What is the Purpose—Paving the Way to What?
Paving the Way for what or for who? Is Paving the Way for you or for reconciliation?
What purpose does Paving the Way serve? Are you Paving the Way that leads to you or are you Paving the Way ahead of you, and if so, where does it lead? Can the answer be both—to you and for you? Are you Paving the Way back to your marriage or to a better marriage or to something else?
Consider that Paving the Way is a multi-purpose approach. Pave the Way to a new and better life. If you restrict it to a path to your marriage, you are closing yourself to the growth that may come from the forks and branches in the road and you are going to have a greater time detaching and healing which means an even greater challenge getting to marital reconciliation. The beauty of doing it this way is that it does not close off the path to your marriage, but enriches the path with your healing and strength so that if at some point in the future, your MLCer is interested and ready to reconcile with you, the chances of it succeeding will be greater. Marital restoration may be vitally important to you, but it is still only a byproduct of your own growth and healing.
Treating your MLCer (and all others) with respect, compassion, empathy, kindness… does not have to be about Paving the Way to you, think of it also as Paving the Way in front of you—Paving the Way ahead. Paving the Way is meant to integrate with serving your life purpose because it is about becoming your Best Self.
One of the LBSs offering her thoughts said that the rhythm of the phrase naturally adds the word home to the end of it. This was understandably concerning since there is a danger in making it seem like we have that much control or influence and since it focused on a return home when many may not want that and others who do may never get it. She makes an excellent point, but as I have continued to look at, read and think about the phrase, I have realized it has several natural endings that people can read into it depending on their own biases and desires.
- Paving the Way Home
- Paving the Way Back
- Paving the Way Forward
- Paving the Way Ahead
- Paving the Way to …(me)
- Paving the Way for…(me), (someone else)
The purpose of Paving the Way needs to be approached holistically. Each of those endings is only Paving the Way when they work together with each other.
Making the Path Smooth
This is both about smoothing out your rough spots—the personal polishing that is Mirror-Work and the kindness and compassion you direct outwards which creates an attractive force to you. This includes accepting responsibility for your own imperfections and flaws as a partner and correcting what you can to better yourself. These make you an approachable person rather than someone judgmental who others may fear. For those of you who are Standing, Paving the Way fosters an environment that helps an MLCer turn toward home. Being polished and approachable does not mean your MLCer will turn toward home—honey catches more flies, not every fly.
Do No Harm
Can you set boundaries and still Pave the Way? Is Paving the Way a Doormat activity?
To many, doing no harm is something you do with, to or for your MLCer—The Unconditionals, empathy… But it is not all about direct kindness, what about doing no harm to you? Tools like Boundaries and Detachment contribute to the paved way because of what they do for you and then in turn how you are able to handle Standing and additional interactions. Protecting yourself financially contributes because you are protecting your assets so your worries may not then include financial destitution, loss of home, means to purchase food, clothing, medical care… the loss of which would take a further emotional toll on you. What is harmful to you is harmful to your Stand as well.
When Do You Pave the Way?
There are some misnomers about when to Pave the Way, or when it is allowed. Some think that it’s only something you can do in the beginning because MLCers become more distant. Well if that is the case, what are you going to do at Reconnection and Reconciliation?
It is true that some MLCers may be more accommodating to your Paving the Way early in MLC before they have left home or become more and more distant or before an alienator becomes too controlling. This is especially the case with Direct Interactions. Basically, there may be a time in the beginning when the MLCer can still see the light at the beginning of the tunnel and still look back toward you. They may seem more confused and cycle more regarding their decision to stay or go, but as they move further from the light at the tunnel’s entrance, they may become more distant and feel more certain regarding their decision to leave, thereby providing fewer opportunities to Paving the Way through Direct Interactions.
Your job is to do what you can—work with the situation you have rather than the situation you wish you had. Your job is to be your Best Self and that branch of Paving the Way is always open to you regardless of whether your MLCer is receptive or not.
There may be a gap in Paving the Way with Direct Interactions—more in the beginning, a break or less during the long marathon years of MLC and then an increase during Touch-n-Goes and Reconnection. Once you are Reconnecting, Direct Interactions may become part of your Plan of Action to gradually rebuild and heal.
The purpose of Paving the Way is to help you heal and maintain and improve the foundation of your marital relationship so that if you and your spouse choose to reconcile in the future, there is something to be reconciled. The purpose is to become whole, healthy and joy-filled regardless of the outcome of your marriage. Pave the Way for you to the life you want.