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  The Line In The Sand
     - Credits
     - Forward - L. Alexander
     - Introduction
     - 1. The Dawning (Part 1)
     - 2. Incoming
     - 3. Return Fire
     - 4. Bankruptcy
     - 5. Pressure
     - 6. I'll Show You
     - 7. Liar, Liar
     - 8. Broken Glass
     - 9. Grand Canyon (Part 2)
     - 9a. No Canyon
     - 9b. Making The Canyon
     - 9c. Codependency
     - 9d. Baggage
     - 9e. The Way We Are
     - 9f. Work
     - 9g. Exclusion
     - 10. Spelunking (Part. 3)
     - 11. In The Darkness
     - 12. In The Light
     - 13. Reorganization
     - 14. The Final Chapter

     - Review - J. Talavera
     - Review - N. Beck
     - About the Author

 
Fix Your Marriage
 

(Part 2) The Line in the Sand - Chapter 9b. - Making The Canyon


3. Making the Canyon

     How is it that our Grand Canyon can get so wide and so deep? In fact, it can get so wide that we will completely lose sight of the other person. Letís examine the making of our Grand Canyon to see if we can figure out what causes it.

     Erosion happens when the soil is unprotected. When there are no roots pressed in to hold it in place, external elements are more likely to wear away at the stability of the foundation. As the soil of our relationships get relentlessly pounded by these forces they can erode and become unstable. Our most precious relationships will become more susceptible to the forces and become more likely to break apart and wash away downstream, never to be seen again.

     Relationships can be much like a garden. When the soil is just right and seeds or seedlings are planted at the correct depth and with just the right amount of sunlight and water, the results are the fruits of the labor. Sweet fruits and crisp vegetables, beautiful flowers and bright green plants, these are the fruits of your labor.

     When the soil is mixed wrong or the seeds are planted too shallow or there is too much sunlight or not enough water, the fruits of the labor are also evident. Withered fruit and vegetables, pathetic looking flowers and brown plants, these are the fruits of your labor.

     Lets look back at the filled-in canyon for a minute. Your relationship is fulfilling right now. There are minimal problems and you are working them through. You say and do things that lift up and edify the other person in your relationship. Life is good.

     Where and when does it begin? I know you didnít just wake up this morning and instantly feel disconnected, like the Grand Canyon was between the two of you in your relationship. How can we identify what is creating the separation? Where do we begin?

     It begins right here, right now! I suggest to you right now that there is something in your life that you are holding on to. Something like bitterness toward how you have been treated in the relationship. You feel lonely or unimportant. You feel unappreciated or unloved. You feel belittled or put down. You feel criticized or disrespected. You feel anxious or worried. This is a long list, and could go on much longer. Letís face it, we woke up today and realized that we were hurting and didnít know what on earth to do about it.

     Day after day you wake up, get out of bed, check your breath and stumble up to the edge of that Grand Canyon. As you look for the other person you strain to see them on the other side of the vast expanse of the canyon. What you might not be able to make out is whether the other person even sees you looking, or whether they are completely oblivious to the fact that the canyon has grown unmanageable. With all that to digest and with the insurmountable task of filling in the canyon to restore the relationship, you are very likely to turn around and either go back and hide in your bed or get busy doing something else that you can actually manage.

     ďHow did our relationship get to this point?Ē you might be asking. As you look back through the days that make up the collective existence of your relationship, you can reflect on the good and the bad that has happened between you. You know what hurts. You know what was fulfilling. You know when you intentionally ignored, suppressed, or denied that something was said or done which hurt you. You truly know whatís in your heart account because it is likely that you have been keeping a watch on the balance lately.

     As you look over the heart account statement to see where the balance problem started, remember that you are on your side of the line in the sand and that you have the freedom to choose what you do with the information revealed in the account. I believe that when you look more closely at your heart you will find some major, some minor, and some seemingly insignificant events. Most, if not all of what you find in the balance will be contributing to the gaping canyon you see in your life right now.

     What are some of these things? When you started out it seemed like things were in order. Because you both carry your own life experiences into your relationship, you each have an opinion on what your relationship means to you. Not only that, but you have expectations based upon your opinions and your deepest longings and desires. The canyon is already cut if these things are not regularly discussed openly and honestly. It may seem like you are close and connected because you are imagining the canyon is not there. While that fantasy may seem wonderful and possibly last for a considerable amount of time, it is just that, a fantasy.

     The reality is that the canyon is already there and there is a raging river running through it, but enough about that. For now, lets go back to what it takes to make the canyon grow.

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