Often times, we look to the outside world to fulfill what we define as “needs”: the need to be loved, the need to feel safe, the need to make a difference. The slippery slope in marriage is a dependence on the other person that develops over time, in hopes to continue receiving the outpouring of love and devotion that once satisfied our need to feel valuable.
In the early stages of a relationship, our cup overfloweth with these hormone releasing gestures that cast a tightening web around two people. The deficiencies that we’ve developed over a lifetime, starting with our overtaxed parents not meeting our needs on a moment to moment basis and continuing through our most recent interactions, cast ripples of doubt about our place in the world.
How do we free ourselves from this whirlpool of neediness that can lead us to a desperation for which divorce is the only solution?
Candle-lit baths, walks on the beach, and a good glass of wine only do so much to fill the void. Just like the fable of the Crow and the Pitcher, where the clever animal reaches the little water at the bottom of a narrow-necked pitcher by filling the vessel with small pebbles and, thus, raising the water level to be within reach, we must fill our own emotional holes with these sturdy ROCKS, so we can drink and refresh ourselves and our spirit.
From an early age, you learned what habits were the most soothing to you. Take some time now to integrate new, healthy habits that bring you a peaceful calm feeling. Make those baths or walks on the beach a regular recharge for yourself. These rituals reaffirm your ability to show yourself the love you so desperately seek from the outside world.
When you take a moment and look around, you’ll notice the wide web of support surrounding you. Finding gratitude for what you have can wash away the envious desire to have more. This simple element of appreciation can lead you to riches, because only those who are content with what they have are free from the burden of wanting more.
When drowning in the overwhelming waves of feeling irrelevant and alone, a life preserver can come in the unlikely form of giving to others. When you step away from your own selfish needs, you can discover that you have a deep well of skills and experiences to help others, and yourself.
Keep an Open Mind
Your perception is your reality. Whether you see the glass as half full or half empty, you’re right. Your satisfaction with yourself, your partner and your world all comes down to how you perceive it on a moment to moment basis. How you interpret what other people do and say is just as important as the actions themselves. Try to take their actions at face value and release yourself from the undercurrent of perceived malicious intent.
The basis for any 12-step process is a core of spirituality. That doesn’t mean religion, though it applies here just the same. Spirituality allows you find a reliable ally in unexpected places and in times of desperation. You’re not alone in this. Let spirituality be your anchor as you navigate these new waters.
Any of these ROCKS alone or in combination with the others, will help fill those emotional holes and allow you to rise to any occasion.