A few years into my second marriage, I was making plans for my Christmas holiday’s visit with my family and my wife declined to make the trip with me. I was in the process of some new learning, specifically that others get to make their own choices, and my initial response of ‘but you have to’ shifted. In a world where others make their own choices, this was clearly a choice my wife gets to make. That was a real eye opener for me and I began to live my life from the perspective of honouring the choices others make instead of attempting to get them to change their mind.
I found this to be very workable and the quality of my life improved in ways that were previously unimaginable. In this case, I visited my family and she visited hers and we reconnected for New Years. It was no big deal. The flip side was that I began taking back the decisions that were mine to make.
We became two sovereign people in a relationship and instead of compromising and spending time doing things we did not want to do, we honoured each other’s choices and made our own accordingly. No bickering, no bargaining, and although there were times when my wife wanted me to compromise, this new way of approaching things worked fine. We were each free to ask the other to do things but the other was free to decline and often did. Nothing ever proved insurmountable as there is always more than one way to ‘skin the cat’ and some cats just don’t need skinning. Often we would find a win/win solution and our skills in thinking outside the box improved dramatically. So did our communication skills as we each found that being clear and having no hidden agendas got the best results.
I applied this learning to all the relationships in my life. Same sort of results. Instead of working to get my own way, I began working to create functional outcomes while honouring the sovereignty of others. Sure reduces the drama quotient. lol
Recently, I encountered a situation as follows: I met an attractive woman and asked her out for coffee targeting to explore the possibility of a relationship. She agreed to coffee and we had a wonderful ninety minute conversation but she rebuffed my attempts to set a followup meeting; making it clear that she is not interested in a relationship with me other than friends. Rejection has always been difficult for me and I sorted through my feelings on the walk home and that evening.
Then it came to me. This is a decision she gets to make. She declined and now it is up to me to create functional outcomes while honouring her sovereignty and the choice she made. Wow…does that ever make things easier. Instead of considering this a rejection, I simple look at it as a choice she gets to make and honour that choice. Next step is to create functional outcomes incorporating her choice. Rejection is not even a part of this way of looking at things.
In terms of functional outcomes, I am still single and available. I can choose to invite a friendship with this woman or not.
You know, in retrospect, she is very likely accurate in her choice. Yes, we have lots in common but she is not my completion; she is not the other half of the two souls created when my individuation began eons ago. Part of my soul’s journey is to reconnect with my completion and this woman’s choice keeps me available for that time in the not too distant future when my completion becomes available to me; hopefully within this lifetime.
Before asking this woman out for coffee, I checked in with my guidance and got a clear yes to my question, ‘Does following up with this woman serve the greater good?’ I am now starting to understand. There was a lesson for me in the follow up process and now there is a possible friendship. All without muddying the water in terms of reconnecting with my completion.
Freedom for humanity…