Here’s a quick example of how people who spend a good portion of their time working on things like communication styles, relationship dynamics, mindful meditation, and personal development have conversations:
“I’m a little worried about money.”
“Well, stop it.”
“Oh, sure, no problem. Thanks SO much for that help – it’s all better now, haha!”
“You need to stop it, because when you worry about money, then I feel crappy because I worry that I’m a burden on you.”
“Wait, so now along with worrying about money, I get to feel guilty because my inability to stop worrying is making you feel crappy?”
Now, you can hear these voices in your head a couple of ways. They could be mean, biting, confrontational – I’ve certainly had conversations like that.
Or you could hear it in the way they were said, with wry laughter and comforting playful tones, ending in laughter and an affectionate kiss.
See, that’s the thing about mindfulness, or personal development, or any of this work we’re trying to do (and yeah, I’m saying “we” because if you’re reading this, you’re at least partially interested in this). It doesn’t actually take away any of the problems. I still worry about money; my partner still struggles with self-esteem.
But the worries and the struggle are no longer the primary focus. They’re not weapons to use against ourselves or each other, they’re not crushing weights added to the litany of woes that comes with this mortal coil.
They just are. That’s kind of the Hell of it; you get into it thinking you’re somehow going to get “beyond” all that, but in reality it’s all still there; it just doesn’t matter as much. That’s why it’s worth doing the work, to get better at loving each other and learning Jedi-level compassion: because life isn’t going to stop hammering at you. All you can do is get more anti-fragile, and laugh.