Relationships are the one of the most rewarding and challenging parts of our life. There are types of personal development that we are unable to do unless we are in relationship and there are ways that relationships push us to do work that we would not be otherwise motivated to do.
One of the greatest challenges in relationship can be our boundaries –maintaining a connection to our self, being open with another, and caring for the relationship that exists between us. We can run into challenges like losing our self in the relationship, over-caretaking, shutting down, passive aggressiveness, or saying things that are hurtful and can’t be taken back. Any of these sound familiar?
In the 1980’s Melody Beattie wrote about co-dependence. This is the pattern of behavior that a person develops when relating to a loved-one who has an addiction. However, Beattie’s writing hit a chord with most people whether they were in a partnership with an addict or not. Chiefly, she focuses on understanding what is ours to deal with and what is another person’s. This level of clarity is essential for other relational skills to develop. It is impossible to create healthy connectedness if we lack the ability to hold onto our self.
Holding onto our self is the ability to stay connected to what we think, feel and want while being in a relationship with another person. This is particularly important when that person is under stress or in a crisis. In intense situations, it is easier to get consumed by another person’s experience. Even sexual intimacy, as positive as it might be, requires not only that we can deeply connect and even merge with another but that we can come back to ourselves as well.
The truth of the matter is, when we do not know or understand something, our ability to be in relationship to it is limited. This means we need to be able to see our self ,or in other words be aware, to “hold onto our self.” The less we are aware of ourselves, the harder it is for us to know when something is us and when it is not. So, this is one of the many ways that personal development work serves you. The more that you know the easier it is to navigate relationships.
It is necessary to know our self to be open to a relationship in a healthy way. Being open in a relationship is both about the ability to connect and to disconnect. However, primarily it is about being able to choose when we want to connect and disconnect. This allows us to be consciously open or to consciously choose not put up a boundary when something is not healthy.
However, what I often hear people struggle with is determining what is healthy or not healthy for them. I have said that self care is anything and everything that is affirming of the entirety of who you are. It comes up here again because determining what is healthy or not healthy is guided by the same concept. Does it affirm or support who you are? If it does then it is healthy for you even if it is difficult. If it is does not, then it is not healthy for you.
Of course, the greatest gift that we can give in a relationship is our willingness to be as respectful with that other person as we have learned to be with our self. This desire to support another person in honoring and caring for themselves and learning and growing in their capacity to know themselves is a beautiful gift of a relationship.
The relationship is the third part of the equation. Relationships take care and time to be able to flourish. It is not enough for people to just invest in their own awareness and growth they also need to invest in the relationship. It becomes another member of the relationship and requires selflessness as much as anything else. What can you give to the relationship? How do you give to the relationship?
Developmentally, we are not able to give to the relationship until we have learned how to take care of ourselves. We are simply too immature to really be able to give what is required. That is why we need to start by doing our own work and understand what it is that supports us as we go through life. When we have done this work, the act of giving selflessly to a relationship is an additional joy rather than something that creates imbalance.
If you find yourself in a relationship and you are questioning your knowledge of your own needs or understanding of the different aspects of who you are, don’t worry too much about it. We are all in a continual process of growth. As you move forward in your relationship you will be called to focus on different aspects of the relationship: you, the other person, and the relationship itself. This process, if you choose to engage in it will be both challenging and deeply rewarding –ultimately offering you one of the most beautiful experiences that life has to offer.
In one week, I am starting my LifeWork Community program. If you relate to my blog, workshops or book and you are not too far a drive from Providence, you really need to talk to me about this program! LifeWork Community is about creating a fabulous, intentional, creative and impactful life. It is going to be amazing and I know you will want in.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more!
The first workshop in this new program is about being more intentional. Until we know just what we want to create and some of the steps we know we need to take to consistently to make it happen, we tend to be less satisfied, have less of a sense of meaning, and get hit or miss results.
