January 8 - Being in Relationship Differently




Now that you have noticed how you automatically react to old historical fears, it is time to design a conscious way of being in your relationship. What would you like your relationship to look like? What is a realistic dream that you could have and work towards achieving? What are steps you could take to make this possible?

I hear individuals complain almost daily that they are the only ones doing the work in their relationships. They think that they are making this huge effort to improve themselves, but that their partners are little more than slugs! Interestingly enough, however, often each partner simultaneously claims to be the one doing the work!

Perspective definitely alters one’s perception immensely!

Resignation can also alter our perception...at the first sign of the return of old behavior of our partner, we are often tempted to say, “Oh, he’ll never change” or “It doesn’t matter; she’ll never appreciate what I do.” Even with ourselves, we can be quite brutal. I have heard many of my clients say, “I’ll never be able to do this right, so it just isn’t worth the effort.”

It is important during these times of development to remember that part of learning a new behavior is returning occasionally to the old. It is to be expected, to be investigated, to become part of our future wisdom.

There is much to learn within our mistakes. How can you let your partner and yourself know that it is not only okay to be a beginner, but because of the courage it takes to learn a new distinction, your efforts are profoundly respected?

Our perception seems to become crystal clear when we realize that what we are seeing in our partners is really a call from within ourselves. It is like the wisdom inside of us is suggesting that we take a closer look at how we might be doing the very same thing that we think our partners are doing… only perhaps in a slightly different way. Our partners in relationship are but a mirror through which we can see ourselves from the outside-in instead of the inside-out.

For example, I used to think that those with whom I was in relationship (parents, friends, spouse, children, bosses, just to name a few!) were not listening very attentively to me. They often seemed (to me) to be doing all of the talking and none of the listening. Many times I would find myself sitting there wondering why they were not very interested in what I had to say while they were actually trying to share something important with me.

Well, given I was thinking about this while they were each talking, I obviously could not have been listening to any of them very attentively in those moments, could I?

So, if we really want to change the way we are being in a relationship, let’s concentrate on becoming more aware of our own behavior than on complaining about someone else’s behavior. Let’s focus on becoming all that we can be. Please dream big! You need to have something exciting and wonderful to keep in mind as you embark on this journey.

Remember, you can practice in your mind before you are called into active duty. See yourself now being your best self eventually. Get comfortable in these new clothes. Break them in. Make them your own.

Be who you always wanted to be. Even more importantly, be who you want your partner to be! Don’t let anyone else’s current limitations or need to practice new distinctions determine how you are going to express yourself in this world. Journal your anger and your fears out on the paper...then express your love and appreciation into all of your relationships. Soon you too will experience the thrill of being in relationships differently.

How would the relationship of your dreams look if you were living it today? How would you look in your dream? Can you begin to feel yourself being the “you” that you have always longed to be, the you that has always been? Will you make today the day you begin bringing yourself out in the open, no longer finding the need to hide? Will you invite yourself and your heart into your relationship, perhaps for the very first time in a very long time?

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