SALLY AND BILL
Sally always knew, on some level, that she was disappointed in Bill. She wanted him to be more ambitious, more eager to get ahead. Instead Bill was a hard worker who made a decent salary and was content to live within his means. Sally saw this as weakness; she drove herself to get ahead and wanted him to do the same. This caused a lot of resentment between them. Part of their marriage counseling called for Sally to begin watching this story line as it came up in her daily thoughts. She reported the following:
“Knowing I was disappointed and seeing it in action is two different things. Watching my thoughts about it made it clear how much it affected my moods and how I treated Bill. If I spoke to a guy at work who was a real go-getter I would take that in and use it, so to speak, against Bill. If I saw a bag or expensive dress I wanted, I would immediately go to Bill in my mind, asking why he didn’t make more money. When the camp tuition for the kids came due, even though we had it covered, I would get bitchy that we had to save every penny for it, and that Bill didn’t seem to think anything of it. I saw how every day I woke up with an attitude and the poor guy wasn’t even doing anything to deserve it. He was happy and being nice. It was me who kept bringing this expectation about him being different into every situation.”
“Seeing how much it was in everything I was thinking and doing, especially toward Bill, was a real eye opener,” said Sally. “I was so used to carrying disappointment around that I didn’t see how it was working in me. It was just a part of my everyday state of mind, affecting everything I did. It made me feel badly about myself and worse about Bill. The whole thing was out of control until I started watching for it.”
Each time you recognize your ego being selfish or jealous, overreacting with hurt or anger, needing to be right, or manipulating for control — and you pull the plug on it — you shift your identity and strengthen your soul-mate self. And each time you see your ego generating fear and self doubt, or tempting you with desires that only cause pain later on—and you don’t go along with it—you also strengthen your soul-mate self.