Relationships are both our greatest strength and our greatest weakness.
In our quest for love we find within ourselves our most inspiring qualities; tenderness, kindness, joy, respect, humility, gratitude and sacrifice. We also find ego, jealousy, bitterness, resentment, loathing and fear.
It is in fear that each and every relationship is destroyed. We fear for ourselves that we will not be provided for. We fear losing our love and drifting apart. We fear making a binding commitment in a time where our futures remain unclear but more than anything we fear losing ourselves, losing our will and losing our choice, losing our right to be nourished and grow independently.
What began as two rosebuds beginning their journey together turns to a battle of thorns and weeds. Where sharing the world becomes competing for breath, light and space, when once you would have been happy to shed your own petals for the happiness of your partner, there is now only fear; fear that you will never be able to give enough to make them happy and fear that you will never be enough to make yourself happy.
But look beyond this. Move away from fear. What makes you happy? Can anybody truly make you happy all the time? Why then do we expect that we must fulfill this role for others? When you partner yourself with another, you make a commitment to be happy within yourself and to share this happiness with your partner.
By giving all of yourself to make another happy you take away their right to find happiness for themselves. You fall into ego, convinced that only you can give them what they need. When they react to this violation of free will with anger, we take the opposite approach believing ‘Nothing I do will ever be enough.’
It is only by stepping back from our most intimate state of vulnerability that we can find a middle ground. To acknowledge that we are amazing is to also recognise that we are not everything and more importantly that we do not need to be.
Two paths can travel side by side. If one of you chooses to take a turn, arrange to meet up around the corner. You do not need to follow the same dream for this would lead to competition. Is it not more fun to live one dream and observe another?
It is neither the music we listen to nor the work that we do that brings us together. It is the basic respect and admiration that we have for that person and the basic respect and admiration that they, in return, have for us.
In time, what changes is not in the having of respect but in the showing of it. We take for granted that our partner knows what they mean to us and forget to show it. We can dance on top of the highest hill and still come home to our loved ones.
Sometimes leaving a relationship is our last attempt at reclaiming our power.
It is, by its very own determination, a statement that we are in control of our own future and that we still exist. Is it possible to reclaim our power in another way? After all it has not been taken away but freely given when you began your lives together. When priorities shift and old dreams make way for new ones, it is time to review old promises, thoughts and assumptions. Don’t be afraid to release old vows and rewrite new ones. Clarify with each other what you are happy to give and what you would like to receive. Start afresh.
Sometimes it is only when we reach a time of crisis that we can make these choices. A partner who has always nurtured may become ill and they need to be nurtured. A partner who promised to love, honour and obey may feel too constricted by this. When you make a promise you are bound by your words. Check them carefully and if they become out-dated or are impossible to achieve, release them or alter them altogether.
Resentment and loathing, whilst commonly associated with anger, can also be traced back to fear. We become angry that our partner is not making us happy but then become fearful about why they are not trying hard enough. Instead of seeing this as an impossible promise, we instead fear that maybe we are not good enough or do not deserve love and happiness.
Look below the anger and find the fear. Acknowledge the hurt and the sadness. Progress can be made with sadness and hurt but nothing is resolved through anger. Respect your partner enough not to force your will onto them. Do not seek to immediately use your power. If you walk out what choice do you give them?
It is not easy to speak so generally about such a broad topic as it stirs many different emotions.
As previously mentioned, it is in relationships that the rules and principles are acted upon with the most intensity.
In love relationships every emotion is exaggerated. Aggression, ego and passion can all become one. Our usual perception of energy, as positive or negative is lost and we are left with simply an explosion of emotions.
It is very hard to step out of a hurricane but not as hard to step into it. In the eye of the storm you can gain some peace, clarity and perspective with the advantage of keeping your options open.
It is useful to identify the problems and be responsible for your behaviour. It is not your responsibility to bring up your partner’s faults. Consider possible outcomes and what you would like to happen but do not yet decide on a solution. Many people decide that there is only one solution and then proceed to share this life changing solution with their partner, often with bags already packed and commitments neatly popped on the table.
Remember, you have had what seems like a lifetime to ponder this solution whilst they haven’t even had five minutes to think about the problem. Had the situation been reversed the reaction may have been very different.
We must all make choices for ourselves and when it comes to relationships there is no simple rule except to say we experience the most powerful energy in the world in our relationships. Learn how to transform your relationships and the world will never look the same again.