Everyone wants to be loved and to love. After all, when in a partnership with another person, we have a chance to express love in exciting, deep, challenging and, yes, complicated ways. But where’s the handbook for ensuring that love and effort translate into a strong and harmonious relationship? There isn’t, obviously, such a thing—but there are some hard-earned points of wisdom on how to get there.
Understand the need to commit to the uncertainty of love. To experience deep love, we must enter into a commitment with ourselves, with one another, yes, but also to the energy of love. We must commit to the idea that the love we express is true, pure and without judgment and condition.
We must commit to entering into love fully. To walking straight into the murky depths of water, fully clothed, knowing that we will get wet, knowing that there will be consequences if we emerge, and trusting that whatever lies beneath the waters, we will be ok, and we can stay afloat.
Be prepared to dive in. When we become attracted to another, we look for this sense of wholeness, of finally finding the one. And the attraction and the lust we feel at the beginning of a relationship leads to us giving ourselves over fully. Diving into that water, fully clothed. Only to find out that the water was not what we expected. It is deep. There are stones. There isn’t a life raft. We realize after some time that no one is holding us up. After a while, even the other person can’t fully support our weight in the water. Then we scramble. Kick, paddle like crazy.
Some regain calm and tread water, understanding that, when diving into the partnership, we must still maintain our independent self-support. This is where relationships stay afloat. This is where we realize we already were whole.
For others, this realization doesn’t come, and the scrambling takes us right back out of the water, out of the relationship, and clinging to our wet, cold, bodies in fetal position. Cursing the other person who couldn’t hold us up in the water, and hoping that someone will come and save us and keep us warm. (And it is at this point we also may never realize that we had a dry, comforting towel packed in our bags all along).
All of this is to say that diving into love and relationship, we often aren’t prepared. Or we often find ourselves wondering what went wrong. We wonder why, once again, that knight in shining armor, or that perfect girl, turned out to be someone lacking. Someone that didn’t make us feel whole. We feel shattered, we are left on our own, and we just wish we could be that independent, confident individual we once were.
…but start with loving yourself. Once the excitement and flutter of new romance wear off, the cracks start to appear. as they most inevitably will. We realize we can’t rely on the other person to keep us afloat. The shininess dulls, and, if we haven’t done the self-work, we find ourselves falling back into the pattern of listening to our insecure and limiting beliefs we may still carry with us.
“I’m not ____ enough” is one such general blanket statement, one which we can all likely relate to in some way. If we continue to position the other person as the “savior”—the one who should make you feel a certain way about yourself—you will never feel saved. Sure, they will boost you up, compliment you and help you to feel more confident. But not in a deep and lasting way. Not in the way you could give yourself.
A partnership should be two souls meeting each other, and being a mirror for one another. The love, support, adoration, attraction and service that someone will provide you with can only be to the degree that you offer this love, support, and nurture to yourself. Because when you give this out to another (and you can only give what you have yourself) you are offering them a gift that is mirrored back to you. You are attracting the reciprocal.
Liberate yourself from the need to even have the other person, and in doing so, experience a love that will deepen. The appreciation of the other person deepens as you experience more flow and passion. You are not seeking something other than what is right in front of you. You recognize your power and creative ability to give this partnership all of yourself, while still knowing that, were you to end this relationship, you could still tread that water and stay afloat. And once you leave the water, you have that dry, warm towel waiting for you on the shore.
Cultivate the energy you want in yourself, and in your relationship. The energy you feel within, and consciously cultivate, will impact how you relate to yourself, and, in turn, guide how you relate to others. This is ultimately how you will experience flow in partnership, how you will go from separated to together.
It is not about finding perfection and harmonious flow at every moment in a relationship, or even with ourselves, for that matter. It’s about understanding that we have the choice to understand the energy of the relationship, and what is happening within us. This will bring far more connection, joy, flow and contentment than if we were seeking to get something or have someone be a certain way.
Energetic responsibility is remembering we are already whole, pure, and loved because we exist, and to give this to ourselves, not because the other person must give us that.
To optimize communication with yourself, and your partner, consider the energy you are putting forth by factoring in the below.
The tone of your voice: What are you saying with your sound, not only your words? Speak to yourself, and others, as you would to a delicate child or a precious person you may never see again.
