Updated: Sep 14, 2022
Relationships are challenging. Whether with a great friend, a lover or even with your children, this "love stuff" looks so much easier painted on a wall, depicted within a classic tale or seen via the lens of our favorite Rom-Com. The problem within those fanciful, possibly desirable, relationships is they aren't real. Don't get me wrong, I'm the first to claim "hopeless romantic" but I also understand that meaningful relationships take work.
Life's full of what I like to call 'lemonade' moments, but it's also equally full of 'lemon' moments. Meaning, when I am holding his hand and things appear to be dream-like, I'm living one of those 'lemonade' moments. They don't last as long as I would like, however, and before you know it, we're back to 'lemon'(s) again! Why is that? Why can't we just drink 'lemonade' forever? Those moments where everything seems good, I wonder why an argument ever arose prior, or could again, until it does. And, then it's back to squeezing 'lemon's again. Yuck! OUCH! Tears.
What's worse is the majority of the arguments we end up in are cyclical. It's almost as if we have the same argument over and over again. Are you with me? Why do we do this? It almost seems crazy, until we realize it's normal. In fact, the more I coach people struggling with relationships, the more I discover that we are all stuck in this cyclical pattern.
This pattern of cyclical arguments is all too familiar. The relationship of two people who love one another is like a dog and it's beloved owner. Individually, the dog desires to be free, to do what it wants. From an individualistic viewpoint, the dog constantly resists against its leash, the things that is binding it to it's owner. However, when the dog resists, the owner pulls the dog back to them. It is here where the dog realizes it's tethered to it's owner, the one whom the dog receives love from. It realizes that they are connected and there is love/affection there. However, it doesn't take long for the dog to resist once again, running towards something else. Hence, the cyclical pattern continues. The owner becomes frustrated and the dog feels trapped.
So, what's the deal? Is it possible for the dog to stop desiring to get away? Is there a way for the owner to continue the relationship without the leash? In other words, is there any way around all the arguments and constant circling, within relationships? I believe there is a way around it all, or at least through it all, and with it, offering a different outcome on the other side.
As human beings we are designed with varying motivations, strengths and weaknesses; it is only in understanding our own and those of our partner/other relational being that we may step beyond this cyclical argument. As an Enneagram and Life Coach, I have discovered strength in knowing my self and those around me. Understanding that my way of thinking, reacting and discerning toward a specific situation is different than that of the one I am relationally entangled, is the first step. Knowing that I am an Enneagram 1, helps me not only understand myself, but also those around me. Basically, our arguments stem from our differences. Once we understand each others' differences, we can begin to see beyond the argument, to a mutually beneficial relationship.
Relationships are challenging. Yes, they are. But, there are always ways to squeeze out that 'lemonade'. It takes a little work, but no one really wants to be tethered to a 'leash' all their life. Discover who you are and those around you, through the eyes of the enneagram, and begin the journey to your best self.
Enneagram & Life Coach
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