When you have rules about how something should or shouldn’t be, you’re setting yourself and others up for failure.
For the sake of this exercise, let’s skip the debate of whether or not any of your “rules” are good/bad or right/wrong. We all have morals and ideas about how the world should work. Instead of going down that rabbit hole, I want to look at your flexibility in certain situations.
Let’s consider a “rule” that I have: Dirty clothes belong in the hamper, not the floor.
When my rule is maintained, I feel good! I’m proud when I can keep the house tidy and happy when AJ also picks up after himself. A clean room = a restful space.
When my rule is not maintained, I feel bad! I’m disappointed in myself when I let the house go and annoyed with AJ when he doesn’t pick up after himself. A messy room = a chaotic mind.
But what if there’s a different way?
What if I could learn to be more flexible in my rules and loosen my grip on the need to CONTROL?
What if I could observe a mess in my house as a sign that AJ and I are simply focused on something else? That we feel short on time? That we’re too overwhelmed to clean at that moment. That we’re simply human? That it can wait?
I would feel A LOT better and have a deeper sense of compassion for myself and my husband.
What are some limiting rules you carry that have too much power over your feelings?