In our LIFE Couples Retreats we often use the phrase, “True North,” referring to the direction that leads to ultimate life and relationship joy and fulfillment. In our trainings we teach the principles and skills that become the compass or GPS that keep us consistently on track, heading true north, toward our desired destination.
Many in our world fool themselves into believing that there are any number of directions that can be defined as an individual’s true north, that there are no rules or maps that govern the journey. It is certainly true that our individual journeys are unique, and that we each will move at our own pace and experience unique side trips and detours. We will always possess our own unique characteristics and personalities. But ultimately south, east, or west are not North, and as long as we insist on other directions we are doomed to wander lost in the desert, never finding the higher and happier ground we all crave in our relationships.
Over the years we have worked with couple after couple who, before coming to us, had tried to find their way to happiness and peace through back doors and short-cuts. For years they butted their heads against walls and obstacles, convinced that if they tried it their way just one more time, it would work and they could finally discover the life and relationship of their dreams.
As all of us sometimes do, they had been living in insanity. You remember the definition of insanity, don’t you?Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
What these couples have previously failed to understand is that relationships are governed by principles that are as powerful, pervasive, and even predictable as physical laws such as the law of gravity. While I am all for science being taught in school, sometimes I wish the schools would teach a little less of the Laws of Motion and at least something about The Laws of Successful Relationships; the world would be a happier place.
Left without a map or compass many people stumble frustratingly in the darkness, relationship happiness and fulfillment always out of reach. The principles of successful relationships are always there, unchanging and ready to be put to miraculous use, but instead of allowing those principles to lead them true north to happiness they more often break themselves against them. They don’t figure out that as hard as anyone tries to make it otherwise, dishonesty will always damage us and our relationships. Impatience and anger with others will never bring us the sweet results we ultimately seek. On the other hand, they also find it hard to comprehend that principles of kindness and honest attempts to understand the perspective of another will always bring warm rewards.
In our human pride we so want to do things our way and will fight to defend our turf and prove ourselves right. By the time most of our couples come to us they have wearied of the fight and have come to the conclusion that they would rather be happy than “right.” They have decided that humility is not weakness but perhaps the greatest strength that they will ever know. They are open to learning a better way and a new direction.
These couples soak up the principles and skills, thrilled as they almost immediately see the positive results of their first hesitant attempts to bring new skills and true principles into their lives and relationships.
It’s not always easy. Old beliefs die hard; former habits don’t always leave quietly. Most of us have spent decades developing our current ways of being so we won’t be able to make a complete shift overnight.
But if you are like other people we have worked with, you are ready for new light, greater happiness, and are prepared to commit to an exciting and joyful journey. That is all that is necessary.
We hope you will join us sometime soon.