The Five Things We Cannot Change by David Richo

The Five Things We Cannot Change by David Richo

Author:David Richo
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Shambhala


In a previous book, How to Be an Adult in Relationships, I explored the hallmarks of mature, lasting love. When we accept the fact that people are not loving or loyal all the time, we take a major step toward becoming an adult in our relationships. But there are other important givens of adult relationships that also call for the yes of aligning surrender. Use this list as a personal checklist to see how comfortable you are with these givens. To which ones do you easily say yes and which do you argue with?

• You may not be treated with all the fuss you received in childhood, and this may feel like the equivalent of not being loved. It is normal that the level of attention paid to you changes throughout life from rapt attention in infancy to quasi invisibility in old age.

• No matter how your parents may have mistreated you, they are not stopping you now from doing at least some of the therapeutic work it takes to recover. You will always see how your parents influenced the shape your life has taken, but you can let go of blaming them.

• When the gnawing question is “Why am I not getting what I want in life?” one of the questions behind it may be “What am I still carrying with me from the past?”

• Love is a teaching device. When your parents showed you one or more of the five A’s, they were doing more than just fulfilling your needs. They were teaching you exactly how to give the five A’s to yourself and others. Every cell of your body remembers how.

• Your mind may be saying, “I want a peaceful relationship,” but your body may want what it had in childhood: the drama of recurrent fear and unsatisfied desire. A giveaway of this dynamic is if you have a tendency to “stir the pot,” getting back at a partner rather than addressing, processing, and resolving the issue you are both facing. Seeking drama in relationships means fearing and desiring uproar at the same time. For instance, in real conflict resolution, you stop arguing when you notice it is not working. If you continue to argue, you’re looking for drama more than harmony.

• The purpose of relationships is the same as the purpose of our work and life: to become fully evolved adults who give and receive the five A’s abundantly: attention, acceptance, appreciation, affection, and allowing. Anything less leads to a stunting of ourselves.

• The criterion for being in a relationship is the same as that of any important choice in life: Is this a context in which I will find the safety to be myself; to live in accord with my deepest needs, values, wishes, and potentials; and to fulfill my life purposes?

• An ego-based question in a relationship is “What can I get out of this?” A spiritually healthy question might be “What will it take to be a contributor here?”

• In a committed relationship



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