LOVE DOESN'T HAVE TO STINK ......
This is Walter – he is a 105 pound Rotty/Shepherd that we adopted from a local rescue, Whiskers and Tails in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. We quickly learned he loves to chase squirrels and eat all insects that fly - including wasps. In fact, he has a little Ninja that makes up his unique quirky personality. When it gets dark he loves to patrol the back yard protecting us from … well only he knows and he’s sworn to the Ninja code of silence.
The other night he was patrolling the perimeter and we heard an unusual commotion so I ran out to see what was happening. It didn't take long to figure out what was going on because within less than a second I smelled it …... A SKUNK. Yes, an unsuspecting Walter had come face to face....well, not exactly face to face but you get the picture, of the smelly works delivered by Mr. Skunk.
Quickly into the bathtub (ever bathed a stinky 100-pound dog 10:30 at night?). We quickly surfed the internet for the "magic" formula to remove skunk odor and found a website that "guaranteed" the homemade solution would work. My wife started mixing the potion and I got to work on Walter. One hour later we had a 100 pound dog that reeked of wet fur and skunk wildly running through the house. It has now been over a week and guess what – Walter still stinks. And not only Walter but whatever Walter touched smells too!
So now I can hear you thinking … “so sorry for Walter but what the heck does that have to do with relationships?”
Thank you for asking.
Sometimes the stink from a fight, a careless word, or thoughtless action can stink up a relationship for days, weeks or even years. It often only takes a small thing for that odor to arise and stink up our relationship all over again. I admit it’s hard to remove the odor of a hurt. The pain lingers long like Walter’s smell. But unlike poor Walter, we actually have a choice how long we will allow our relationships to be polluted by these things.
After all who wants to smell bad to their partner?
Here are four steps you can take.
- Admit that you were hurt: Sometimes our pride gets in the way of our healing. We think we shouldn’t feel what we’re feeling so we go into denial mode but in reality, we’re just allowing the wound to infect other areas of our lives.
- Forgive: Forgiveness is a unilateral is a gift we give to ourselves so that we don’t carry the heavy burden of resentment and anger throughout our life. Forgiveness does not mean that you minimize the wound – only that you choose to heal.
- Reconcile: If possible share with your partner how you were hurt and attempt to find a new way of relating to each other. Keep in mind that this requires that you both be willing to see each other’s perspective to get beneath the surface. In every harmful human interaction, there is always something deeper that is causing it. When this is understood it will change the whole dynamic of the relationship and create an opportunity for healing and avoiding entering back into the conflict.
- Let it go: Yes, we can also choose to let go of whatever it was that is stinking up our relationships. This means refusing to bring it up … ever!
Walter is smelling much better now, okay, he still smells like a dog but not like a skunk. The real question is what do you and I smell like?
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