I never did find out what the fight was about. I’m sure she would have told me had I asked. I was more interested in the fight she was having with herself. She revealed that clearly with the language she used talking about just about anything.
Her word choice telling me her sweetie did a really “good job” getting her valentine flowers spoke volumes of her inner paradigm. He used to get them at the grocery store, but she suggested he get them at Walmart this time. The flowers lasted longer than they had in previous years. She repeated her “good job” assessment several times. Not too romantic. I’d rather not get flowers than have my honey do a good job getting them for me.
She started talking about how she used to meditate and was “good at it.” She’s “making herself” do it again, and she’s not as “good at it” any more.
She praised herself for her heroic effort of stopping work at 7 PM and “forcing herself” to do something fun. The “need tos” and “shoulds” were overwhelming. If I used them for a drinking game, I’d have a hangover today.
She spoke of a neighbor who walked her dog “Izzy” every time she saw signs that Izzy was getting restless. That was my opening. I told her:
- That’s your role model. Pay attention to your Izzy – your inner dog. She’s telling you what she needs, and warning you that if you don’t listen, she’ll probably pee on the carpet.
The peeing on the carpet is a metaphor, of course. If we ignore our primal and instictive selves too long, we set ourselves up for conflicts like the fight that led this woman to contact.
I didn’t need to know the detailsof the fight I had everything I needed to shift this woman’s perspective by listening to her language.