What My Grandmother Taught Me About Creating a Life I Love
I used to be scared of my grandmother. When I was little, I thought she was mean, and I was frightened of her. I had an ideal of being a good granddaughter, so I would call her on the phone every couple of months and ask how she was doing, and she would say, "How would you know? You never call." Through the lens of "she's mean," "you never call" sounded like more of the same. I thought she IS mean.
One day, I realized that "she is mean" is just one possible lens I could use to view my grandmother. It occurred to me that the issue might be the lens itself, not the person I am viewing through that lens.
Here's what I did to change my perspective:
💥 I separated reality from the lens: The reality was that my grandma said, "You never call me." My lens had the color of her being mean and scary.
💥 I got clear on what I was committed to: I was committed to creating a loving relationship with my grandmother.
💥 I took some time to create a few possible alternate lenses:
Door #1: Everything my grandmother says means she loves me.
Door #2: My grandmother has had a tough life.
Door #3: My grandmother is very direct.
Here's what happened next: I put on my new "created" lens and I called my grandmother. I said, "How are you?" and as she did in the past, she said, "How would you know? You never call me?" Here's the magic part: through the lens of "my grandmother loves me," "you never call me" sounded VERY different. I then said, "You are right, I haven't called you in a while. How are you?" Suddenly, everything from the past disappeared, and she said, "I'm fine. How are you?" Abracadabra, a new relationship was born.
💥I then scheduled time in my calendar every week to call my grandmother, and we spoke every week, sometimes 3-5 times a week. When she passed away 15 years later, she was my best friend.
When I did these four things:
💥 Separated reality from the lens
💥 Got clear on what I was committed to
💥 Created a few possible alternate lenses
💥 Scheduled time in my calendar to take actions to fulfill what I was creating
I was able to let go of my default lens for my grandma and create a delicious, loving relationship with her.
These four things can be applied to any area of your life. My grandmother went from scary to precious in one conversation. It was pure magic.