There are lots of “someday” thoughts that will undermine your relationship:
Someday things will be better.
Someday I will stop behaving this way.
Someday I will get over these mechanical behaviors.
Someday he (or she) will change.
Someday when we get married, we will be happier.
Someday . . .

You have seen yourself and how you mechanically relate. Your eyes have opened to hidden agendas, prejudices, and many ways, large and small, that you have gotten in your own way when creating the relationship of your dreams. Now, if you are like most people, you will secretly have the new agenda to eradicate these “negative” things from your life. You are going to get past your prejudices, sidestep your petty thoughts and the urge to fight with your partner, and move on to a healthier, happier way of relating.
Well, guess what? That is change, not transformation. You can transform, but the mechanics of your mind do not. When you discover that this moment is all there is and that some future fantasy “someday” is not going to save you, then instantaneously you are healthier and happier. But you don’t have to change yourself, your partner, or your circumstances for this to happen.

Each moment is like a movie, and the soundtrack is laid alongside. Your soundtrack may be saying pleasant things or it may be complaining. The mind is a machine, and expecting the way it works to change will only
set you up to be upset and disappointed. When the circumstances of your life become stressful enough, challenging enough, or when there are strong currents in your environment that are working on you, you
can expect that old, familiar ways of relating will resurface.

When a tree is cut down, you can see the rings that were formed during each year of growth. They represent
the times of plenty, of sun and rain, and the lean years too. Part of the beauty in a hardwood floor or table, for example, is the grain of the wood. Well, your mechanical behaviors are like wood—they are ingrained. If you work on yourself, whittling away and trying to sand off the grain, you have none of you left. Where Ariel watched the tape loop of the time-lapse photography where the red rose sprouted, grew, and blossomed, your mechanical behaviors were preset in another time, in another place, by an earlier version of yourself, and they cannot be changed.

Plenty of people have come to us discouraged because they have lost their way and have stopped feeling transformed. If you expect to have your early ways of relating with you for the rest of your life, then you are much less likely to be hard on yourself or resist them when they resurface. If you resist old mechanical ways of relating, then, of course, they persist and grow stronger.

Our friend James recently told us that he and his wife started a heated argument immediately following his family’s visit with the two of them. Within ten minutes, James realized, This is not our normal way of relating. We must have gotten knocked off balance somewhere in our interactions with my family. James said it was akin to suddenly being on a carnival ride through an old, familiar house of horrors. But with awareness,
he and his wife realized that the fight wasn’t serious, wasn’t their truth, and it was as if they were able to jump off the bumpy ride together and land on their feet. In the past, fights like this had gone on for days or months, with lots of self-recrimination, bruised feelings, and recovery time. Because James and his wife
did not judge themselves for falling back into an old, mechanical way of relating, the situation instantaneously

Transformation is a skill set, and like any other skill, you get better over time as you practice. This is one of the biggest paradoxes in our approach.

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