Your own reaction, as well as the other person’s: What does their response say about how they perceived your meaning? What part of you is reacting to them? Your insecurity, or your divinity? If you notice a reaction that felt reflexive but untrue to what you wish to communicate, know that each moment you can adjust as you need, and choose another response.
The tension in your body: Body language is a big part of communication. The other person, whether they know it or not, will sense and feel tightness or unease. Consciously soften your breath, belly and face muscles.
Other meanings: What are you saying underneath your words? Do you mean what you say, or are there hints of resentment, anger, sadness, etc.?
The more you take responsibility in all of your interactions with another, the more you feel as if you are easefully floating. That your relationship will not drown in all the things expected but not voiced, or misunderstood and regretfully said.
Make space for the partnership in yourself. What is currently in your inner personal space that may be holding you back from entering fully? What do you need to clear, let go of, heal?
To get to this answer, consider your past relationships. Note what hurt you, what insecurities you had. You may not know the answers yet, but filling in the blanks to the following statements can help:
- I felt scared when…
- I was sad when…
- I got jealous when…
- It made me feel small when…
These statements bring to light some of the baggage and beliefs that we unknowingly may still carry around long after a relationship. For those who do not have a past relationship to draw from, you can still answer these questions from general interactions you have.
Once you have your answers, notice what themes are underpinning your statements. Perhaps you answered, “I got jealous when other women talked to my partner.” Then question the statement’s truth and value for you. If you decide that actually, you know your partner will need to be talking to women in his day-to-day, then it would be nice if you could let go of this jealousy. You have to make that a conscious choice, however, that it is something you wish to clear.
So how to let go? Consider why you are feeling this way. You may see that your answer is something like, “because I feel insecure about how much he cares for me.” Basically, this line of going deeper with each question will uncover some of your limiting beliefs and the themes that come up. Beliefs that we continue to take into partnership with us that can underpin our own stability, self-worth, and ability to accept love. It is these beliefs that we must work with, on our own (even if already in partnership) to clear some space for more contentment, passion, and trust in our relationships.
Mirror Work: 21 Days to Heal Your Life by Louise Hay works great here, providing the affirmations to counter these beliefs. For the first example we did, the affirmation could be, “I am cared for and loved. I care deeply for myself, and love who I am.” This breeds a sense of self-acceptance and self-love.
All that is within us guides our interactions with others. We give more love, and we are able to receive more love.
Now physically make space for the partnership. A healthy partnership is not just about how you—and only you—interacts in a relationship. It is also about the other person, and how they interact in the relationship, how they are showing up for you. If you find yourself in a relationship where you feel it is a challenge to connect or be heard, there is a chance that this is not a space that you can deepen into the way that you wish. For growth to happen, both people need to be open to the growth and the changes that will take place.
It won’t always enough to be energetically responsible and clear of limiting beliefs for your relationships to flourish. It’s true that, from your own work, your partner may sense this change, and roll with the shift by mirroring your own. Though it is equally true that you may deepen into a space where you know you can accept more love, respect and care, and your current partner is no longer able to rise to this. This will require you to let go of relationships that don’t serve you. It is as if you are walking towards that which you know you deserve and are ready for (future partnerships), and walking away from that which has served its purpose.
And for seeking to be in a relationship, stop seeking. You can have a sense of openness and readiness for partnership. You can look around and see the people coming into your life, the attractions and the interests. But coming from a place of SEEKING this, and actively searching with the intention of finding “that” person already places upon this person and relationship unrealistic standards and expectations. It warps the truth of what partnership is: Two wholes coming together as one unified being.
What happens when we seek is that we are being pulled by the belief that another person will make us whole. That is not the case. It may feel that way at the beginning, but remember, no one else can keep you afloat after so long. You will need to tread water from your own sense of strength, wholeness and capability. Knowing that you already have these things, you won’t try to fill any void. There is no void to fill, only a life as your playground, and an intimate partner to perhaps meet whenever that may be.
Above all, as you dive into deeper partnership, or clear your space to welcome a relationship in the future, have fun. Enjoy. Savor the embraces and interactions as if divinity itself were wrapping its arms around you and nourishing your whole self. Because it truly is.
Want to read more? Try Divine Partnership: Living a life of love, commitment and energetic interconnectedness by Nicholas C. Cemetery. M.D, or any book by Alison Armstrong, all of which offer practical tips and tricks for understanding relationship dynamics.
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