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How often have you wanted to make a change either in your relationship or your personal development? And then doubt creeps in along with its good friend self-sabotage.

From conception to the birth of a new born baby, there is a nine month gestation period. And we accept it, knowing the development period takes time. Preemies require special care and often their development is compromised. We want pregnancy to go full term for the best possibility of physical and mental health.

When it comes to our relationship or personal development, we want change to happen now!!!

And we get frustrated if things aren’t moving according to an arbitrary rate or frequency that we set for ourselves – and often our partner.

I often hear clients say something along the line of, “I’m tired of waiting for things to change”. And I get it because I used to say the exact same thing. So, here is the good dose of perspective medicine I gave myself and my clients who beat themselves up or push for change with their partner – and it starts with a quick story:

I have a newborn granddaughter. She’s a baby who defied the odds and she was worth waiting for.

Given my daughter’s health concern, her pregnancy was deemed high risk. There were a greater number of ultrasounds and doctor visits than average. My daughter and her partner were told to expect babe to be premature and they were patient with the entire process. Not one of the specialists anticipated baby going full term. But she did, and no one rushed her.

What if we gave ourselves and our partners the same grace to fully gestate a new phase of personal development? What if we didn’t add unnecessary pressure to ourselves or our relationship? What if we practiced more love and compassion toward ourselves and each other?

I know when I’ve been impatient with my growth, I’ve made the journey longer and more frustrating than it needs to be. When I’ve been impatient with my husband’s growth it has always backfired and caused needless hurt. When I haven’t been mindful, I fail to see how I’ve contributed to challenging situations.

It takes time to turn the tide of old patterns, and if you think about it you’ve been practicing those old patterns a long time. And as they say, practice makes perfect. Your inner critic is a master of getting you to buy into old limiting beliefs. Things like, ‘This is never going to work’ ‘I’m always going to be frustrated with myself (my partner, this situation)’

When those types of thoughts about your partner or your personal development try to weasel their way in, know that it’s your ego on a mission to try to protect you. It’s telling you that because you don’t have it now, it will never happen. And if you listen to it, chances are you’ll either give up and beat up on yourself or you’ll look outward and push your partner for change.

Change is personal, and the rate of change can’t be predicted, but my clients all see substantial shifts within 3 months – when they apply new ideas and concepts into their lives.

There’s no magic pill or magic wand. There’s no quick and easy way to do it. It takes guts. It takes doing things in a different way that feels uncomfortable at first. It requires a willingness to invest in yourself, face your own shadows and doing things in a different way. But you CAN do it.

How and when we want others to show up – fully gestated – can’t be forced. The only thing we can do is our own inner work and put preconceived expectations aside. Being patient and benevolent with ourselves and each other is an act of loving grace and compassion. Iven if the journey to ease and flow takes time. How we choose to approach the difficulties is up to us.

This is the loving truth of what it really takes to change. Choosing patience, grace and compassion is part of how to make love great.

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Dr. Gayle Friend

p.s. If you’re having a difficult time, I’m here to guide and nurture you to what you want and how you want to feel. Let’s chat.