Last week, I got frustrated at my husband for saying he would be in charge of a bolognese pasta sauce and then not following through.
He’s had a lot going on at work, and I’ve been picking up the extra slack at home. Mostly I don’t mind.
When my mom died last spring, my husband did a lot more of the cooking. I was in a grief induced fog and couldn’t deal with a lot of things, but I did notice and appreciate his help.
Things ebb and flow.
Sometimes you’re more of a giver, other times you’re more of a receiver.
I’ve been cultivating a more generous attitude when it comes to housekeeping, trusting that things balance out in the end.
What I want to talk about today is crossing your inner line.
I’ve noticed a line within myself that no one else can see. It’s the line between feeling fine and feeling resentful.
There comes a point when I cross this invisible line within myself.
I go from feeling generous and open about our relative contributions to feeling resentful and annoyed.
When I’m in a bad mood, thinking about something negative that happened in my life (which could have nothing to do with my husband), I cross the line quicker. If I’m tired, or hungry, dealing with a situation that causes me anxiety, I cross the line quicker.
Sometimes it’s loading the sixth plate in the dishwasher that pushes me over the line. It can be a tiny action that instigates a line crossing. Other times, it’s big and obvious.
Regardless, on the other side of the line is a feeling or belief of; “I’m not ok. This is not ok. I don’t want to be doing this.”
Usually, when I cross this line within myself, I look for someone to blame.
My husband, the sweet man that he is, is often the easiest and most available target. Or I blame myself when I cross the line (why can’t I get more done? Other people seem to have it more together.)
The Soul Switch move in this situation is to stop projecting my pain outward, and instead get curious. What’s really going on here?
The line is a signal. A signal that I need something.
Maybe I really do need my husband to pick up the slack at home. But maybe I don’t. Maybe what I really need is to feel closer to him.
Today, after sharing how I was feeling with Brent and hearing about all the balls he has in the air at work, I had a greater feeling of connection, empathy, and intimacy with him.
One of the things I needed to get back on the good feeling side of the line was simple: intimacy and connection with my husband.
It wasn’t really about the bolognese. It was about feeling close.
I’m curious to know, do you have an invisible line inside yourself? In what ways have you crossed over this internal line at work or at home? How have you abandoned or ignored yourself and your needs?
How are you giving or doing more than you want?
What do you need? What would you like instead?
Let me know your thoughts! Leave a comment below. I really do want to hear what you think!
May you find the intimacy, support and connection you desire,
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Photo credit: Leon Seibert
I so appreciate this notion of “crossing the internal line.” It’s such a simple way of thinking about good times to check in with myself about how I really feel and what’s behind an emotion / reaction. I’ve found that what’s behind my frustration with my husband is usually a desire to feel closer too…and expressing that is much more effective than snapping at him! I’m so deeply sorry to hear about your mom. Thank you for all the nourishing soul food you put out into the world.
Thank you Natalie. I resonate with all of what you said. I appreciate you and your thoughts!
I love how universal all this stuff is…
Here over the other side of the world in Australia .
We have the “bolognase” conflicts too
Love how u articulated it.
Do you know harville Hendrix and sue johnsons work? I love their insights on relationship.
Thanks for a worthwhile read
You read my mind. I have snapped a couple of times this winter as we plan for the return to in person. But it’s hard to plan without proper time tables and resources shifting beneath the feet at the same time.
Spending some time trying to figure out what groups to get involved in.
I appreciate how open and vulnerable you are with such a broad audience – you create space for all the rest of us to feel validated and a bit less crazy.
You could not have shared at a more perfect time. I have been crossing that line far too frequently. Full of Tiny resentments often unfortunately dumped on my husband, like a bowl of bolognese sauce!
Thank you for reminding me to pause and take a moment to realize it’s more about a knee that is keeping me from walking each day with him, and a fear that this is going to become worse! What I need is to share my thoughts. Rather than being annoyed when he turns left instead of right in the kitchen!
Your experience has helped me to understand how delicate we are and the importance of forgiving ourselves.
So exciting Susan! I appreciate your thoughts and honor your openness to grow in this area! Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for sharing. My wife and I can definitely relate to your interactions with your husband and some of the deeper feelings around them.
Thanks for talking about this invisible line – putting it into words helps me pinpoint this side of myself I very much have, too! And better know how to honor and work with it since it feels like such a subtle, intense, abrupt shift. Thanks for normalizing. I’d love to hear you talk about it more.
Always love your posts.
Absolutely Beverly. Grateful for you.
You Vanessa have hit the nail on the head ! I really appreciate hearing your thoughts as the are sooooo my own at the moment.
Thank you for being you and taking the time to share it is so valuable xx
Thanks, Vanessa ♡
This is exactly what I needed to hear and what I’ve been struggling with too! I have been noticing how I slip into a critical and resentful storyline in my head while I’m doing chores, and it’s like, what is that really about? I can do the things I need to do more easily if I shut that narrative down. It feels like it’s some deeper stuff from my childhood and baggage from growing up in an angry home. I just have to catch myself and switch the script. It would be great if my partner would pick up some slack but if I want things done on my timeline (or at all), I just need to find grace and carry on. Thanks for this topic because it is exactly what I’ve been working on in myself the last couple of days. If I can move past this critical dialog in my head, I think I can level up.
Love this awareness Julie! YOU get to choose how to feel about any situation. You want to be joyful while you are doing dishes for yourself and the people you love? You get to be!
Frame the situation the way it most benefits. Thank you for sharing!
Love this idea of “crossing the line” and how it can be big or small. Actually, the more I think about it, the more it seems like the little things all add up, so I really appreciate this reminder to pay attention to the little moments of crossing over. It’s a lot easier to recover and shift from those! thank you
Absolutely true! Thanks Alex~
I hadn’t realized but as I read your story, I became aware that o do this constantly with my boyfriend and my mom and just after your retreat this weekend I decided to be more open and more aware when I had this interactions with people I love. I shut down the vicious circle and rather I listened, I became more empathic and I was so proud that it really was up to me. I had the power to make this situations better and be kinder to myself and others 💕
Such great takeaways Amanda! Loved having you at the retreat and so glad you are choosing to be more aware of your interactions. You have the power!!