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The Secret of Change

“The secret of change is to focus your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Dan Millman.

It’s probably the time of year, but I’ve been thinking a lot about change. Specifically how to change some of the paradigms in my relationships.

Can I change how I see, hear and act towards people, especially those I have been relating to for a long time?

How to shift/manage/navigate my expectations of who they are, who I am and how we relate?

The relationship I’ve been thinking a lot about is with my father. I’ve known him for over 40 years. We’ve been through a lot together. Our relationship has evolved from parent/child to peers to working together. We have transitioned through these changes with quite a bit of ease. Lately, I’ve noticed, we’ve noticed, that I can’t help but correct him about details. One thing that drives me crazy as of late is that he pronounces people’s names wrong. I know who he’s talking about, but I still feel the need to tell him the proper way to say this person’s name.

And I’m left thinking –

Correcting him does what? How does it contribute to the situation? It doesn’t, really. It just makes me feel better that he KNOWS the correct information, BUT how does it make him feel? I asked him, and he said he doesn’t really care. He’s not offended when I do it – he just laughs at me. That was a relief to hear. We talked about this extensively over the holidays. When did I become a stickler about pronunciation? Why does it matter what he says? Why do I feel the need to correct him?

After a few hours of dissection, we got to – at this time in my life, details MATTER. Where, when, how, who – all of these details are important to my work and home life. My father, on the other hand, is in a different place. Details are no longer important as he’s no longer a householder. His focus is the bigger picture – looking at the bigger strokes instead of the fine details, so he just doesn’t care about the details.

Oof. We could not be in more different places.

The conversation helped me understand this. It shifted how I hear my father, what I’m moved to share. It’s helped me let go of constantly correcting him or laughing at myself when I do. It’s good to remember; we are not all be focused on the same things.

All this to say – reflection, discussion, dissection – can really help us understand where we are, what’s important to us, what’s important to other people and what we expect of ourselves and our relationships.

So I leave you with these questions:

What are you focused on right now?

Is there a relationship you’d like to shift?

How do you show up for them?

How do you expect them to show up for you?

Are these expectations helping or hindering the relationship?

Why do you think that is?

Pie in the sky – what kind of relationship do you want with this person? What do you think needs to change to make it so?

Until we meet again,

Clara

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