Over our 28 years of marriage there have been ups and downs. At one point I was again feeling like I had let down my wife, like I was not filling her needs completely. Some of that had to do with things happening to us, Some were things like income and money issues. I interpreted from these issues that I was not doing enough. I had been feeling that way for a week or so. Then one day as we were driving down the road and I got up the courage to tell her what I was feeling. I blundered through an explanation of my feelings of I’m doing enough but I am unsure how to do more. I feel like I’m letting you down, I told her. Her answer hit me like a ton of bricks. Her reaction was not something I ever would have guessed. She told me she was feeling the same way, like she was not doing enough and she was letting me down. I told her “you can’t have that story, it’s mine,” and we both broke out laughing. We then both reaffirmed that we are not going anywhere, that we love each other, and we were doing all we could at the time for the other. We saw that the negative feelings we were experiencing dissipate as we learned they came from inside of us not from our partner.
But is money the problem? What are the feelings that go along with money? Do you feel stress and strain with money? Does it ever feel like there is not enough of it? What are your expectations around money?
So I’ve been working really hard for over a year now. I have been putting in extra effort. I expected a different result than I was seeing. I felt like I was letting down my wife. It is obvious that some of her needs are not being met. I also realize that some of my needs are not being met. Along with feeling that some needs were not being met, the voice I kept hearing was telling me I wasn’t doing enough. It would be easiest to say that this was about money. That is something outside of myself and something I don’t have total control over. So if I point to money as a scapegoat, I have little need to try something different or to work at it because I am not in control. When these feelings come I tend to lose my hope and that allows me to give up.
If you have ever experienced any feelings like loss of control, fear, loss of hope, distance. Maybe you have experienced what I do. But what is the lesson that comes for these feelings? What is the gift that comes if we do not give into these feelings? I think that there is more than one for starters. I have found that when I overcome these feelings I feel a sense of strength. I know as I talk with my wife about these feelings and find out what she is feeling we grow closer together. When I overcome these feelings I get a sense of hope, I learn to let go of my desire to control and learn to accept those lessons that I have the opportunity to learn because of the experiences that come to me.
So when you are in the middle of it what do you do to change things? What do we have control over? One of the first things that I work to do is get my vision back in my head. See the end game. Start looking out farther than the experience I’m in right now. Would you like to work together to develop that vision? Another thing to do right off is to be observant of the words I choose to use and believe. I can have total control over my feelings, or they can have total control over me.
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