There is this great question that I read somewhere, I can’t remember where right now. It is: What would you want if you were absolutely certain you would get it?
Take a moment to think about that.
Is your answer any different than what you are going about creating on a regular basis? If it is, this is a perfect place to employ the practice of intention.
What if your intention was to create what you really want instead of what you have convinced yourself that you can have?
What would you need to do on a regular basis to be as likely as possible to create what it is that you truly want? And, who would you need to be in order to reach that desired goal for yourself?
These questions are at the heart of intentional and fulfilled living.
Have you ever had the experience of finding yourself on a new path in life and suddenly you feel like you’re all alone? You’ve just stepped into a new version of yourself. You’re becoming more aware and you’re paying closer attention to the choices you’re making. Things that used to be your ‘norm’ no longer interest you, and creative ideas are manifesting more easily. You’re exploring new paradigms and experiencing next-level shifts. AND you’re probably feeling more inspired and alive than ever before.
Welcome to the Next Phase of Your Journey
This is just the beginning. As you progressively begin to rely less on purely logical levels of thinking, and shift toward trusting your inner sense of what feels right, you’ll experience greater clarity and a deeper knowingness. From that knowingness, a driving desire is born to explore whatever it is that you’re being drawn toward.
As you follow the breadcrumbs of internal guidance, you’ll find yourself taking action and making different choices. You may start to revel in awe at how your perception and life experience is changing. The energy builds on that and we keep moving in this newfound seemingly directionless direction. But …
But Wait! Where Did Everyone Go?!?!
It’s often at this juncture that those new to the path encounter some emotional turbulence. This is a natural part of the integration process; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. As your strides turn into quantum leaps, it can become challenging for others in your life to hang on. As a result, there are a few common things that tend to show up…
Sometimes the people in your life will start to tease and poke fun at your new path. Their joking may seem light-hearted, yet to the new trailblazer it may stir up some confusion, sadness, or anger. I mean, “Why can’t they just be happy for me?” It may not mean they don’t want to be supportive of the newfangled you; it could mean that they don’t know how to be supportive. This is new territory for them as well.
Another common occurrence is the realization that the people we were previously associating with aren’t ready to make the leap, so they start to fall away. At first you may perceive this as being a negative experience. “I’m losing all my friends! What is happening here? I’m becoming a better person and now nobody gets me.” (sad face) This can create feelings of emptiness, which may lead to more solitude. It’s in this solitude that you lean more into that which is calling to you on a soul level, and you find some comfort there.
Here are a few tips for helping you to set your trajectory and maintain your momentum as if your life depends on it. Because it does.
5 Tips to Help You Through the Transition
Now go out there and shine. Really shine! I’m rooting for you.
reblogged from Chopra Centered LifeStyle
There are rich people who are miserable and poor people who are happy and there are people who are terminally ill who seem more alive than the healthiest person… So what is the secret to happiness when the things that we seek or seek to preserve don’t necessarily insure our happiness?
When it comes down to it, how we feel each moment-to-moment, is the greatest asset we have. It is the only thing we should use to measure our life and our work.
But quite often, I hear people say that they go hours and even days without knowing how they feel. They have so much to do that they are on autopilot for all or most of it.
Is this you?
Have you had enough?
I know that this last year pushed me to the point where I was not willing to settle for feeling badly and waiting to feel good.
I was no longer going to be with people that did not feel good to be with. I was no longer going take advise from people who were just pretending to “have it all,” and, I was no longer going to make choices that limited my sense of fulfillment or had me living someone else’s version of success.
And, it was the best thing I ever did.
So how about you? Are you ready?
The secret is that there is nothing in your way. It is so easy to find a circumstance that stands between you and your fulfillment but all you need to do is decide.
Decide that your happiness is the most important thing you will ever have and claim it. Decide that anything that is not your happiness should be discarded.
Let’s start a revolution! Let’s end suffering! Let’s be free.