In this podcast I’ll be exploring how to Heal Broken Relationships:
- I’ll explain the major reason relationships fall apart
- I’ll talk about why people relate so poorly to themselves and to one another
- I’ll explain how 3 words can heal any relationship
- Finally, I’ll give an exercise on how to use these 3 words to heal broken relationships in your life
Relationships are part of being alive. If you’re not relating you’re not living.
Technically the first relationship you’re in is with your own bodymind. Your bodymind is made up of trillions of cells living in harmony with each other. This massive community of cells are in constant communication with one another and build and maintain healthy relationships with each other. From the day you’re conceived into this world to the day you will leave this world you are in constant communication with your bodymind and must build and maintain this relationship throughout your lifetime. The healthier your relationship to your bodymind the healthier your bodymind ends up being.
Of course today the world is full of people with sick and diseased bodyminds meaning as a collective culture and society and species we are not doing a very good job of maintaining and looking after the most important relationship we have, which is with our own selves.
The main reason for such a high rate of disease in western society today is people do not listen and communicate well with their bodymind. When you have a symptom this is your body talking to you, telling you ‘hey you’re doing something that I’m not liking, please stop right now’. But you don’t. Who does? None of us are taught in school how to be in tune with the wants and needs of our bodies and our mind so we end up playing ignorant fools to our body’s messages.
I know when I was dealing with my chronic health issues I was totally ignoring the signs and body language that my bodymind was trying so hard to communicate to me. Why was I ignoring it? Because at the time I really enjoyed my lifestyle. I loved fast food, I enjoyed not having to go to the gym like everyone else was doing, and my job wasn’t killing me either or so I thought. Of course now looking back I can see how my body was rejecting the food, the lack of movement, and the dissatisfaction in my job by giving me skin issues, digestive issues, and depression.
The same reason goes for personal relationships. Your relationship to your family, friends, neighbours and perfect strangers it all comes down to effective communication. If you have good communication with other people you’ll have good relationships with those people. On the flipside if you have bad listening skills and cannot effectively share your intentions with other people you’ll find it very difficult to relate and connect to them on a meaningful level.
So why do people plead ignorance and just not want to listen to their bodyminds or to anyone else? Why is effective communication so difficult to build and maintain? It comes down to wanting to be right or not wanting to be wrong.
We all know the feeling of being right, but we also know the feeling of being wrong or at least to be found out to be wrong. One makes you feel great joy and pride, while the other makes you want to jump off a cliff or hide.
The idea that being wrong is bad comes from human evolutionary history. When your ancestors heard a sound in a bush they had to decide whether that noise was a potential threat, a predator and to run away or was it just the wind and they could continue on their way. Get this wrong and your ancestors would have a very bad day. Get it right and nothing much happens really except knowing you made the right choice and you got to live another day.
This idea that being wrong is bad is reinforced during your upbringing and it is during this time that the idea that being right is good was introduced into your psyche. I remember growing up at home and in school being rewarded for doing things right as they were expected to be done. I also remember being punished at home for not doing things right and being made fun of at school for getting things wrong and not knowing the answers.
This is when things start to go a bit screwy and mess up your innocent young mind. You begin to confuse what you’ve done with who you are. If you make a mistake you are a mistake. If you do wrong then you are bad. If you make something awesome you are awesome. If you do right then you are good.
So when you are given a symptom by your bodymind, a sign like your skin breaking out in pimples or not having enough energy to get out of bed, or when you are confronted by someone else’s ideas and views on life that are very different to yours, your first gut instinct is to deny everything. By denying the reality of what’s happening right in front of you (and there’s a reason for calling it right in front of you and not wrong in front of you) by denying reality you reduce the risk of being wrong and being made to feel bad and so you instead choose to live in blissful ignorance. Because if you were to give in to what’s actually right in front of you it would mean having to admit that what you know or believe in or did may be wrong and you would make that mean that you are wrong.
But, and this is a big but, being wrong or right doesn’t mean anything, really. If you make a mistake or create something awesome, so what? Your actions are not you. They extend from you, but are not you. You are more than something you do or have done in any one moment. Being wrong does not mean you are wrong and same goes for being right. So the best sure-fire way to improve and better your communication skills is to change your mindset where you believe being wrong means you are wrong.
There are 3 words you can say to yourself, to your bodymind, and to others that will stop you wanting to be right all the time for fear of being wrong making you a more effective communicator. No it’s not I love you or even I am sorry. The 3 words I am talking about actually say both of these as well. Those 3 words.
“I was wrong.”
That’s it. I was wrong. This short statement does three things besides saying I love you and I am sorry.
