Making A Difference by Asking Others for a Change
Has anyone ever gotten fed up with your behavior and asked you for a big change? Or given you feedback that shook up your sense of yourself, but was ultimately accurate and helpful? Or renegotiated an agreement (even a marriage contract or a business deal) that wasn’t working… and later, you were glad?
I think we’ve all had at least one of these times. They’re often difficult in the moment, but in the long run, we can see that they’re some of the most helpful ways people have “given” to us. In this month of “making a difference” here at The Calm Space, I want to propose that one of the ways we can give to others, one of our most potent opportunities to make a difference, may be something we’ve been taught isn’t “nice” or is “selfish” or will detract from the other person. That’s why I’m naming it as an important way to make a difference! We need to remember the times we’ve been very well served by someone else speaking truth, realigning a relationship, asking for more, or drawing a line. And when we desire to do those things with others, we must have faith that long-term, those moves are of service to everyone involved: them, us, and the rest of the world, too.
We serve nothing by preserving the dating relationship we’re no longer into. Or keeping silent about something our longtime spouse does that hurts us. Or giving so much to a child that we’re drained and resentful. Of course, we all make choices that are mis-steps and circumstances often change. So a choice or an agreement that worked yesterday may need renegotiating today. If so, that’s a good way to make a difference.
I’ve been on the receiving end of this potent form of difference-making. My business partner told me we needed to go our separate ways, professionally. The news hurt, but in time I saw her wisdom and was thankful for the change in both our lives, and in the service we were able to be in the world. My husband told me I needed to bring home more of my business revenue and quit overspending what I’d earned. He called me on something I’d been feeling guilty and uneasy about, but had compulsively continued until his direct request gave me the clear line I’d been needing. I thanked him. And of course, deeply hearing others when they ask us to step forward in a new way or to embrace a change in our relationship with them is another way to make a big difference.
I think it’s part of my pattern in this life to speak the difficult truths. Ask my mom: in response to a toast at her second wedding, when I was 7, I said loudly: “If love lasted forever, we wouldn’t be here!” But being called up by those around me has strengthened my resolve to discern the right patterns for now, and to realign relationships and resources to match. I’ve come to believe we all owe this to each other. We must, with kindness and compassion, call one another forward into each next chapter.
Now it’s your turn.
Where in your life can you serve by speaking your truth?
Where can drawing a line with someone: requiring more of them, or setting a limit, be helpful to both of you?
How might you breathe new life into a relationship by changing an agreement that’s no longer a good fit?
When we express truth, as best we can discern it now, we give ourselves and others a chance to grow into the next iteration of our individual and collective best. And that’s a marvelous way to make a difference.
image credit: photostalker
About our Contributor
Michele Lisenbury Christensen instigates everyday sensuality using yoga, brain science, and candid tales of personal trials and triumphs. In the past 15 years, she’s co-crafted a playful smokin’ 12+ year marriage, had two happy kids, and been a trusted advisor to more than 2000 couples, business owners, and high-level corporate leaders around the world. She helps men masterfully handle their partners, women open to receive, and couples create lasting love and renewable passion. Toe-curling pleasure on a daily basis gives Michele the rocket-fuel to serve and scintillate her clients and her readers at hotloverevolution.com. Visit now to take the free Hot Love Check-Up and learn what’s limiting the intimacy and pleasure in your relationship.