Judy called to complain about how her husband wasn’t keeping his agreements about reading the Real Love material, having meetings with her as a couple, and more. She was angry and resentful.
“How about you?” I asked.
“What do you mean?” she wondered.
“How well are you doing your own Real Love work?”
“Fine. I’m reading the books, going to meetings, making phone calls.”
“Glad to hear it,” I said, “but I was really asking how much you’re growing.”
“Good. I’m good.”
Years ago I visited a Caribbean island with my children, and when they went outside to play, I suggested that they wear a dense sunscreen, considering that we were only thirteen degrees north of the equator. When they came back a couple of hours later, I asked if they had used the sunscreen. They assured me that they had, but their skin was already bright pink, with exception of a few white patches here and there.
It was obvious that my children had gone through the motions of putting on the sunscreen, but they didn’t do it to the point where it was effective. Many of us in Real Love do the same. We read books and go to group. We intellectually understand the principles, but we don’t feel them or live them in an effective way. It’s not the effort we make that counts, only the results.
We must be humble and willing to learn to change our perspectives and feelings. We need to follow the examples of those who have achieved the kind of happiness we want. It’s worth it.
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