Life is Difficult

by Carole Vogt, PsyD

Wisdom for Living

I read “The Road Less Traveled” by M. Scott Peck, MD back in 1984. My mind often goes back to the first sentence in that book because it holds some of the greatest wisdom I have ever read. It goes like this:

Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. it is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficultonce we truly understand and accept itthen life is no longer difficult.

Wow, what a concept!

Relationships are Difficult Too

pointing the finger of blameOur relationships are difficult too; but when we hold on to ideals that our loved ones “should” be perfect, we don’t allow for them to be human. We tend to be demanding and have irrational expectations of perfection from our partner that we don’t expect from ourselves. Is that why relationships are experienced as “so difficult”?

Acceptance and Compassion in Marriage

When we accept the premise that relationships are difficult, we can begin to relax. In the moment when we are starting to criticize or argue about an issue, is it possible to step back and remember that relationships can be difficult and that we are not perfect? It is possible when we have the same compassion and understanding FOR our partner that we expect FROM our partner when the tables are turned. When we are more compassionate for our “humanness” and give our partner the same leeway we would want for ourselves, we argue less and accept more.

woman reaching outIn her book, “The Gifts of Imperfection”, Brene Brown, Ph.D.(a vulnerability and shame researcher), reminds us that none of us are perfect. When we expect perfection from others, we are guaranteed that they will always let us down. If we can get in touch with our shared imperfection and vulnerability, then we can reach out to our partner from a place of compassion. We will feel so much more connection. Our relationships will then not be so difficult.

About Carole Vogt

As a counselor-emeritus at Colorado Counseling Center, Carole brought a great depth of professional experience to her counseling with couples and individuals.

One thought on “Life is Difficult

  1. In regard to the article “Relationships Are Difficult Too” by Carole Vogt I believe or think the last paragraph should end the article a bit differently.
    ” If we get in touch with our shared imperfections and vulnerability, then we can reach out to our partner from a place of compassion. We will feel so much connection. Our relationships will then not be so difficult. ”
    I loved this article but the ending left me wanting more from someone I love after learning why relationships are difficult too. Maybe I’m being a little TO much like Pollyanna, I hope not. If we both get in touch with our shared imperfections and vulnerability, knowing we feel for them what we want them to feel for us; we could then reach out or listen either way from a place of true compassion. We would feel that connection ( the one humans long for ) Love, in it’s purest form the love for and of another as much as one’s self. At which point we would truly see, feel, understand and accept the truth, that relationships are difficult thus transcending it knowing this relationship would no loínger be difficult.

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