One day I was frustrated with my fiancée.
There were a bunch of things adding up; the ladder was still in our kitchen and not put away, he’d told me he would mail something for me and forgot, the power was out and he was complaining about the cold but I was cold too and that didn’t seem fair, and he went to bed early overlooking our date night (If I were around myself that day – I sure as hell would of too…)
Basically, EVERYTHING was pissing me off and that was a sure sign that whatever was getting at me had NOTHING to do with him.
That night I knew I needed to do some work. In a relatively short amount of time I was able to switch my mood, and in the morning I cuddled up next to him, back to my loving self again.
These were the tools I used:
1.) I reminded myself that whatever he did or didn’t do, whatever choices he made, however he acted WAS NONE OF MY BUSINESS.
He’s his own person and gets to live his life however he wants to. I want him to be free. I want him to live his own life.
I don’t want him upset with me when I leave the plates in the sink (which I do), or tell me what I should do with my day, or tell me to stop complaining. I want to be free to live my own life too.
2.) The second thing I did was ask myself, “What are your underlying beliefs?
I realized I was holding onto some outdated, irrational beliefs that needed reprogramming.
Beliefs usually coincide with a “should.” Some kind of rule that you learned either as a child or as an adult that hold rigidity around how someone should or should not act, behave, or be.
My beliefs at the time were, “He should put things away because having a clean, organized house is important to feel good, he shouldn’t be forgetful and follow through, he shouldn’t be negative and complain…”
I was totally convinced that my way was the right way, unaware or even in denial of how I was doing the same.
3.) The 3rd thing I asked myself was, “What is the one main thought that lays underneath those beliefs that is fueling my anger?”
The thought after examining was, “If he doesn’t take care of our home (put away the ladder), if he doesn’t remember to mail my letter, if he’s complaining around me, and if he goes to bed early that means he doesn’t love and care about me.”
4.) The last thing I asked myself was, “If anger is just fear, what are you afraid of really?”
My fiancée and truly love each other. I’m so grateful I have found a partner to create a happy life together. But sometimes, it’s hard for me to receive the many blessings I’ve been given. And love can be scary because it might mean I could be abandoned.
I realized I was picking random things to get upset about because commitment, closeness and intimacy at times can be frightening.
The result is that I immediately wanted to be closer rather than push him away with my petty criticisms, judgments and arrogant belief systems. I took responsibility for my projections and getting into his business.
In the morning I cuddled up next to him, having dropped all my negative, angry energy. He warmed to me with a smile and said, “I love me some Lynn Newman.”
You can use these four steps with any upset no matter how big or small. The bigger the issue, in fact, will help you question the loftier beliefs you have. Most of the time it’s the beliefs that we have that make life painful. It can be incredibly freeing to no longer be so attached to them.
Here’s to freedom from any suffering!