Spring Cleaning energy is a buzz and not just for filling boxes of stuff for Goodwill. Friendship has been a big topic with clients for the past few weeks. Discussions around ending relationships and the agony around the seriousness of going to that length.
If you have a grievance around a friendship, there is someone you can find to reinforce your “rightness.” Friends love us and when we tell them our side of a conflict … or worse, a perceived conflict … they typically jump in to agree about how you have been wronged and how you are so awesome and don’t deserve any ill treatment. Conflict and drama feels like it’s becoming the societal norm. I mean, there’s no shortage of unscripted/scripted overblown conflict-driven reality shows. Do you have someone in your life that the first thing they ask is for an update on your latest conflict?
Years become a decade and more years create 20-year plus relationships. There is something significant to me about anything that can make it to the 20-year mark. I always encourage clients to allow friendships to be exactly what they are and where they have evolved to without judgement. I have been thanked and told that there is freedom and relief in thinking that way, yet I find that it takes time for clients to get to that point of being despite it making sense intellectually. Why can’t they get there? After multiple sessions with one client, listening as she continued to unpack mountains of baggage from her friendships … I got it! 20 plus years of any relationship has STUFF! Unresolved, repeated, infuriating, resentful. Maybe the coaching tool of allowing relationships to be where they are can’t work with this much baggage.
Then, I was reading a book by one of my favorite self-help authors, Melody Beattie. It mentioned how when at least 1 person, better if both people, but at least one person can just let all the old sh*t go, the relationship has a different perspective. CTRL-ALT-DEL is what we hit on our computer when we have no other idea to get passed whatever glitch is happening. We know we are letting go of whatever is not saved. We are re-starting. Not from nothing, all the good stuff that we took the time to save will still be there, but whatever was causing the glitch will be lost.
We hate when the only option is to re-start our computer and re-create our projects. But, we always feel relieved once we are up and running again. The re-start even makes us feel a bit more invigorated to take back on those projects and often they come out better for the re-start.
Couldn’t this work in our relationships too? Anyone who has used a computer knows they don’t always work perfect and we will lose some of our work. Often due to our own lack of diligence in saving. It’s how computers operate. Especially in a Mercury Retrograde for the astrology lovers. Don’t friendships need a CTRL-ALT-DEL occasionally too? You’ve had those laborious hashing through the past conversations that just go in circles. Is the thought of another one of those conversations holding you back from putting more effort into a relationship? A 20-year relationship based on time alone means both people have screwed up plenty. If you can admit that this is part of how the human operating system works, a re-start can work.
What if both people just hit CTRL-ALT-DEL and started fresh from today? As humans we change a little bit everyday meaning we change a ton over 20 years. Letting go of old assumptions and meeting someone we love from where they are and who they are today certainly feels more motivating than recounting resentment.
Spring Clean those relationships with a CTRL-ALT-DEL and get back to all the joy of friendship. This could work with your marriage too. Allow those to be who they are without the past baggage. CTRL-ALT-DEL and see them for who they have become today and allow them to see who you continue to become more of everyday.
*Disclaimer Note: Don’t stay in emotionally abusive friendships. If you are concerned that a relationship is abusive, please educate yourself on the subtle signs of emotional abuse and take action to take care of yourself.
Windley Works is excited to announce the upcoming video series, “Powerful Questions with Coach Jen”.