Many times we can place our happiness outside of ourselves; onto other people and situations. We forget that our happiness rests within us, as we lose sight of how to nourish and nurture ourselves. When we place our happiness on our partner then cracks very quickly appear in a relationship.
We all have responsibility for our own choices, decisions, actions and reactions, as do our partners. Their choices may not balance with us and we may have difficulty accepting what they do at times, but they have as much right to make their own choices as we do.
If we place the responsibility of our happiness on them, then the weight will cause cracks.
By stepping back a little and nourishing and nurturing ourselves, we feed our own fountain of happiness, regardless of what is happening outside of ourselves.
Your relationship is in a different place and you both have joint responsibility to nourish and nurture that.
“Stand together, yet not to near together: for the pillars of the temple stand apart and the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.” Khalil Gibran
You are initially attracted to someone because they are a free thinker, artistic, creative, athletic and a myriad of other things. It’s all exciting in the beginning and then you start to get to know each other better and the very things that first attracted you can become a source of friction. Any time devoted to interests and passions is seen as time away from being a couple who are growing together.
We all know it’s healthy to have separate interests and passions, because they lift and light us up. The actual rub comes from not spending time apart, but from what happens when you are together.
When someone complains to their partner that their passions or interests are taking up too much time, what they are actually saying is ‘Am I important to you?’, ‘Do I matter enough for you to make time for me?”Your (interests or passions) are more important to you than me’.
This is more than likely to be perceived as criticism and an attack on what is important to the partner on the receiving end of the ‘talk’.
Both of you get defensive and ‘dig in’ and probably spend more time doing what you do, as well as now feeling resentful and mis-understood. The thinking being ‘I’ll spend more time doing (passions or interests) because they make me feel better’. ‘How can ‘they’ not want me to spend time doing what is important to me, what lights me up?’
It’s a destructive cycle which feeds itself.
The unheard cry underneath all this is ‘Please make me feel important to you.’
If you can make your partner feel important to you, then they will naturally become your champion who actively encourages you to do all the things that light you up, simply because you have lit them up first.
Stories, we all have them: the stories we believe about ourselves, about others and about the situations we face. Everyone has a perspective and it’s rooted in the stories they hold dear. These stories are wrapped around us like a security blanket, which we draw in very tight when we feel threatened in any way.
It makes it so natural to take others’ words, actions and choices personally. You hear it so often ‘Why did they do that to me?’ and ‘How could they say that to me?’ The truth is that ‘they’ probably didn’t mean it personally and it was never their intention to hurt you. They are reacting and acting from the root of their stories, just as you are responding from the root of yours.
Imagine if the tension was lifted for a few moments and you could ‘see’ their stories and see things from their perspective? It would gift you a step back and space with a pause can be a marvellous thing. Humour can do that. If you can bring humour in and lift the tension for a moment, then you may both be able to see a different perspective, so you can both try and communicate what’s actually going on.
If you’re not in the same room at the time, then try telling yourself that it isn’t personal and probably not intentional either. That pause will hopefully give you a few moments to let your feelings find their balance, so you can think rationally.
Just lately I have found myself saying ‘I have no words’ in any given moment when I don’t want to react from my feelings (story) base. It just gifts that bit of time to find a balance.
What do you do when feelings are running high?
Calvin & Hobbes – daily comic strip by Bill Watterson
We are all unique, yet we can forget this when we first meet someone. We naturally look for someone who mirrors ourselves with likes, hobbies, life situations; anything that makes them feel a safe bet. You are both alike, so this is bound to work isn’t it?
Well maybe not, as safe bets are exactly that… safe. We learn and grow as we live our lives and if we attach to someone who is a ‘copy’ of ourselves, then this may not leave room for growth as we learn very little from each other.
Life foundations are a vital factor. How you treat those you love and care for, handle money, allow room for passions and dreams in your own life and others, handle differences in religion, faith and politics all point to your authenticity and how you flow in life. Similarity in life values are basic blocks in building a strong foundation.
Differences in hobbies, pastimes, passions, faith, politics and dreams are where you learn from each other and flow grace in giving someone the space to simply be themselves.
If we can honour ourselves and our authenticity, then we will naturally honour another’s authenticity.
How have you handled the differences between you? Do you find yourself naturally moving towards people with similarites to you?
There is so much pressure in our modern world as our senses are bombarded with images on how things ought to be. We naturally measure ourselves, and our lives, up against these pictures. Things have to be this, or that, and it feels like the only things that count are those which we can measure. I say feel, because anything we feel cannot be measured, which is leaving us torn. If it can’t be measured, does it have worth?
We are constantly striving for results, or certainties, and it’s no wonder everything feels so rushed.
This has been leaking into the loving areas of our lives as we try and live up to these impossible ideals. For example, online dating can play into this with countless images and profiles, so not only are you inundated with choice, but it leads you into making snap decisions. The flip side of this is that we can also develop a ‘sweet shop’ way of thinking. There is so much choice that no connection has time to develop so you get a real glimpse of the other person, as there is so much choice out there.
This can all be based in fear: of being hurt, of the past repeating, of time being wasted, of you feeling you are not good enough and just getting it wrong.
I have lost count of the times clients have asked after one conversation, or first meeting ‘Is he/she the ‘One’ Jane?’
There is a grace in giving things time and no time invested is a waste.
Do you feel pressured into ‘knowing’, or making decisions very early on? How have you found you get overwhelmed and don’t feel you have time to listen to your own intuition?