Relationships take many forms. Some people thrive with one mate for life, some enjoy having several lovers, some prefer to live alone and yet still relate to colleagues or friends, some experience a few intense relationships during their lifetime. Becoming conscious about what you need at each point in the spiral of your life smooths your route to happiness and allows you to be more available to others.
It only takes a couple of hours of tv watching to see that mass culture almost expects that relating can be full of criticism, blame and dishonesty. It is depleting of energy to keep creating repetitive cycles of conflict, romantic making up, closing down, withdrawing, moving back towards another. Secret Garden work challenges the mass assumption that anyone can truly deep down hurt us, or that anyone has the right to judge, blame or criticise another. How much more creative energy is there when these untruths are not given life force?
Here are some reflections about what enhances love and intimacy, whatever your chosen ‘love lifestyle’.
- Learn to move beyond defence mechanisms
Your relationships thrive when you chose to learn from every challenging relationship interaction instead of robotically living old programmes to ‘defend’ yourself. Criticizing, separating, lying, sulking, smoking, watching hours of TV, creating smokescreen dramas, overeating, drinking alcohol to excess, drug abuse, will defend you and numb you so that the opportunity for alchemical transformation, real growth, that interaction brings is lost.
You might commit to compassionately noticing your defence mechanisms as they arise, and seek out guidance and supportive communities where truth is valued. Then you can learn how to find what is most deeply true in your heart and soul and learn to speak it vulnerably in a way that others can receive it.
- Develop trust in radical honesty and skill in true listening
Radical honesty enhances every relationship -are you willing to live without hidden feelings or withheld truths?
Practice self-revelation, sharing your feelings, thoughts or things that have happened in your life without making another responsible or seeking an answer. Practice active compassionate listening, without trying to fix the other or use the opportunity to make them smaller.
Practice summarizing what the other person is saying, so that you learn not to distort their truth and become more sensitive to the feelings underneath the words shared.
This is NOT about mind analysis, trying to work each other out. The skill is to RECEIVE the life in the other, (and in your own being too, so that you don’t have to jump to defend against what is said)
- Be in integrity with your agreements and consciously renegotiate if necessary
Integrity in agreement keeping matters. There is no such thing as some agreement that is too small to be irrelevant or unimportant. If we renege on an agreement without any attempt to communicate or renegotiate, then we undermine trust and change the landscape of relating. Others are more sensitive than your mind thinks to this kind of integrity lapse, even if the truth never comes to light fully.
Make sure that any agreement you make is one you truly wish to make -not just to please another. Once you make an agreement, fulfil it or change it by consciously by renegotiating with the person concerned. Full self-responsibility is absolutely key to Joyfully Loving relationships. when we are fully responsible, we can live empowered.
- Drop the victim role!
Claiming victim status & blaming another might feel powerful but actually drains all your energy and any capacity to choose. It is a waste of time and energy and means that you will be driven to seek for others to collude with you. The truth is never “I was treated very badly”. It is always to “I take full responsibility for events occurring the way they did and choose this new result now.” From this empowered position, you can find solutions instead of problems.
Exploration – Be curious about how and why you might have wanted any situation -even any truly difficult one- to occur the way it did. What was the soul gift? Use language carefully (“I choose to go to the rubbish dump” rather than “I have to go to the rubbish dump.” Or, “I take responsibility for my health and vitality,” rather than “Why did you buy that bottle of wine? You know I can’t resist it.” or ”you made me drink too much because you made me so miserable)
- Express your gratitude
Gratitude and appreciation are the lifeblood of all relating. People grow loving and beautiful through our appreciation of them. Practice expressions of gratitude daily and notice and move through any fears about that. Enjoy asking yourself how you can allow another to live their essence more fully.
Exploration – Ask yourself “What could I say in appreciation of……… at this moment?”
- Love love love the apparently unloveable
Everything can be resolved with willingness and love. Love is the ultimate healer. Love dissolves all limitation, because only love is vast enough to embrace its opposite. Love is wholly unconditional. You can love even when you hate, and the hate will melt in the larger presence of love. Whatever emerges in any close relationship is the thing that needs to be loved, it is asking for love and light.
Love as much as you can from wherever you are. When in the more challenging times in relating, you come to places in yourself or another that seem hard to accept or love you may feel the urge to give up having anything to do with them. That is the moment when ONLY love and full acceptance can heal. Simply love yourself and your partner as best you can ANYWAY – even if you are angry or in despair about them ‘doing that again’ – and a miracle begins.
And of course you may consciously choose to let go of certain connections that don’t feel true for you anymore but be honest-are you doing this from true freedom or out of reactivity?
Exploration – How do you live to limit surrender to another and to the aliveness that is potent between you? How do you barricade against connection? Communicate about this honestly with someone you trust to listen, but remember –the limits aren’t serious!
Your relating life can expand and bring joy and freedom when each partner lives total union with ‘the other’ apparently outside of them – and at the same time total creative expression as a human being alone.
Are you fully surrendered to the energetic oneness that informs all life, to ‘You are me?’
Are you fully surrendered to the truth of who you uniquely are?
If you are drawn to explore more deeply, have a look at these