Like darning socks, the old saying ‘A stitch in time saves nine’ has its origins in an activity rarely undertaken in our ‘throw-away society’. The idea that if we mend a piece of clothing when we first notice it is torn, we will avoid having to do more sewing later on, is synonymous with the benefits of prevention versus cure. Often when I first meet with a couple their relationship will literally be hanging by a thread and it is only a very dedicated pair who are willing to do the hard yards and able to transcend the pain of the past, who will create their relationship anew. For others, the very fabric of their relationship has been worn away over such a long period of time or in ways that are so painful to them that the most loving choice they can make is to let each other go. And then there are those rare occasions when two people will walk in and say something like ‘Things are pretty good and we’ve just had this little hiccup, can you help?’. To which I am always delighted to be of service!
Now, if the couple (or an individual) who chose not to stay together are nonetheless willing to make theirs a conscious parting, there is much they can do to complete their relationship with dignity and ensure that they move forward in a positive way. It is the emotional impact of separation that, if not pre-empted and responded to respectfully, can become a breeding ground for further conflict, with the potential to cause harm not only to our children and financial well-being, but to almost every aspect of our lives.
Think about it! What are the things that are irreplaceable to you, that no amount of money can buy? For me it is my health and the people I love. What it costs us not to address the difficulties in our relationships, or disharmony in our body, mind, or spirit, is far greater than the cost of doing so. At worst, I think, it costs us our belief that something can be done to make things right. Without ever knowing it, many people give up hope, become complacent, shut down from themselves, each other and the joy of life.
Just because you have done everything you know how to do doesn’t mean there isn’t something else another could teach you or do for you! This is what growth and healing is all about. And the sooner it is applied to our relationship to ourselves and others, the greater the opportunity we have to restore harmony to those relationships. This also applies to our young people. A parent or teacher who is concerned about a child’s behaviour – whether it is the result of, or causing problems in, their home or school lives or relationships – and decides to ‘nip it in the bud’, makes their own job much easier as well as giving the child the opportunity to release the pattern/s which deprive them of joy.
So … where do you start? By making a commitment to do something about it. By taking time to connect to yourself and others and by talking and listening with an intention to make a difference. By saying ‘We have a problem here, let’s not sweep it under the carpet’. And then if you need to, by seeking the support of the people whose job it is to assist you to bring about positive change. That is one thing in the developed world we do not have a shortage of!
Inner Sense No. 12 | November 2008