“If it’s meant to be, it’ll be easy.” I used to tell myself this about everything: relationships, jobs, friendships. Anytime things got hard, and I didn’t want to be uncomfortable anymore, this was my goto excuse. But the fact is, the shiny always wears off. The adrenaline from excitement will come to an end, and the oxytocin of the honeymoon period will fade. Reality will always set in, and this is when we’ll want to bail. We don’t realize that THIS is when the magic happens. Not when things are shiny and new and “natural,” but when things get hard and uncomfortable and feel like a struggle. We choose ease, comfort, and sameness. Or we accept the challenge of discomfort that comes with growth.
When things become difficult (and they will), it doesn’t mean anything has gone wrong. It just means you’ve reached the fork in the road and it’s time to choose. You can listen to your brain and the old familiar thoughts that cause the same actions/reactions that perpetuate the misery, “They’re just difficult. It’s not my fault. I’ve tried.” Or you can take a minute to recognize that “difficult” is just presenting you with the opportunity to make a new choice. And different won’t necessarily mean easy, but it will mean you get to create the change you’ve been so badly longing for.
For me, this means accepting my husband’s apology when I’d rather just stay mad. Or catching myself when I’m trying to “win” an argument, instead of addressing the actual issue at hand (and oh man, do I love to win). It means staying calm when my hormonal tween daughter has a meltdown that I don’t understand. It means going out of my way to engage and be loving to my stepdaughter, even when she’s icy and standoffish. It means initiating the conversation with my stepkids’ moms, making a conscious effort to be civil, regardless of what’s happened in the past. These choices are not always the easiest ones, but they foster the life I want to create and am therefore willing to take responsibility for. And I choose to make these choices over and over and over again.
Are you having a hard time connecting with your stepkids? Then figure out how you’re behaving that causes a disconnect. What can YOU do to communicate with them on their level? EVEN when it doesn’t work the first time. Are you tired of always fighting with your ex or his? Then figure out what you’re doing to fuel the conflict. What can YOU do to encourage peace? When are YOU fighting to win versus focusing on what’s best for the child? When have you chosen to confront versus letting it go? Relationships, marriage, work, life, can all be hard. But sometimes choosing easy, actually makes it harder.
Are you struggling to know where or how to begin? Let me help! Schedule your free 45-minute coaching consult and let me show you how to start transforming your relationships right this very second!