First it immediately puts the other person at ease. When you say the words I was wrong you are essentially saying you were right to the other person. Being told you are right is like celebrating all festivals and holidays in a single moment. It feels like the best piece of high quality dark chocolate or homemade apple pie you’ve ever tasted. So give someone the gift of chocolate and pie today by telling them you were wrong.
Second thing saying you are wrong does is it makes you aware of something you were previously ignorant to. You now have the knowledge and the potential power to make change happen in your life. We make mistakes in order to learn and grow. In fact to learn something means to fail at something as the whole learning process involves ups and downs and it’s only through practise and repetition that you will have more ups than downs, but the downs are always going to be there. Remember you can only rise after you have fallen, but you must be courageous enough to take that fall. Think of it this way, when you are wrong you are learning.
Eckhart Tolle the author of The Power of Now, a really awesome book on keeping you in the present moment, he states:
“It is through the mistakes that the greatest learning happens on an inner level.”
Meaning failure creates deeper more meaningful success later on.
Speaking of the power of now the last thing I wanted to talk about that happens when you say the words I was wrong is it removes the fear of being wrong because you’ve just said you are wrong obviously. As soon as you say those 3 words you shift from being afraid to look wrong in the eyes of others including yourself, to being accepting of whom you are in the moment and this knowing of self in the here and now gives you strength to be more open and honest with your communication. Saying I was wrong shows vulnerability and being vulnerable is very empowering. When you share something personal and intimate and that’s actually quite difficult to share it’s like having a huge weight lifted off your shoulders and you feel lighter and a lot more at ease to just talk and speak your truth.
Relationships require effective communication and need to be built on a foundation of openness and honesty. By saying I was wrong to your bodymind, to yourself, and to other people you remove the fear of being wrong and the need to be right and you create stability in your relationships. In order to maintain the relationship you will have to face your fear of being wrong over and over again and keep in mind that what you’re actually doing is following the learning process. Every time you admit you are wrong you give rise to the chance of being right.
Alright I’m going to leave you with a task. Your mission if you choose to accept it is to think of one rocky relationship whether it is with yourself, your bodymind, or someone else and to think how you have been wrong in this relationship. Then to say to the other person or your body those 3 difficult words, I was wrong, and then explain to them how you have been wrong.
There might be an apology in there, I am sorry, and there might be a connection there, I love you. But it all begins with I was wrong.
Let me give you a few personal examples of what this might look like. Time for me to get vulnerable here.
My relationship with my bodymind. Growing up I’m thinking I can eat pasta, pastries, and pizza without any consequences. It sure tastes good and feels good eating those things in the moment. But I had to admit to my bodymind I was wrong. After years of ignorance and not wanting to take responsibility I finally took control of my own health and discovered I was gluten-sensitive. So I went gluten-free and my bodymind rewarded me by no longer giving me an upset stomach, by giving me smooth glowing skin, and by giving me a genuine smile on my face instead of me having to force a fake one.
Another relationship, this time the relationship with my self. For many many many years I thought that my life revolved around the good opinion of other people and that I didn’t deserve a say in it. But boy I was so bloody wrong it’s not funny. As part of this exercise I would look in the mirror and say to my self, self I was wrong to let other people control my life. And after many moons of personal development work and discovering and learning who I really am and why I’m here I now realise that my life revolves around the most important person in the world, me. Me me me. Always has and always will. Sounds selfish right? I know. But now that I know who I am all I want to do is help others find who they really are too. So this selfishness, this sacred selfishness, this looking after myself now drives me to want to serve others and look after others as well.
Okay last relationship I’ll talk about is the relationship with me mother. Growing up I used to think that my mum actually didn’t love me or my brother and sisters and that she was really just a controlling, mean women who had us kids just to be slave workers and to clean up after her and no matter how good a job we did it was never good enough for her. Well I was wrong. Mum I was wrong to think that you the source of my being and existence didn’t love me or my siblings and I was wrong to think that you were a bad parent. Sure you may not have raised us as we would have liked, but you did the best you could with the knowledge and resources that you had at that time and I just want to show my gratitude and appreciation for the awesome parenting job you did and still do. Even now you’re still telling me to put an extra jacket on when the weather’s cold. I know now that everything you say and do for me and my siblings it always comes from a place of love. Well mum I love you too and yes I will put a jacket on, when it’s actually cold.
So a few personal examples there that I hope will help you on your relationship healing mission.
I’ll leave you with this thought.
“You are never on the wrong path, you are simply on the long path to learning, to growing, and to having happy and healthy relationships.”
Before we can all be right we must all admit that we are so very very wrong.
Links and Resources