This topic is so important I really felt strongly to run it again. I watch people struggle in relationships all the time, and be lazy in the process. You will NOT get better just because you want to or because “God can do anything”. YOU have to to the work to make way for God to do His work. AND, you have to make way for each other. This is REAL as it gets folks.
I tell REAL stories of people I have worked with that planned big weddings but not big, or healthy marriages and come in within 3-4 months wondering why they got married. Or, if you take the long term plan, you choose the old tried and true method… when it sucks and you have no emotional intimacy, you have kids… that will fix it for sure! And when the newness wears off and the extra work takes its toll, you still don’t have a foundation to stand on. Now what! But so many tell me… ” oh… you don’t know me and so and so…. we know what we’re doing… we are going to make it.”
How about a new car, new house, make more money, etc, etc. Nope! YOU WILL NOT GET BETTER UNTIL YOU DO THE WORK!
Dr. Nicole LePera, (The Holistic Psychologist), just released her book called, “How to Do the Work – Recognize Your Patterns, Heal from Your Past, and Create Your Self”. Many of you likely follow Dr. Nicole, as many of her insights and teachings line up with our work here at EIS.
While there are some definite differences in approach to certain things, such as the spiritual component that we present in our work, there are many things that are parallel. One of those things is “doing the work”.
In my book, “The Process”, we outline and explain a tried and tested method of helping people do the work.
So often, when people set out to get help, or need counseling in relationships, they have a perspective that may look something like this: “I know I’m a mess, but I just want to be the best version of myself. I just need to fix a few things and I just want to get on with my life.” Or, ” yeah, we really have a great relationship, we really love each other, so we just need to fix a few things and we know we will be great because we work so well together… and we really do love each other. We believe we can do anything… we just need a little help.”
All well intended, but most people have no idea that there is, 99% of the time, so much more to deal with than they thought. First of all, it is NOT a destination… like getting fixed, and then smooth sailing from there on. We never really “arrive”, we will always be in process, growing and maturing , if… if, we engage in a process that allows it. It takes commitment, resources, time, and a heart to do the work, most of all.
Here is a quote from The Process that reflects this in terms of relationships.
“Accountability (to a process), is the only thing that will sustain the hard-won progress made in the first five steps and extend that success into the long term. Yes, keeping this momentum going requires passion and commitment. It requires putting at least as much fire, love, time, passion, and creativity into knowing yourself and your partner as you do into other things . . . like doing your job, running your business, or catching up on your social media feed. But you can make your marriage or relationship a priority. And you might want to think about doing that, because if your intimate life is in crisis, your business and your career are going to experience crises, as well.
I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met over the years who have chosen to put far more time, effort, energy, and attention into building and protecting their business than they have into building and protecting intimacy with their spouse. They set up a series of plans, and backup plans for their business . . . but they won’t put the same level of commitment into their marriage. They tell themselves, “We love each other. We will be OK.” But loving each other is not enough. And eventually, if people “settle in” for long enough, two people who once loved each other find themselves far, far away from each other, and treating each other as adversaries.
The real enemy here is not your partner. It is complacency. After five steps of the Process, you may come to believe that you have “fixed” the relationship, but the reality is that if you want it “fixed” in such a way that keeps it “fixed,” you need personal disciplines in place that ensure that intimacy is real, meaningful, and growing steadily in your life together.”
This takes a long term commitment nurtured regularly. As you do this, you and your relationships can be rooted and grounded in love, and you can prosper, as God intends.
How to Do the Work – Dr. Nicole LePera
The Process – Bill Hoffman