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Beading and Un-Beading Relationships

“Assumptions are the termites of relationships.”

(Henry Winkler)

Simple, But Not Easy

As mentioned in this space previously, I’ve been doing some beading lately. I love how easy it is to make something beautiful with beads. The patterns look so complicated. It’s an illusion. Beading is not difficult. It does take a shifting of expectations that I wasn’t good at as a younger person, but it isn’t hard. You know what’s hard? UN-beading.

 

It’s pretty much inevitable that a beader is going to make mistakes. Even the most expert beader apparently will sometimes get deep into a piece and recognize a serious flaw. If the flaw is too far back your only recourse is to abandon hope and start over again.

 

Wisdom is knowing when you can salvage, when you can’t, and when a flaw can remain as a testimony to humility.

 

Unbeading Conflicts

Beading is just like conflicts in relationships of all kinds. Consider these learnings, and how they might apply to working through conflicts:

 

BEADING: When you’re tired or distracted you will do as much un beading as beading.

RELATIONSHIPS: This is why “The 4 Answers” are a thing. I often say, “We can do this well, or we can o it now. We can’t do both.” Managing a conflict when we have enough inner resources to do it well can make a huge difference.

 

BEADING: When you’re paying attention, you can expect to un-bead and go back again and again until the piece is what you want it to be.

RELATIONSHIPS: If we expect that a conflict will go smoothly or only require a few exchanges we will very likely end up angry, hurt and disappointed. It can take a lot of work to hear and be heard.

 

BEADING: Check your work.

RELATIONSHIPS: Mind your assumptions. It’s really helpful to repeat back what you thought the person said to be sure you got what they intended to give.

 

BEADING: Celebrate when it goes well.

RELATIONSHIPS: Don’t skip this! Recognize what’s going well and build on it!

 

BEADING: Know when to give up and start over. Know when to walk away.

RELATIONSHIPS: There are times when conflicts just get too tangly and loaded and we can’t see clearly enough to do anything constructive. Agree with the other person to stop and try to take it all up some other time. Step away and get some clarity.

 

BEADING: Know when, or if, to come back.

RELATIONSHIPS: Sometimes after thinking things through we realize that what we were arguing over isn’t worth the energy. Save your energy for the things that do matter, and do them well.

 

BEADING: Understand that every piece is a good example of something – it’s all learning.

RELATIONSHIPS: There are times when we do all the don’ts in conflict. It’s a mess. Even that can be constructive if we take the time to look back at it and figure out how it all went kaflooey.

 

BEADING: Have a vision for the final product, and don’t be afraid to change the vision as the process shows you possibilities you hadn’t thought of.

RELATIONSHIPS: We might go into a conflict believing things need to be a certain way. Listen to the other person. Be open to considering something different. It might turn out better than you imagined. Your combined ideas and resources are a gift.

 

BEADING: If you try to rush through it will take longer.

RELATIONSHIPS: If you try to hurry up and resolve an issue, I promise you that you will wind up having to go back to do it all over when the poorly resolved thing re-erupts.

 

BEADING: There will be mess, spills, lost beads.

RELATIONSHIPS: Chances are that at least one participant will misstep. Chances are greater that you both will. Make room for one another. Love and accept the person, while meaningfully working through behavior that isn’t ok.

 

BEADING: Sometimes you have to write things down in order to keep track.

RELATIONSHIPS: It may feel strange and awkward to ask the other person to pause while you write a few things down. Honestly? So what? If it helps you remember the things you needed to address and gives you the bandwidth to hear what the other person is saying rather than trying to remember what you intended to say? Write on, write on, write on.

 

BEADING: The quality of your tools and materials makes all the difference in the world.

RELATIONSHIPS: You will do much better work if you use good tools. I’m going to separate out the tools that I teach and put them in easily accessible short videos. My hope is that you will be better equipped to use the inevitable conflicts we have in relationships to help build the relationship, to love one another better. Stay tuned!

 

Beauty in the Rough

In the meantime, I encourage you to consider how you might unbead and re-bead some of your relationships. Drop the expectation that conflicts are going to be a smooth process where no one loses perspective or needs to unbead at least as much as they bead. The good news is that our relationships are strengthened much more by unbeading than they are by beading.

 

Go embrace the mess, and make something beautiful!

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Would you like some help applying tools to the beading and unbeading of your relationships? Contact Tiffany today. Let’s look at it together.

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