Okay this one has some tough love in it – beware.
I’m thinking your whole life is based on your theories. If you think true love is hard to find, you will probably manifest just that. If you think you can’t trust people, you will probably find it to be true. If you believe that people don’t like hearing or speaking the truth and having real intimacy in their relationships with you, you’ll chicken out pretty often, or worse, you may even make sure the conversations don’t go well when they do end up happening. You can see how much what I call your “dumb-ass theories” get in the way of having what you want in relationships, including your relationship with yourself. But don’t we hang on pretty tight to them anyway?
I argue with people all day on this same topic. The good news is that you can choose to change your theories and prove the theories you want to prove. I often forget this and it’s usually because I am still getting a lot out of my current theory. Let’s face it, we often enjoy righteous suffering or silence more than the risk of fixing our problems and fulfilling our dreams. When I need to remember this I harken back to some big bad theories I debunked once upon a time. I remember that I believed I couldn’t have a great career and family life and I believed that natural childbirth had to be painful. I debunked both of those. I am sure you’ve done that too; make your list for inspiration!
But the other day, I caught myself saying a new theory that I not only thought was true but felt pretty great about: “I am not a romantic person.” Then later I was recounting it to someone else and said it out loud, followed with an explanation of why, and how it’s really okay. Out loud it didn’t sound so good and all the justifying also made me a bit skeptical whether or not this was a theory I wanted to keep. Trust me another voice is whispering in my head “Shhh, Laurie, don’t out this one, you DO NOT want to have to deal with being romantic.”
Here is the underbelly of the issue (yes, there always is one – look for it). I had three opportunities for reflection regarding romance/sentimentality cross my path in the last week or so.
1) A guy I have been coaching for a while very intensely went in for a major surgery and he asked me to send him something meaningful. It sent me into a TIZZY. Seems I have clutter cleared all lanyards, friendship bracelets, leather necklaces, charms and art supplies. This was the event that had me start discussing and proving the lie that I am not romantic/sentimental.
2) It was my daughter’s birthday and she asked to go to the Spa Castle with the family. I surprised her by picking up her best friend from school whom she hasn’t seen in 6 weeks and taking her along. This was so unlike me–to think outside the box of something special, to go to the trouble, to keep the secret and to offer a surprise. Very romantic and everyone noticed. Accidentally, I debunked that theory.
3) I became aware that my husband’s birthday was two weeks away. New tizzy! How do you do something romantic after 18 years?! And wah, I have no time. Again, I trotted my theory out to friends at the gym, but they didn’t buy it. They thought being romantic was pretty easy. You can steal this from me; my daughters and I are making a book for him, the 37 things we love about him, for every year of his life. Art supplies have been found!
Could it be that I am quite sentimental and romantic, but don’t want to be on the hook for it? Would it be because it means rising to the occasion emotionally and practically on a consistent basis? The last week has proven it true that I am romantic, if I put any attention on it whatsoever. What theories are you proving about yourself that just aren’t true? What if you took the next week to prove a different theory on purpose? Try it and write in about your results.
Once I wake up to it, I’d always rather be accountable to my dreams than to my “dumb-ass” convenient theories. I hope you will give your dreams and passions the same honor. Further illumination and examples available on our one-hour teleseminar: Debunking Your Dumb-ass Theories. You can always register now and listen to the recording if you cannot attend the call live.