Two of my favorite movies are It’s A Wonderful Life and The Wizard of Oz. It’s interesting that at the end of these stories the main characters end up in exactly the same place as they were at the beginning.
Dorothy wakes up back in the dusty routine of farm life. George returns to his hinge-pin role at the old Building and Loan.
Nothing’s changed, but everything’s different. This is transformation!
The most poignant picture of this is when George Bailey interacts with the loose staircase knob. When the knob came off in George’s hand, before meeting his guardian angel, he’s ready to throw it through a window! Do you remember how he responded to the loose knob after his transformation? That’s right, he kissed it and joyfully returned it to its proper place.
The knob stayed the same, but George had an internal change.
As he proceeded up the stairs, his kids—who earlier withdrew from him in fear—climbed on him like a litter of kittens.
My favorite clients, the ones who inspire me to be a better man, husband, dad, and counselor, have this characteristic in common—they don’t demand circumstances submit to their wills. They take life on life’s terms. They seek the kind of transformation that enables them to experience the very same circumstances from a fresh, hope-filled, life-affirming perspective.
The irony is that their transformed attitude often influences their circumstances.
One of the best ways to identify if you are in transformation is from the questions you ask. “How can I get my spouse to…” is a pre-transformational question. It focuses on the other person. “How can I respond more lovingly when…” is a good indicator that you’re growing through your trials and embracing transformation.
I am convinced that the spouse who knows that nothing has changed, but can see that everything can be different becomes a greater influence —a hope-filled, life-affirming influence—toward a successful and thriving marriage.
You can do this!