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Oct 3, 2022

Sweeping my own side of the street

Rachel McCrickard, LMFT

CEO and Co-Founder

Okay – big news to share today.

Wrigley, our new puppy, officially came home to us last week.

Brace yourself — here he is…

He’s a 3.5 pound Boston Terrier – the runt of his litter – and a total party animal. He’s definitely a 7 on the Enneagram scale.

I’m sure you’re immediately wondering, “What does big sister Lucy think?”

Well, I gotta be honest, she kinda hates him.

Here’s a quick video of them playing in the backyard. I’m pretty sure Lucy is thinking, “How do I get this asshole off my lawn?!”

Google tells me they’ll figure it out and adjust to a new normal soon. So, fingers crossed — and if you have any helpful tips, I’m all ears!

Having a new puppy also re-introduces a familiar pattern to my marriage. I remember learning in grad school that families experience heightened stress anytime someone leaves or joins the family unit (think: divorce, death, going away to college, or marriage, birth, blending families).

This has certainly been true in my family. In fact, there’s a particular dynamic that typically plays out, which goes something like this:

  • Rachel, the eternal optimist, gets uber excited and believes everything will go exactly the way she dreamed it (or better).
  • Warren, the tortured realist, becomes stressed thinking about all the logistics Rachel hasn’t considered.
  • Rachel becomes annoyed at Warren’s realistic and sensible view of the situation and urges him to relax and “chill out.”

In short, Warren tries to control a stressful situation and then Rachel tries to control Warren.

It’s super fun.

I’ve been reflecting on this dynamic the past week, and one phrase keeps coming to my mind… “Rachel, sweep your own side of the street.”

As I’ve mentioned here before, I have a few people in my life who are part of the recovery community. In chapter 6 of the Big Book of A.A., there’s a line that says:

We are there to sweep off our side of the street, realizing that nothing worth while can be accomplished until we do so, never trying to tell him what he should do. His faults are not discussed. We stick to our own. If our manner is calm, frank, and open, we will be gratified with the result.

That line, “His faults are not discussed. We stick to our own.” gets me every time.

Perhaps it’s human nature to assume our way of doing things is the best or “right” way. I, often, fall to the temptation of being preoccupied with the actions of others, rather than focusing on the areas of my own life that need some attention.

But, the truth is, the only thing I can actually control is myself. I’m responsible for my own words, actions, outlook, and boundaries. Other people are responsible for their own.

I’ve noticed that when I approach life with this mindset, my relationships are better for it. I’m more at peace, less agitated, more able to embrace the present moment.

How about you? Have you found that focusing on your own side of the street helps you find more peace?

If you have any thoughts or reflections you’d like to share with me, I’d love to hear them.

Rachel McCrickard, LMFT
CEO/Co-Founder, Motivo

Each Monday, I’ll share my perspective on topics that mean a lot to me: growth, resilience, relationships, and leadership.

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