As I announced last week this year I am going to blog about my take on each week’s episode of The L Word from a coach’s perspective. Episode 2 heats up with a number of new character developments that made me ask – “what happened in the time we weren’t watching?”. For instance, we now see a much more centered, confident, sans gossip Alice who models some of the best relationship communication we’ve seen on the show yet. She’s always been insightful and witty, but before it was more in a hyper “I’ve had one too many espressos at The Planet” sort of superficial way; this season she seems to have evolved and matured in a big way given she is facing a tricky and all to real relationship challenge with Tasha. More of that storyline from the coach’s perspective coming soon, but this week I’d like to focus on our dear desperate and out of sorts Tina.
Last week we got a glimspe of how great Tina looks in a bikini as we heard her whine about wanting to date again. This week we see confused desperation play out as Tina makes a mess out of a luncheon date. Apparently Tina really wants to date but doesn’t want to let go of her old life with and love for Bette. She spends the entire first date with this woman Denise chatting about Angelica and rambling on about Bette. While I have absolutely zero experience dating, my gut tells me that the best way to make a move toward a second date does not involve fawning over and talking endlessly about your ex while showing pictures of her and your baby. As Denise deftly leaves the situation as fast and politely as possible, her response to Tina when asked about a second date is “I think you have some things to figure out.” She hit the nail on the head!
Often times as we move through big transitions in our lives we forget one of the most important steps we need to take if we want future success and happiness. That step is bringing “what was” to a close so we can be fully present for “what is” and “what is yet to come”. In this case Tina clearly has one foot in the past and one foot in the future and is floundering around in the present totally unaware to what is happening around her (anyone with half an ounce of awareness could’ve read the body language and signals Denise was sending out as Tina droned on and on).
You must bring completion to the past in order to move forward. And, if you want to attract what you say you want into your life (in this case the right relationship) you need to be clear about and focused on what you want. (and that is impossible unless you have brought closure to and let go of the past.)
Think about it — if you are still pining about what was or what you wish would have happened or even wishing about what you’d like to create, your energy and focus is scattered all about the past (which you can do nothing about) and the future (which hasn’t happened yet). Since our only power lies in the present moment, unless you’re spending your time and energy focused on right now, you will exhaust yourself rehashing things and spinning your wheels. As Denise so vividly illustrated with her body language and tone of speech – this sort of scattered way of being just isn’t too attractive to others. Whether those others are prospective romantic relationships (as in this case), business relationships, or prospective customers, they will run far away from you if you are sending out mixed and desperate vibes.
Marking transitions consciously is one way to bring completion. For instance, when I finish working with a client, we have a session devoted to completing the coaching relationship. That is, wrapping up the details and really marking what shifts, benefits, and results someone has experienced. Recently I participated in a 10 week group coaching and learning program. In the last call we consciously brought completion to the relationships and experiences that were part of the program. This sort of conscious claiming, completing, and moving toward the future allows you to free up your energy and focus to move toward what is next for you. I have also found, especially in the case of relationships that it is a powerful way of moving on without leaving a trail of regrets and unspoken communications.
You know the image of someone dragging a truckload of excess emotional baggage with them? Well that is what happens when you don’t bring completion to and let go of the past. Now this doesn’t mean the past didn’t happen. It is not an exercise in denying what was or attempting to gloss over past experiences. Just the opposite. It means to consciously bring those parts of our life to a close. It often takes a lot of forgiveness work to do so especially if circumstances were less than ideal. Forgiveness and letting go isn’t about denying or forgetting about our past. Instead it is about giving up any hopes of the past being different than it was and making a clean emotional and energetic break from what is done.
It isn’t always easy to do but it is necessary to move cleanly and powerfully toward an inspiring future that we have the power to create.
So, I doubt we’ll see any of this process happen overtly on the show, but we’ll all just have to stay tuned and see if and how Tina can shift from wallowing in the past to getting clear and free to create the best future possible for her.
What do you think? What has been your experiences of moving through transitions? What has worked well? What didn’t work? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.