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Joined: Mar 2008
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This is the second lesson from the first chapter if anyone wishes to participate. While sharing details might be of a highly personal nature, perhaps you would like to share in more general terms your experiences with this exercise.

1. Sit quietly by yourself. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.

2. Recall a specific situation that has caused you to feel wronged or to blame others. Picture the person or people involved, the setting, and what was said or done.

3. Imagine taking several steps back and observing the situation from a distance, as though you were watching a movie on a screen.

4. What part of what happened can you take responsibility for? Did you ignore signs that should have clued you in that there was a problem? Did you act in a way that might have provoked the situation? Did your thoughts or actions escalate the situation?

5. What's your lesson to learn from what happened? Do you need more patience or better boundaries? Do you need to listen more or say less?

6. Ask yourself: If this were happening for a higher purpose, what would it be? Can you find the gift?

7. Write down the most important thing you can do differently as a result of finding the lesson or the gift.

Joined: Mar 2004
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How about anyone who has done this exercise write about their gains from it. How it made them feel.

AlexK

Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 13
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Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 13
Here's the deal...

The Script: I've been trying to get the house ready for company this weekend. One of the projects was to get the front hall painted. I had gone to my favorite home supply store and picked out the perfect paint color. The day I was going to go pick up paint, My husband says, "I am going out. Can I get the paint for you?" So, I agreed and handed him the paint sample that the store has bar coded for the color formula. Instead of going to the store where I picked out the sample, he goes to his favorite store that doesn't read the bar code and tried to match the sample. Do you see where this is going? Depending on what angle you are looking and in which light, the paint can have a lime green cast on my sunny yellow hall!

Where does my responsibility lie? Before, I had long suspected that he figured if he screwed up enough stuff that I would quit asking him to do anything. Pretty cynical (and self centered) thinking. Now, I see he really does want to help. I could have been more specific about what I wanted. I suspected he was going to his store and should have known he would not make an additional trip. Especially if he saw a sale on paint! Did I escalate the situation? I grew up with enough yelling and screaming and throwing of stuff that I would never allow that in my household. Often to the effect of stuffing my own feelings to keep the peace.

What did I learn? I have some choices. I can either do it myself, or be much more specific when asking for what I want. Either way, I can't be so invested in the outcome. Different is not necessarily bad. I need to be able to let some expectations go. Instead of dwelling on what it should have been, I can be more present and see what it is. I am in that hall too often to feel angry about the color every time I look at it. I thanked him for all the help and told him that the hall is beautiful!...and it is!

The gift: I have my hall painted. It looks lovely. My husband feels good about himself for a job well done. Our relationship continues to improve. And I continue to learn how to let go.

The most important thing I can do differently would be to improve my communication skills and be much more specific.


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