TECHNIQUE: ON CHECKING ALL THE BUCKETS
(Excerpt from this post.
I believe people are mind, body, heart and soul. I call those the health buckets. Mental health, physical health, emotional health, and spiritual health. Together they make the metabucket person -- the whole person and their whole well being.
At my house it is not unusual to ask for bucket checks. We even teach this to the kid.
She rolls her eyes and thinks I'm insane but that's fine. When she's older I'll suddenly be genius again.
And I've had to teach people in my real life the bucket thing. It helps break something down to bite size sometimes... even to oneself
when doing some soul searching.
My DH was NOT great at articulation at the start. It isn't so much that he cannot articulate. It is that he comes from a background where articulation put you in the dog house. It took him a while to believe and then do and then see that I am different.
YES, if you tell me something I do not like to hear I may have a minor side GRRR moment. I still welcome the news. No, you are not in the dog house. I just need to steam valve on the side for a moment before I can return to this thing and address it like a sane person. I go ballistic at information withheld. I do not go ballistic at information given that I don't love to hear. There IS a difference.
He often would say "I don't know." To hem and haw and hedge his bets. He doesn't do that any more and he's much more up front but sometimes he gets stuck. To this day it still helps when he goes "I don't know" to ask him for his buckets.
"Alright. You do not know the metabucket answer from all your health buckets combined. Gimme the buckets separate then. How are you on this ...
- In your BODY? Anything tense? Hurting? Stomach butterflies? Relaxed?
- In your MIND? Mind racing and won't shut up? Mind stuck or slow as molasses?
- In your HEART? Is it dark in there? Heavy? Sweetness and light?
- In your SOUL? Hang time at the forge? Soaring? Where is spirit?
The other day I asked him on a minor issue -- "Hey, where you at? Can I go out to coffee with a friend?"
He goes "I don't know."
I sigh and go "Gimme buckets."
He thinks. Then answers slowly.
"Well... my body is tired. It was a long day at work. I did not sleep well last night. My mind heart is full and content. My brain is fried. I have crazy clients. You would not even believe! My soul? Um. My soul is peaceful. Content?"
I respond "So I'm getting 2 counts of tired, and 2 neutrals. So you really ought to nap and skip parenting duty tonight. And I really ought to schedule my date with the gals for later in the week so you have a chance to rest. Is that the ball park we are in?"
He blinks. "Um... yah?"
"Great! You get nap, I get to carry on and fix my calendar. Thanks!"
And I go off to do my thing cheerfully. And he gets to nap cheerfully. And nobody has any cows. All well with the world.
But seriously he used to make me CRAZY with the "I don't know" thing. It is fine not to know and need extra time to sort that out. If that is TRUE.
But do not default there because you wish to avoid having to think or do the work required to give me my right to clear communication. Do not avoid, shirk, or obfuscate. Just SPIT IT OUT. So I can know where we stand and I can move on to dealing with whatever it is on my end of the equation.
And I have a drop dead date -- because if I need to move a thing forward and make a decision and your indecision is holding me up? Then I need to move without taking your information on board then. And you cannot get mad at me for doing that because YOU declined to exercise your right/opportunity to get your information ON BOARD.
Everyone holds their own bag!
Maybe try the technique of asking him for his buckets separately rather than the Meta-bucket of all things combined in one answer? Get a better temperature check in bite sizes?
I've been lucky enough to experience body orgasms flying solo or in partnered sex. I've been lucky enough to have heartgasms and headgasms with lovers and friends. A few times I've been lucky enough to have me a soulgasm. Sometimes even 2 out of the 4. Or 3 out the four.
But in that Metabucket place? All areas at once? The Metagasm 4 out of 4 buckets set fire to at once?
Oh, my,my. Oh, HELL
And that's been with one person -- DH. And it took years to get there. Decades
even. But then that is getting to what Old Relationship Energy feels like to me. Some things are earned. And that's a whole other topic.