Some signs that complacency is setting in:
- You’re communicating less.
- You’re stuck in certain relationship and parenting roles.
- You’re assuming you know how your partner feels and what he needs.
- You’re assuming you know how your partner will respond to you, so you don’t even bother saying it.
- You’re not expressing gratitude and appreciation to each other for the things that you do.
- You’re not making an effort to spend time together.
What can you do about it?
Because of the shadows on the wall.
In The Republic, Plato introduced the allegory of the cave. He spoke about people that had been chained to the wall of a cave for their whole lives, only looking at the blank wall and the shadows cast upon the wall from the people moving in front of a fire that’s behind them. They started naming the shadows. The shadows became their reality. The philosophers, according to Plato, were those that freed themselves from the chains to see what existed outside the cave.
The shadows that you see on the wall of your mind are the assumptions you make about your partner and your relationship, the false narratives you create that conform to the two-dimensional images you see. You choose to look at that wall instead of each other.
Why would you do such a thing?
You choose the wall because the illusion of having the solution protects you from exposing yourself, being vulnerable, being hurt, misunderstood and rejected. It’s understandable why you’d want to avoid those things, but it comes at an immense cost.
So if you’re reading this and reflecting on your relationship and the ways in which you are choosing to look at the wall, that’s a monumental step. You’re choosing to unlock the chains and face the fire.
Yes, you might get burned some along the way, but that’s not gonna kill you. What will kill you is continuing to choose the wall until you lose that three-dimensional figure behind you forever.
You have the key.
That’s the irony of it all...
It’s your choice whether or not you remain chained to the wall, or face the world outside.