Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lessons In Objectivity

I don’t know what is going on in the universe right now, but it seems like every single person I know (literally) is in some kind of change, transformation, metamorphosis, etc. I don’t mean the normal kind either…I mean big, life altering kind of change. I’m also taking a class right now on Native Hawaiian practices with regards to setting things right in the universe. One of the practitioners worked at the State Hospital years ago as the clinical director of the criminally insane ward. In four years, he worked himself out of a job using this practice. When he started at the hospital, no one wanted to work there. Inmates were shackled all day and on very high doses of psychotropic meds. Using ho’oponopono, the Dr. worked on an individual level and cured these people. He took their names, read their files, and never met with the patients individually. This was a radical approach for sure, but it worked and at the end of his time the ward closed b/c there were no more inmates. They had all been relocated to less restrictive environments.
In this practice, you assume 100% responsibility for your world. You don’t assume fault, but you acknowledge that your world is your creation, a reflection of your perceptions. When doing ho’oponopono on an individual level (as it is typically done within a family and/or community setting), you reflect on what your role has been in that person’s life and how your errors may have reflected on them. You own your responsibility, reflect on those errors, and ask the Divine (not a specific religion per say) to correct those errors and cleanse that part. One of the Dr’s quotes is “Didn’t you notice that whenever you experience a problem, you are there?”.  One of our readers, Kenny, implied this much once in a comment to one of my posts. It really hit a nerve on that particular post, but he was spot on.
This morning on the way to work, I ended up behind Owen. I sent him a text and he responded and he promptly poured his heart out for the next 3 hours. It was kind of unexpected because I thought things were better, but he told me that he and his wife haven’t spoken for 3 days and he knows that this is the end. He said he just can’t take it anymore and has to get out of this marriage. It seems she’s very verbally abusive to him and the kids and he’s just done. He said he doesn’t have the energy yet for the final fight, but he’s starting to make some plans on what to do and how to get out. We talked a lot today about his situation and my heart is breaking for him over how emotionally raw he is and how much he just wants to keep his kids. He’s stayed for a long time because of them and his fear that she’s going to take them from him. He told me at one point that he’s worked so hard on their house and it’s so beautiful and he just wants his kids to always have that. We talked a lot about my situation and how Russell and I have handled it and Chloe’s response to it. I told him kids are resilient, but that they pick up on things and I relayed how my parents stayed together for my brother’s sake and how now my brother resents my Dad b/c my Dad is an addict. He acknowledged that he drinks way to much every day and that he could easily see that happening if he stayed.  I listened and let him talk and vent.  It made me sad though.
It is not my fault that his marriage is falling apart. That started years before we even met. I am however responsible for my role in it. He’s not leaving to be with me. I’m not the direct cause, but my involvement with him has had an impact. I’ve told myself for years that if he wasn’t having an affair with me, he would be having one with someone else. I truly believe that, but I also recognize that when he told me last year that they were trying to work it out and give it one final try that I should have backed off and quit seeing him. I told him then that he couldn’t truly work on his marriage and continue to see me, but he told me that I wasn’t responsible for him and I just went with it. I own that. Now that being said, I’m not going to quit seeing him at this point either, but I need to make some amends for my part in this. I’m just not sure how other than to recognize it right now. That’s a lie…I know how. It would be to quit seeing him until he leaves, but I’m not there. So that was in interesting start to my Monday morning and then Gavin called…
Gavin called me this morning and I could tell immediately that he was in a funk. We chatted for a second and then he told me that he’d talked very briefly to the gf and she told him that she’s making plans to leave. She’s unemployed and her kid is moving from her house in HI to his Dad’s house in CA and she wants to move back to CA to be with him and her family (which is where she is right now and for the next 2 weeks). She’s talked about it the entire time I’ve known him, but this time seems different since all these other factors are in play. He said he was upset that their relationship wasn’t enough to keep her here. I explained that he’s known for a long time that things weren’t right there. I explained to him that if he was truly happy in that relationship and if it was everything he had it built up as in his mind that he wouldn’t be with me. I told him that as soon as they got back together last year, he knew it was a mistake and a last ditch effort or he would have quit seeing me and he didn’t. I’m owning my responsibility in this one too though, but I feel way less guilty about it. Their relationship has been so on again-off again for years and years that while I know I’ve contributed to it’s instability this time, but I think in a far less impactful manner than in Owen’s situation.
When people are unhappy, they look for happiness in any way they can find it. I did. Gavin and Owen are. When Russell and I started having problems, I looked elsewhere. It took me 3 years to get up the courage to ask for a divorce, but I can’t tell you how much happier we are now. Just because something is familiar, doesn’t make it good for you. I get why Owen is so afraid of this change with the kids and all, I’ve been there. I think most of you reading this are there and/or have been as well. With Gavin, I think it’s literally just his fear of change and his inability to not be in a relationship. When we talk about the gf, he always goes back to the concept that it’s just familiar b/c they’ve been together for so long. Personally, I think that’s a lame excuse.
So lots of changes seem to be on the horizon…I’ve decided to just be still and let what happens happen, but I really wish I had a crystal ball right now.


  1. Great post. I especially like the line "Just because something is familiar, doesn't make it good for you." So true. I just wish doing something to change it didn't have to be so incredibly hard.

  2. A very reflective post Jules. I love that line from your professor! Like Holly, I love that other line too. I think a huge part of so many people being reluctant to leave/start the divorce/break up process has to do with them not being ready to face their own role in the demise of the relationship. You certainly can't go through divorce without learning A LOT about yourself so if Owen and Gavin go through with their splits it will be interesting to see how they end up.


  3. Sounds like the same thing my therapist always tells me, and she says once I truly grasp this concept that life will be so much more peaceful - you are not responsible for anyone else's feelings or actions but your own. you can't make a person feel or behave a certain way, that is ALWAYS their choice. all you can do is be responsible for your actions and your reactions to other people's actions.

    You can't control how Owen feels about his wife or his marriage or how Gavin deals with his girlfriend. All you can do is focus on what you are doing and if it is healthy for YOU. Gavin and Owen have to make their own happiness, that isn't dependent on you or anyone else :)


  4. I agree with you. Things seem to happen in bunches. Right now, it seems like all my friends who are in relationships, are breaking up. I just want the best for you, Jules!

  5. "Just because something is familar, does not make it good for you."

    That line jumped out at me. Not sure you have kept up, but that is where I am.

    Not fair to anyone!!!!