When I was fourteen years old, our family was making a move from Arizona to Utah. My dad was driving the big old moving truck and my mom drove our family van, which meant that my brother Eric, who had recently turned 16, needed to drive one of our cars. He and his friend and our Collie, Trina, were in the car ahead of us on a two lane highway.
I was sitting in the passenger seat of the van, and to our horror, we watched as my brother’s car drifted into the oncoming lane, barely missing a large semi truck, and then off the other side of the road and rolled several times.
I remember my mom screaming and honking the horn, but was powerless to help.
We pulled over as quickly as we could and then I remember running as fast as I could to get to the car… and then slowing down when I realized that I might see something horrific… I had no idea what to do!
The car was resting on its roof, and miraculously, we watched as both of them crawled out of the broken windows. They were bruised and shaken, but no major injuries. Even the dog was okay! We had worked so hard with the move, he had fallen asleep at the wheel. It was a terrifying experience that still haunts me a little today.
A LOT OF DAMAGE CAN BE DONE WHEN WE DON’T STAY IN OUR OWN LANE.
This is a great reminder, not only to keep us physically safe, but it’s also an important metaphor to help us to MIND OUR OWN BUSINESS.
Spending time worrying about, judging, assessing or evaluating someone else, and they way that they live their lives, can derail the progress we want to make in our own.
“Stay in your lane.” Is the wise counsel that will help us too keep our focus on our own goals and our own improvement. It will free us from a lot of drama and potential hazards on our road if we implement that advice!
Byron Katie calls it the 3 Businesses – Our Business, Another’s Business and God’s Business.
We need to ask ourselves every day, – whose business are we in? Katie says, “Much of our suffering and stress comes from putting our mental energy, thoughts, projections, feelings into someone or something else’s business.”
Do you worry about how other people raise their children, spend their money, wear their clothes, style their hair or spend their time?
Do you think you need to offer much needed advice or feedback?… if so, you have wandered into their lane.
Do you worry about the weather, earthquakes, floods, pandemics and wars?… That’s God’s lane and His business, and no amount of worrying will change it.
Do you consider yourself to be your spouse’s self improvement coordinator?… offering unsolicited tips, -little critiques in hopes that they’ll try a little harder, be a little more motivated or quit a bothersome habit?
If this is the case, FOR SURE, YOU ARE OUT OF YOUR LANE.
Reaching our desired destination ie..a happy marriage, requires us to stay on our path.
It’s easy to feel like we own the whole freeway, but imagine the chaos if everyone drove that way! It’s the same thing for our brains.
We must focus on our own objectives, our own goals, our own progress and our own emotional health.
It’s the most freeing thing in the world and will provide you with the most peace.
Sending you so much love,- hope you make it a wonderful day!
When I was newly married, every single night I would cook an elaborate dinner, because I believed it was what a “good” wife should do. Truth is I don’t really love to cook, but in my mind it was necessary if I wanted my husband to love me. I remember one night, my husband coming home and saying, “You don’t have to make a big dinner every night, I’m totally fine with a frozen burrito!”
But of course I didn’t listen, because a “good” wife always makes a nice dinner! Right?? It was the example my mom set and the message I received. (She was the best! and I wanted to be the best too!)
There were lots of other things I added to my manual for myself like, never say anything if it might hurt someone else’s feelings, always volunteer, never go out in public without looking good… and on and on…!
Not only did I have a manual for myself, but I also had a huge manual for my husband, which of course I never shared with him.
I just expected him to read my mind. Because if he really loved me, he would KNOW what I needed. LOL!
I had expectations that he should always compliment me for how I looked and show appreciation for how hard I worked. He should buy me flowers on Valentine’s Day and make elaborate plans for our Anniversary… It was HIS job to make ME feel loved and special.
Oh boy, imagine my disappointment when he didn’t follow my manual!
And because I had such a lengthy manual for myself, I felt justified in having one for my husband, kids and many others as well.
It felt righteous. It felt fair.
If you’ve ever had the thought:
“He/she should do that if they want to make me happy”….
“She/he should say that, so I feel better”…
“I need her/him to do this, to make me feel wanted or loved…”
YOU HAVE A MANUAL, and it will make you miserable!
Whenever we look to external sources to make us feel a certain way, we are living in Emotional Childhood. Meaning that just like a child, we are looking to someone else to solve our emotional discomfort and make us feel better.
We haven’t learned the tools to manage our emotions ourselves.
When we need someone else’s approval to feel worthy, or valued, we are the ones who sacrifice our emotional health, because if the other person doesn’t perform well(by following our manual), we suffer!
Have you noticed that people don’t like to be told how to do things, how to live their lives and how to act in certain situations? It’s not fun. -And by the way, we don’t either!
When we insist that our partner show us love in one way or another, they often rebel and withhold the thing we want most.
Think about it.
If your kiddo has a birthday and gives you a list of everything you need to buy them in order for them to enjoy their birthday, and then pouts when they don’t get the items on their list, we lose the desire to give to them, -let alone surprise and delight them!
And on the other hand, it’s such a JOY to give to the one who is happy and asks for so little!
If we stop making demands of our partner, and we love and appreciate them exactly as they are.. AND love and show appreciation for the ways THEY want to show us their love, their desire to show us their love grows… they WANT to give us more.
Dropping our manuals is the key to receiving more love!
When we let them go, we can just love other people exactly the way that they are, and we can love ourselves that way too! It’s absolutely freeing.
If this rings true for you, I encourage you to ditch the manual you have for yourself, your spouse…and everyone else you love, and create your own feelings by managing the thoughts YOU CHOOSE to think.
How does your spouse show you love?
Give them credit for all they do instead of mourning the things you WISH they would.
If you stay focused on what you lack, you will rob yourself of the daily joys that could be yours.
When I dropped the manual for myself, it was much easier to drop it for others as well. It gave me the freedom to show up in life as the authentic version of me, and that made all the difference!
It’s such a joyful way to live.
If you need help letting it go, reach out to me. Let’s get you on the fast track a happier future!