In Bolzano, Italy, there is a museum that houses the remains and belongings of an ancient man called affectionately by the Italians, “Frozen Fritz.” Seriously, this Ice Man was discovered in 1991 by some hikers in the Austrian/Italian Alps.
The authorities thought that the man was from the last century at first, but further study shocked everyone. He was from the copper age, 3000 years before Christ. The museum displays all of his clothing and tools, well preserved in ice all of this time. They were even able to discern what his last meal was by evaluating the contents of his stomach.
His body is displayed through a tiny window where you can see tiny tattoo marks that correspond with meridians where acupuncture or other healing methods might have been done. It was awe inspiring to see how intricately his clothing and tools were constructed.
As I walked through and imagined what his life must have been like, I couldn’t help but be moved by the brilliance and creativity that his people had, to live comfortably in the extreme conditions present at that time.
I couldn’t help but reflect on the problems and issues facing me in my relationship landscape and how I can get discouraged when I feel stuck or that I have made a mistake. Beating myself up inside with thoughts like, “I can’t believe I said that, what an idiot.” “I should know better.” “Why can’t I feel more connected to my man?” “I hate when he withdraws from me.” Blah, Blah, Blah!
My internal landscape can be as frigid and uninhabitable as the Alps were for the Ice Man if I let it.
Maybe I can borrow from his resilience and perseverance to warm myself up. I wonder if he took time to whine and complain. Somehow, I think he probably had his discouraging moments as he painstakingly braided plant fibers together so he could make twine to tie his bow together. His fingers were probably aching with cold as he poked the strips of sinew through tiny holes in the animal hide he made into his coat. I wonder if he wanted to quit.
Equipping myself for the inner landscape of relationship disappointments is at least room temperature. At least I have electricity and running water, for Pete’s sake! So I have some communication issues from time to time. Yes, I am misunderstood and I still react with hurt feelings more often than I care to admit. But seeing the Ice Man really changed my perspective. 5000 years BEFORE Christ. This was no caveman. How did he figure out what to do?
How can I figure out what to do? It is the same for me as it was for Frozen Fritz, true guidance comes from the depths of our spirit. When deeply challenged, amazing creativity and strength is birthed, every time. You have heard of a man lifting a car off of a wounded child. Wouldn’t it be nice if we learned to tap into that “superhuman” part of us at will.
I believe that we can and the first amazing exploration is in our inner landscape. Do you feel yourself pouting, playing the martyr, or withdrawing into silence after a conflict with your man? There you have it, an inner blizzard threatening to freeze you in time. Don’t let that happen! Recognize the familiarity of this frozen landscape and warm it up with some chipping away of old thought patterns.
Saying something like this will help you navigate to higher ground:
- Even though he never understands me, I understand me and I am learning how to think differently.
- Even though he doesn’t listen to me, I choose to find a different way to approach him.
- Even though he hurt my feelings, I choose to look inside to see why it hurts and to do something about it.
- Even though I don’t feel loved, I choose to see that is just a thought and a thought can be changed.
You can find what you need to navigate your inner relationship landscape, within you lies the creativity to find a solution to what ails you. Keep looking inside for the wisdom that waits for you. The same brilliance that led the Ice Man to solve the problems of living in a very hostile environment is available to you today.
If he made a way for himself, bless his heart, so can you!