One thing that I'm finally learning is to walk away from the tug of war.
You want someone to do something and so you pull with all of your might.
The person looks you deep in the eyes from across the pit of mud, holding onto the other end of the rope.
You pull. She pulls.
Maybe you pull so hard, that she finally gives in. Lets go of the rope or falls face-first into the mud.
You are victorious, but does it really feel that great to have roughened someone up like that? To have won with brute force?
She feels tired and isn't thinking the best thoughts about you. Doesn't want to have given in like that.
Tug of war never feels that great for anyone.
And even if you win, you have serious rope burn on your hands.
I realize how much, within relationships (friendships and romantic relationships), I walk into the tug of war arena, ready to throw down. Squatting low and flexing my biceps. Sometimes I don't even realize it until I'm there. Gripping tight. In such small ways most of the time. Trying to figure out what to do with Gerry this morning, I initiated a mini tug of war (I wanted us both to go to the gym together). Once I realized I was in it, I sat quietly, and without anger, just let go. I pulled for a bit and then just placed the rope back onto the dusty floor. I felt better because I wasn't trying to push him to do something *I* wanted to do. No reason why we couldn't do whatever each of us wanted and come back together a little bit later. We have never wanted to be joined at the hip, so why start now? Well, I thought that my plan was the best plan. Once I realized that my plan was not necessarily the best plan for Gerry, everything just felt lighter. I did what I wanted to do and let him do what he wanted to do. And we were both happy in the end.
It's amazing what happens when you put down your end of the rope. There is no more tug.