Monday, August 10, 2015

Celebrate Others: Step Out of Your Design

When Rod asked me to marry him years ago I was so excited. I remember the day well. We had a conversation that night and I told him I would marry him as long as he understood that our designs were completely opposite (he is Blackened and Grayed and I am Saturated-Whitened.). Because we were on opposite ends of the
spectrum, we would never draw the same conclusion on anything. We would always have to both give a little and come to a third conclusion that we could both agree on (we got married so obviously we were both fine with that).

It is amazing how true it has turned out to be. Needing to find that third solution really has been the case over the years. One of the important aspects of that scenario and making it work is celebrating each other's designs. I mean truly celebrating each other's designs.

In order to truly celebrate you have to completely step out of your own design. Think for a moment about when two friends go shopping together. One picks out a shirt and says "look how cute this is!" The other one thinks to herself “not for me,” and then proceeds to hold up the one she picked out and says, “Look, this one is so much cuter!” Couples often go shopping together. Don't do it! The woman often picks out the suit that is her design and the man picks out the dress he would look amazing in if he were a woman—which is not necessarily what the other person would choose for themselves.

When we are interacting with anyone but ourselves, they are simply not like us; they have a different makeup. The key is to take yourself and your ways of thinking completely out of the picture; put them on a shelf for a minute. Then start using curiosity and discovery to celebrate and truly understand the person you are with. It is really like being an investigator.


Each week we discuss relationships with different people. Some spouses, some siblings, some friends, and even co-workers. At the end of the day, it is usually clear that one of the barriers in these relationships is not celebrating each other. If you want to be healthy and want to interact with others in a way that is healthy it is very important to truly be present. Believe their emotions; don't correct them based on your design and how you think. If someone is willing to be vulnerable and open up to you it's a gift. Listen to how it looks to them and then find truth in it. Even in scenarios that are or feel irrational there is most often a shred of truth in them. Put your design on the shelf for a moment and try to see it from their side. 

We are all so different but, just like Rod and I have had to do over the years, find the other person’s perspective, understand it, and then celebrate it. Make them feel amazing for how they are and how they think. You will be surprised how fast they begin to overlap and start doing the same for you. It is truly important to celebrate others because, remember, everyone is a masterpiece.

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