My hubby and I have a game we play to deepen our connection, get out of ruts, or to be in service of replenishing each others feeling of surplus.
The game can be played by the hour, the day, the month… whatever timeline feels best so that you both are in optimal surplus.
This morning I was the one feeling depleted and overwhelmed. He restarted the game by flirtatiously asking, “How can I make this day more pleasurable for you?”
This game sounds easier than it is. It requires that the receiver stop playing victim or martyr and take responsibility for their needs and wants, be able/willing to express them, and gracefully receive the others aid.
In order for this to work cleanly, it also requires the giver to be genuinely generous, not aiding with undercurrents of resentment, imposition or burden. It’s actually the opposite, it requires taking pleasure from making someone’s day easier and better.
I am generally emotionally and behaviorally flexible, but when I am tired or low resourced I still have difficulty answering this question. Today I wanted to default to victim mode, “There’s nothing you can do, it’s all up to me.” (Yes, I’m noticing the manipulative current of resentment embedded in there and also shame and guilt for wanting/needing anything versus being totally self sufficient.)
But that’s the whole point of the game – to pattern-interrupt those default modes that assert we are alone carrying the burdens of the universe and don’t get to have help.
After 5 minutes of complaining he shimmies a bit closer and teases, “You still haven’t answered the question. How can make this day more pleasurable?”
He’s right. I still haven’t answered the question. There’s that guilty feeling again. I close my eyes, take a deep breath and try. What can I give myself permission to ask for that would contribute to my being in surplus?
How about a hug?
He happily obliges. I smile thinking he’s like a male Amma. For as long as I’ve known him, one of his gifts are his love soaked hugs.
My nervous system begins to relax. I feel better.
Anyone up for playing this game with someone you are close to today? I’m curious what kinds of requests you have that would make your day more pleasurable?
Here’s a few more of mine:
- Hot tub
- Help with kids
- Healthy lunch made for me
- Love notes reminding me of something lovable about me
- Sleeping in
- alone time
- a movie
- 5 minutes of complaining (i got this one already, but i wanted to point out that sometimes the 5 min bitch + moan session is a great service. the overload just needs to come out and then i can move past it)
What is on your list?