I recently heard a friend of a friend tell his wife “I’m off to the Phillipines” which, for this guy is understandable… he’s a busy entrepreneur. Then he added, “backpacking” for three weeks with some mates.
His wife is from Colombia. She comes from a poor home and has transcended her heritage through her marriage and family with her entrepreneur husband. So when I hear him say “going to the Philippines backpacking” I know he means “shagging and partying with prostitutes” – but what she hears is “ahhhh some time with the kids without him.”
She doesn’t hear the lie. She doesn’t want to hear the lie. She wants to hear that all is as it is.
This is a unique characteristic of relationships. I can testify to it myself with a recent break up that, in spite of being disciplined about seeing balance in people, I’d created a little fantasy, one that was sold well by my partner, and one I really really really wanted to believe (just like the Colombian wife).
When illusions shatter we feel depressed. Of course we do, We were on a high, elated that there was a half truth somewhere in the universe. We bought it hook, line and sinker. Then BOOM it snaps.
Some lessons for me came out of this shattering of illusion:
1. In doing the balancing process make sure you do all eight columns because just balancing negatives up to neutral is going to set you up for failure
2. Do it on paper. I got into the habit of seeing these negatives and balancing them in my head… it doesn’t work. You need to keep a journal of balance process.
3. Don’t be embarrassed to bring negatives up or positives down but always do one of each otherwise you might bring a whole bunch of negatives up and elate, or positives down and depress. Simply see that every positive has a correlate negative.
4. The big key in the balance process is to say “where have i done that or who thinks I’ve done that?” it’s important to realise that what we judge in others we don’t love in ourselves. This is a big key.