Laura Hansen is a bestselling author, teacher, international presenter and counselor. Her work has inspired hundreds of thousands of people to understand how their lives work and how to squeeze the juice out of life. Her message is how to be a stronger advocate for your own life. Her bestselling books include Hand me a wrench my life is out of whack. Join Laura and David as they chat about life, its up’s and downs and its magic.
Laura’s Love Exercise: The Small Thing v The Big Beautiful Thing
Every day we choose the small damaging thing over the big beautiful thing. We dissolve long friendships over gossip. We end marriages over money. We choose pain over love. We give up what we wish for most because it didn’t meet our expectations of true love. In your most important relationships, how much do you accept yourself and the other person? How many times have you chosen the small thing over the big beautiful thing? The below exercise is designed to help you acknowledge how you’ve built the foundation of your relationship, and how you can strengthen that foundation with acceptance and love. This exercise has been simplified and shortened from the version you will find in the book, Hand Me a Wrench, My Life Is Out of Whack. Using paper and pen/pencil, choose a relationship you’d like to work with for this exercise.
- Divide the paper into three vertical columns. Title the columns left to right: “Love it,” “Drives Me Nuts,” “Why.”
- In the “Love it” column write down one thing you love about your relationship.
- In the “Drives Me Nuts” column, write down one thing you don’t like about your relationship.
- In the “Why” column write down why you feel the way you do.
- Turn the paper over or get a new sheet. Divide the paper into three vertical columns. Title the columns left to right: “Small Thing,” “Big Beautiful Thing,” “New Decision/Behavior.”
- In the “Small Thing” column, write out your fear/judgment/expectation/sadness that surfaces when the other person does the thing that drives you nuts.
- In the “Big Beautiful Thing” column, write out what part of your love or acceptance of yourself or the other person is blocked by the small thing.
- In the third column, write out the new choice you are going to make so you can be side by side addressing this problem, instead of putting this problem between you.
It’s possible that your new decision will be a change in behavior on your part that doesn’t require any discussion. Other types of problems will require the two of you working in supportive partnership to solve it. When you introduce the subject, talk about how the other person’s behavior affects you rather than point out that their behavior is wrong. Remember, the goal is to do this side by side. No one is going to be right in this discussion, but you both can be loved. Find this and many other life-affirming exercises in Laura’s new book, Hand Me a Wrench, My Life’s Out of Whack: Understanding the Decisions We Make and Discovering the Power to Change.
Reprinted by Permission. Laura Hansen © 2012 All Rights Reserved.