In Wednesday’s Share&Inspire we could read Matt’s plea for advice. Matt aims to be a massagist, but his wife doesn’t agree. Matt then asked yayom.com for advice.
There is not a single piece of doubt in my mind that Matt’s situation sounds familiar to many of us. Our partners (or what we believe they are) can be a real pain in the back. Unfortunately, we love them too much to kick them out. Matt clearly indicated in his mail that he doesn’t want his marriage to end. So, what can YAYOM say to help him?
‘What should I do?’
First the easy stuff. Matt’s asking: ‘What should I do?’. That’s a question YAYOM cannot answer. In this post I explain you why. If you don’t want to (re)read that post, then it’s enough to understand that nobody can tell Matt what to do. Except for Matt himself, that is. Matt is the captain on the ship he calls his life.
Maybe it could be useful to imagine a couple of scenarios and delimite Matts captaincy in those. We have 2 central statements: Matt wants to be a professional massagist and Matts wife does not want him to be a professional massagist. Now Matt has the choice: massagist or no massagist. Let’s explore both options.
Scenario 1: massagist = 1
Imagine Matt decides to work as a massagist. In his mail it sounds like that would be his dream job. Or, in other words, being a massagist would mean a direct path to happiness for Matt. Apparently he has already made some serious moves in that direction by following courses and trainings. Working as a massagist would be Matt’s choice.
Faced with this choice, his wife has 3 choices of her own: accept it, accept it with a few conditions (like not massaging Selena Gomez) or not accept it.
Whatever his wife decides, that will never be Matt’s choice.
Matt is not the captain on the ship of his wife. So, if she decides she cannot accept and that she will leave him, then according to YAYOM Matt is not to blame as the decision isn’t his.
Matts e-mail suggests he would feel unhappy if his wife left him. This means that there is a chance of 33% of unhappiness if he decides to be a massagist and a 66% chance of happiness.
Scenario 2: massagist = 0
Now imagine Matt decides not to work as a massagist. He stays in the office job he hates so much and which depresses him. If I understand Matt’s mail correctly, this option is his current situation, which means that right now Matt is unhappy, despite being together with his wife. So, not working as a massagist leads to 100% chance of unhappiness.
The e-mail seems to suggest that Matt is feeling a victim of his (supposed?) wife’s reaction to his ambition to become a massagist.
Considering this, it’s not hard to imagine that eventually Matt may start blaming his wife for his depression and unhappiness.
However, YAYOM would not accept that. Matt’s wife is never to blame for whichever decision Matt takes. Matt is nobody’s victim.
But even if we reject YAYOM, there is something interesting to consider. Imagine Matt trying to please his wife by not starting as a masseur. He becomes unhappy as a consequence. His wife, aware of this and possibly of her part in it, may start feeling guilty and unhappy too. This way, both would end up unhappy, blaming themselves (for no reason) for their partner’s unhappiness. Luckily YAYOM says our happiness cannot depend on other people but ourselves.
So, what’s the deal? It’s this: the decision to start working as a massagist is Matt’s, his wife cannot be blamed for that. The decision to end the relationship if Matt would start working as a massagist, would probably his wife’s (based on Matt’s e-mail). Matt would not have to blame himself for that.
Matt is free to do whatever he wants. Even more: he is using that freedom. Putting aside his massagist aspirations and doing an office job instead is an active choice made by Matt.
As a final consideration I will add the following.
No matter what Matt chooses, his decision does not have to be forever.
Both the metaphores of the Path and the Captain clearly show this. The Path says that the footsteps behind you hold no condition for where you go from here on. The Captain says that as the captain of his ship, Matt (and only he) has at all times both the power and the freedom to alter his course.
That is, in short, what YAYOM can say about Matt’s situation. Can you relate to it? Have objections? Let me know! You know where: here or on FB.
As from tomorrow you can also download from the Facebook page the Scheme that goes with this post.