After discussing how often people share that they wish they could figure out how to get some kind of Relationship 101 training in life, we left last week’s blog post with me saying this:
“Next week I’m going to give you the jumping off point. Spend this week considering what your ‘growing edge’ is and what it would take for you to make this year a year of unbelievable change and growth in the way you interact with every single person in your life.”
So. Did you do it?
If you looked at the quality of all of your relationships, beginning with yourself, how do they fare? What do you believe is truly your “growing edge?” If you committed to making powerful change in the way that you navigate relationships as a whole, can you imagine how different your life would be 6 months from now? A year? What is that worth to you, considering our connections with others make up the majority of our happiness or contribute to the largest amount of our pain?
I’ll give you a little secret, as someone who has Coached clients in every kind of love scenario imaginable, Ok? The first step is always – always! – coming home to yourself. This is important, so listen up:
Is your growing edge figuring out, once and for all, whether you have enough good to build on in the relationship or whether there are too many problems for it to last?
Is it learning how to not get derailed over and over by those hurtful, dumb arguments?
Do you know that you definitely would like to share your life with someone now, but don’t trust that you wouldn’t just attract the same nonsense?
Are you finding yourself engaging emotionally with someone and fantasizing about an affair (even though you say you’d never act on it) because the two of you feel almost like roommates now?
No matter what a client brings to me in the arena of dating, love, intimacy, sex, marriage or divorce, the issues that are causing the confusion and heartache stem from not having a solid sense of who they are, what they deeply desire and the bravery and resilience to step forward in an empowered way and claim it.
Let me explain so you can play with this yourself this week:
If you take your focus off of your current partner or your “fantasy” date and put it squarely on you, then you get to answer two life changing questions, “Who am I?” and “What do I truly want?”
Stop right there. Sound easy? The majority of my clients come back to me a week later with a frustrated tone and almost blank journal entry. Why? Because it’s damn challenging to answer those two questions. It takes guts to listen to those inner stirrings and boldness to say out loud that this is what makes me, me!
When you’ve taken this deep dive into these questions, then look at what the “rub” is. What is in conflict with what you’ve just flushed out about yourself? Let’s say you wrote, “I’m a free spirit and want to enjoy people, life, activities and travel regularly in my life!” And what if the challenge is being in a relationship where you are with a person who likes routine, to stay home and is getting less and less interested in an engaging, dynamic connection?
Now, where’s your “growing edge?” (not, should I stay or should I go...)
Your “growing edge” will be different from someone else’s and this, of course, is the beauty of Coaching. To have a partner help you flush this out makes the process so much simpler and more impactful. It might be that learning to make requests with an open heart, genuine kindness and sharing fears of where the relationship seems to be going in a vulnerable way is the place of growth. Maybe it’s determining what “free spirit” really represents to you and how willing you are to actually get out into the world yourself, or whether it’s just an identity you like to hold on to. There are so many ways that we can begin deepening, strengthening and expanding our intimate connections by making a commitment to do our OWN work, first.
After these questions comes a hard look at your personal foundation, or “honor code” and how closely you are living in alignment with one. The truth is, most people have not really thought about this and while much of their day is spent showing up fairly well with others, they also fall into reactive, unhealthy behaviors themselves that keep the dysfunction in place and the drama intensified. If you’ve read “Love, Sex & The Spiritual Path”, then you know how important it is to continue to look for areas of emotional immaturity and to “grow these areas up” before you try and make important relationship decisions.
If you begin here with any relationship challenge, whether it be with a close friend or intimate partner, you’ll notice something important. That heavy, hopeless feeling you were carrying around will begin lifting quite quickly. Getting into integrity yourself, bravely taking action steps toward your own growth and focusing on adding to more loving, conscious interactions immediately unleashes energy into your life. Concerns take a back seat to the exciting newness being created. Power struggles are seen for what they are and it’s easier to choose kindness and personal standards over winning.
And guess what? Things you used to drive yourself crazy over, suddenly become clearer.
I personally like this kind of empowerment and the ease that goes along with it.
Want to play?