This last weekend I had one of the greatest experiences I have ever had…and that was being able to co-lead a marriage workshop with my wife Heather. Over the last 10 years I have had the opportunity to lead a lot of marriage retreats, conferences, workshops, give talks, etc…but this was the first time I have teamed up with my wife. And I absolutely loved co-leading with her and am looking forward to other opportunities we will have in the future to do this.
It was out of this context though that I gained some more insight into something that I have been thinking about for a few months. And it was only reaffirmed through the many questions that couples had this weekend.
And it is this. I think that for many of us, especially in relationships…when something doesn’t work we scramble to find the next thing that will fix our problem. We look for another counselor that is practicing from a different model. We try a new listening technique. We go on vacation to a new place. But all of these things are really distractions from the most essential thing.
And what is the most essential thing?
The most essential thing I have come to learn is practice. We can have all the insight in the world, but unless we actually put it into continuous practice…it never takes root, and we continue to repeat the behavior we have been wanting to change. All of us are looking for the shiny silver bullet that is going to fix things. But in reality, if often comes down to the fact that we have the exact tool we need in front of us…but we just have to use it. And use it over and over and over again.
One of my favorite tools which I have talked about a lot on earlier podcasts is the Pain and Peace Cycle…but it’s a tool that has to be practiced over and over again. It’s through the practice of this too that safe connection is created in a relationship. And that leads to change. Here are some podcasts where I have talked about this model and the practice of it:
- Pain Cycle and Peace Cycle
- 4 steps to Practice
- Fostering “usness” in Relationships
- Using the Pain and Peace Cycle to Create Differentiation
And as my wife and co-led the retreat this weekend and shared our story, I realized just how much work we had put into practicing this tool over the last 5 years. What would have happened if we didn’t practice it and looked for something else to fix things? Well, we wouldn’t be where we are today. I’m thankful for the hard work and practice we put into this model, and I encourage you to put in the hard work and practice on whatever you are working on in your relationships. When you hit conflict or resistance….keep practicing. And it will be through your practice in the conflict and resistant that will lead to change.
In this episode:
- I talk about the opportunity I had to co-lead a marriage retreat with my wife.
- I discus our tendency as people in relationships to always be looking for the next tool to fix things.
- I discuss the importance of practice and how practice leads to proficiency.
- I encourage you to think about the one thing you can practice over and over again to create change in your life, relationships, work, etc.
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