get to good first. The key is to start with good. Then, things are good - I mean, that's pretty great, right? And what if things got even better?

Too abstract? Let me give you an uber personal, amazingly timely example:

I have a "pinch me" relationship. It floors me constantly and there isn't a day that goes by where I don't feel grateful and blessed for this work of art we've co-created.

Throughout the eight years my husband and I have been together, we've had one painful point consistently come up where we are not on the same page: around whether to have a child together.

And we have been having a really crappy time figuring this one out, in fact we almost broke up a few months ago with how much we were suffering trying to figure it out.

An esteemed teacher pointed out to us that we were having a terrible time and losing big time, while we were figuring it out.

(Enter visual - safe falling on LiYana's head).

Could we have a great time figuring this hard, crappy, bad thing out? What in the world would that be like?

I took this to heart in the biggest way possible. I looked at my tendency in problem-solving: freak-out, get overwhelmed, play the victim. I looked at my tendency in working through impasses: back-down, feel defeated before starting, suffer.

As we talked further about it, it turned out that my husband's biggest fear in having a child together was losing me. He could see (easier than I of course) my defaults in times of stress and overwhelm, in problem-solving and in working through impasses. When he thought through having a child, he loaded up my freaking out, getting overwhelmed, playing the victim, suffering and feeling defeated. (Sounds like a lot of fun, eh?) He loaded up losing the bright, vivacious woman and lover her cherished.

And I had to admit he was right.

I asked myself, would it be possible to celebrate, enjoy, find pleasure, have some humour while working on the bad, hard, confusing and painful stuff?

What has happened since then is amazing - a deepening of love, appreciation, a clarity around what we both fear around having a child, and what would be amazing about it. All the while a greater sense of partnership and so much more fun and enjoying each other.

The most remarkable thing is that as my husband saw the fruits of me really taking this on, he started to see that he might not lose his bright, luscious love to the inevitabilities of child-rearing. He saw that I could enjoy ourselves no matter, and that changed the tide in him. Where he was a NO to a child, he became a maybe and then a YES.

We would never have gotten to this place without the power of "getting to good." Ever. In fact, I doubt we'd be together at all.

We both pulled our sorry out of "bad" and got ourselves to "good" and it keeps getting better and better and better....

These are things I've always known, but sometimes they alternate between peeping and sleeping in me, but now they are roaring and won't shut up. Thankfully.

August 2011:

We're officially pregnant with our first child, one who was planned, dreamed of, and who will be welcomed by two pretty large hearts who have spent four years practicing "getting to good" even when times are hard. It's a magical little world we'll be ushering our little one into.

I always say, it's not THAT there are difficult things to get through, it's HOW you get through them.

I might get this slightly wrong, but here's the essence of a great quote:

"Your enjoyment is your blessing on all creation." - Vic Baranco

So, this week:

1. Do a little inner inventory: what is your default tendency when things get hard? When you feel defeated? When a problem or impasse comes up? When you are stressed or overwhelmed?

2. Try "getting to good" first: try your version of celebrating, enjoying, finding pleasure and having some humour while working on the bad stuff.

3. Leave your first thoughts from #1 and #2 below in Comments, so we can all see how this is for you.

I promise you, this is pure life alchemy, friends.

My best to you, LiYana