I got called on this in couples therapy last night, which is not the reason I am considering never returning.
I have way too many suggestions for how my partner should do things!
I find, as I write this lovely list of my faults (why did I decide to do this? I really must be certifiable!) that many of them pertain mostly to her, since I keep a much better handle on myself with, well, pretty much everyone else on the planet.
So we’re sitting in couples therapy, and my partner is trying to create a support plan for herself, and I keep reminding her of people she’s forgotten to include, or the issue she most needs support around, finally I’m like, “And the gym is closed on Monday,” and the therapist is like, “You should really let your partner answer these questions.”
Ms. Fix-It is who I become when I’m very uncomfortable with something–like how long my partner takes to answer questions (give me a break, she takes a long time, like longer than 30 seconds…or 5 minutes…or….). Then I start doing all the work for people, mostly the thinking work and the person in question, usually my partner is like, “Can you just shut up?”
The answer to that question, obviously, is no. If I could, believe me, I would. Sometimes I’m sitting there listening to myself, thinking, who is this? Then I’m like, silent meditation retreats are a good place for me. Then I can just pay attention to all the knots in my muscles.
Of course, this morning, I’m lying on the yoga bolsters trying to get my back to relax, when my partner comes up and we start talking about couples therapy, which she knows I hate, and she says, “Everything you said was really helpful. That’s the problem. It’s always really helpful.”
We both know the point is that she relies on it and resents it and is perfectly capable of coming up with her own very good ideas, only not on my timetable.
Which returns us to the “C” word: control. Why does the world refuse to run on my timetable? Why do other people not follow the Lyralen Kaye rules of conduct? I mean, doesn’t the world understand it is supposed to accommodate it’s very nature to my preferences?
Obviously it doesn’t. Like, no world peace, for example. What’s up with that?
At the meditation retreat, they talked about teaching ourselves to accommodate to what is when we can. I’ve been trying this. Like, I have a playlist on my Ipod that I listen to at the gym, and I’ve been not skipping songs I’m not in the mood for, and guess what? I end up enjoying them. Today I drove behind a bicycle and didn’t try to pass, even though I was in first gear for at least 3 minutes. And I didn’t die of impatience. I even did a handstand in the doorway of my bedroom (this is my latest feat) without demanding my partner come look. (And that is very hard for me. I like an audience.)
I mean, these are small things, but maybe sometime I can just sit and watch my partner struggle through her own life issues and practice being in lovingkindness, which I actually do feel toward her even if she is making me go to couples therapy so I can find out I am Ms. Fix-It, which I already knew.
I do wish the couples therapist had asked me what happens when I turn into Ms. Fix-It, because when I answer that question I can stop being a perfectionist, and have some lovingkindness for myself. I feel so responsible for everything going right, and so scared that it won’t and that I’ll be hurt again. I’m like the little Dutch boy only the dike (no pun) is springing holes everywhere and I don’t have enough fingers and toes to stop the water and save the village.
I believe if I let go of Ms. Fix-It then I will grow closer to my partner. I believe that my ability to see clearly and to have a million ideas a minute can be used to serve myself and the people I love, though I clearly haven’t found the way to have that happen yet.
I believe I may finally grow up, even if I did do the handstand so many times yesterday (enamored as I am of being able to do handstands, thank you Iyengar yoga) that my shoulder is unbelievably sore today and I couldn’t go to today’s yoga class with one of my favorite teachers who is very funny!
I am also planning to just say some of my positive qualities, though blogging on each one would drive me even more insane than what I’m doing now.
Here they are: honesty, courage, integrity, kindness, sensitivity, creativity, strength.
I’m still breathing. Look at that!