Updated: Oct 9, 2020
Mother, daughter, father, son, husband, wife, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, cousin, nephew, niece, grandfather, grandmother. In-laws! Step-! Half-!
So many labels we apply to those in our family. And they come attached with a shitton of story, don't they?
And they come with...... expectations.
I feel like there should be the sound of thunder or something inserted here. Like a dun dun dunnnnnn.
(yes, those pesky expectation dudes again, see previous post: "ALL IN" USUALLY BACKFIRES).
What if you were to remove the label of your spouse: Husband/Wife/Life partner?
What if he or she was just their name, not your husband or wife?
Give that a moment or two. Just think of him or her as their given name.
Picture them in your mind's eye as that person with that name.
Does that feel different?
Can you see how you might appreciate or be more patient and understanding with that person when you take away what they 'represent' in your life? The expectations of a spouse is removed - whatever those expectations are...they are unique to you and your story.
With the removal of the expectations, you then become a human being interacting with just another human being.
With the removal of expectations, you allow space for who they REALLY are to come in and be in focus (and same goes for you, too).
You get to see them as "Bob" or "Betty" (insert significant other's real name here!).
You see their own story, their own history, their own struggles - not just how they relate to you.
I know it seems like something we automatically do....but....we don't.
When we label someone with what they represent in our life, we kinda sorta (not on purpose) forget that they are just a human trying their best at being human!
Labeling shifts the focus from who they really are, to their role and all the expectations that come with it.
"I can't believe he did that"
"What the fuck was she thinking?"
"I would never do that to him"
"She's supposed to be...."
Ugh. They are horrible beasts.
For sure, there are certain behaviours and beliefs that we want in our partners. Of course we would like to have similar values, interests, etc....
But, wants are very different from expectations.
If our wants are not met, we can choose to stay or leave. Completely in our power. We own it fully. "This is my want and my life choice is or isn't meeting it."
If our expectations are not met, we still get to choose to stay or leave. But, we are transferring the power to outside of ourselves. We are basing the decision to stay or leave on the behaviour of the other person. "This is my expectation of you and you are or aren't meeting it."
Big fucking difference, yes?!
I did a video about labels a couple of years ago, I would love for you to watch it. Here is the link: https://youtu.be/FObC6ZHz3ZA
I hope you watch it all the way through.
As I mention in the video, the best place to start this practice is with someone that you have a loving/friendly relationship with. Doing this work in a more difficult relationship is, well, difficult. Be patient with yourself. :)
Once you practice releasing the labels, and consequently the expectations, you will find your relationships far more easy going and there will be way less stress in your life. Then: YOU CAN SPREAD YOUR AWESOMENESS THAT MUCH MORE!!
You will feel less burdened.....expectations are a heavy weight that can be lifted.
We will talk about your personal labels soon. Bet you can't wait, haahaha! :)