Sadly, these are my new roses, victims of the deer that roam my neighborhood. And victims of my own denial. In spite of the fact I’ve seen deer and rabbits in my yard ever since I moved to Marietta, I thought maybe, just maybe, this year would be different. Nothing had been damaged so far; maybe Bambi & Thumper had moved on. So I planted roses. The deer came that very night and did what deer do. And I got the result that I should have expected all along.
As I was spraying deer repellent I thought how similar my situation was to my clients who deal with unreasonable people (UP). I wished so much that animals not eat my favored plants that I convinced myself they wouldn’t.
How often have you looked for hopeful signs of change in your UP and thought, “I think s/he’s changed this time.” How many times have you sadly ended up in the same rut?
The first, maybe the hardest, step is to admit that what you’re doing isn’t working and doing more of it isn’t going to work, either. In 12-Step recovery, it’s admitting that you’re powerless over the situation. It’s called getting honest and surrendering control. I can’t bend Mother Nature to my will; you can’t force someone else to change. It’s often a relief when we finally stop struggling to make things were different and accept them as they are. In 12 Step lingo, we surrender to win.
Coming soon – I’ve given up; now what?