The Rest of the Story

In order to fully understand this article, first go read the one last month entitled, "Digging My Own Hole".

About two days after the incident described in the previous article, I noticed that when I woke up in the morning, my back would begin to spasm. After I walked about a bit, it went away. The next morning the same thing happened again, only it persisted a little longer. By the middle of the week, I could barely bend forward without an excruciating stabbing pain. So I got myself to my chiropractor.

He's different from any chiropractor I have ever been to. He won’t touch me before first “body testing” me. I was a mess. Two of my vertebrae in my neck were not right, and I had a problem in my lower back and a disk out of place. He worked on me for over a half hour before he was finished. Then he told me that I had sustained an injury that had a large component of anger to it.

I immediately thought back to how angry I had become at my wife for criticizing my driving. I knew for certain that I had not done anything physical that could account for so much damage.

He told me that anger could absolutely account for the problems that I was having and explained how the rush of chemicals and electrical impulses during anger could produce such a clear and painful situation.

I slowly began to realize that, on top of damaging my relationship with my wife, my anger was hurting me. Not only was I suffering pain, I was also wasting time and spending a lot of money to put myself back together again. This was a classic “lose/lose” situation.

Then he reminded me that there are only two emotions. These two emotions are how you look at the world. One is fear and the other is love. Fear creates anger, and love creates compassion.

We use anger to make the fear go away. In my case, my fear was that in allowing my wife to “get away” with putting me “down”, I would lose my position as the man in the relationship. I got angry and yelled to keep that from happening. What I lost, temporarily, was the relationship itself.

When I come from love, I am able to show compassion for her, and what is creating her reactions. What I get is a more loving relationship, a pain-free life and more money to spend on fun things. A classic win/win situation.

©2008, Irv Engel

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One's life has value so long as one attributes values to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion., - Simone de Beauvoir

Irv Engel is a successful salesman, builder, husband, father, grandfather and friend. He loves to sing, dance and is currently taking an art class to learn water color painting. He is the creator and coordinator of the Relationship Training Course for Men. This book, The Real Deal: A Guide to Achieving Successful and Real Relationships, is the result of hundreds of hours spent writing down the lessons learned in a lifetime of marriage, divorce, re-marriage and raising four kids. He hosts free telephone conference coaching sessions in the evening or on weekends.The conference is a good way to find out about relationship coaching and to ask any personal questions around your own relationships without risk to your money or your privacy. E-mail him for phone number, access code and schedule. Irv and Monica live in Lake Forest, Calif. They have eleven grandchildren. They have celebrated their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary.

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