What the Heck is a P.I.T.?!
It is a life line – that’s what!!
At least for James and I, it has been.
I come from a family of suppressors – no emotions allowed: stuff, stuff, stuff. Oh, we talked a good game about open communication, and I know we’re not the only family in the world to struggle with the reality that often the talk does not match the walk when it comes to communication, coping mechanisms and dealing with the tough stuff.
James is the proverbial peace-keeper. Lay Low, down play, it’s all good. If I leave it alone, then it will go away or works itself out.
Needless to say – in the beginning of our relationship when we were not communicating well or frequently, so it didn’t take too long for our family patterns and “baggage” to get the best of us. My volcano blew and all James could do was duck and cover!
We hit our “rock bottom” over Christmas 07 while we were away in Mexico and over the first couple of weeks of 08 upon returning home. We were still dating and we found each other completely at odds… things were spiralling downward quickly – home only 2 days from our holiday and I had already moved into the spare bedroom & was contemplating moving-out. The “processing” of emotions seemed endless for both of us. I was caught up in my victim story and the tears seemed to be infinite in supply.
Now, as is the case with any tool - it’s only useful if you actually use it.
What I love about this communication tool is that is has a specific structure and a time limit. It gave me a outline to follow – which helped me immensely in getting some of the issues and emotions out, not stuffing more. Also, especially in the beginning sessions, neither of us had much capacity for this explosion of expression so sharing un-interrupted for 10 minutes and then listening (without interrupting) for another 10 minutes was about all I could handle.
We were in crisis mode and this tool helped to leak the pressure out from the pressure cooker so that pretty quickly we could take the lid off and deal with what was in the pot.
We committed to taking time every day for the P.i.T for 30 days. We actually did it daily for more than 60 days straight. We made an agreement that we would continue to do them as needed moving forward and that if either of us asked for it, it would be completed before we went to bed that same day.
It sounds like a lot to some people, but it gave me lifelong communication experience and strategies, not to mention that I gave us the gift of marriage. We were both willing to do the “work” and stick with it, and us, for as long as it took to work things out and bring our relationship to a peaceful place.
I had one girlfriend say to me, “you shouldn’t have to work so hard in a relationship; it doesn’t have to be this difficult.” I appreciated her sharing, and I am actually glad it was difficult at the beginning.
I learned not to take James for granted, not to take our relationship for granted.
And I also learned that it was worth it to do some “heavy lifting” in the early stages of our relationship so we could clear all kinds of “baggage” and family patterns and unconscious habits that no longer served. By doing the “heavy lifting” up front, it has given us time and space to cherish each other and know a deep sense of peace that was previous unknown for either of us. It has been worth every second.
James and I continue to use the P.i.T. to this day – we did one last week. It can also be used with kids, at work and in volunteer/team positions. And you can tailor it to be on specific topics, as needed. A miracle!
May it bless you as richly as it has blessed us.