Do you know what’s not easy to admit? We and we alone are responsible for the quality of the experiences we have in this life. We are responsible for most, if not all of the suffering we endure seemingly at the hands of others which means we are responsible for our own happiness or unhappiness whichever the case may be. If we can admit and accept this single premise we will be far better off than if we continue to blame everyone and everything else.
The beginning, the middle and the end… over and over again.
Relationships are tough. Probably tougher than going over the edge of Naigra Falls in a barrel. You have to be a true daredevil of heart and spirit to take the plunge, am I right? How many times have we been reminded of this in our lifetime?
From the cradle to the grave we are forced into relationship with one another because, well, we humans can’t live without them even though it seems apparent we can’t live with them either.
If you dare yourself a moment of honest introspection I’m betting you’ll get a glimpse of your own patterns, I did. The problem is, it takes two people and hell of a lot of time and commitment to change deeply held beliefs about intimacy and love to undo our patterns.
The good news?
Relationships, especially romantic ones are one of our most potent and transformative teachers, if we can manage to stay in the classroom long enough to learn the lessons love is destined to teach us.
The bad news?
Relationships, especially intimate ones, they are our kryptonite when they go wrong. When relationships degrade to the point of failure we human beings can be a nasty lot. We will betray, bemoan, and belittle each other until there’s not much left of the one we first fell in love with and that’s just the first line of defense in the closing down of one’s heart.
When human relationships fail miserably they often entail all manner of uglinesses involving lawyers, restraining orders, courts and the coup de gras being the actual murder of one or the other in the ultimate irony called the crime of passion.
This past week I tried to push my relationship, lock, stock and barrel over the edge of the falls into the deep waters of the point of no return. I was ugly and closed off and frightened to death of everything and everyone. I even uttered the word divorce and you know what happened? She simply wouldn’t go there with me. She stood her ground and remained loving. My wife gave me love when I was acting in a way which was the least worthy of it but needed it the most and it broke something loose inside me.
Being loved when we don’t feel worthy of love is a deal maker. If I continue the pattern of rejecting love, well, suddenly I realized I would get exactly what I thought I deserved eventually — no love — and that’s a definite deal breaker.
To be honest, I’ve been on both sides of this equation and I know what it is like to give and give to another and to feel your efforts and love only drop into a bottomless pit of self loathing and despair. Your loved one never seems convinced they are actually loved and it’s exhausting.
Chances are you’ve been on both sides of this love denying equation too.
More good news
There is a way out. It’s simple but certainly not easily done which seems to be one hallmark of the most natural and effective solutions.
I knew the solution lay in my own heart which I’d steadily been locking down for the past few years. The first step to saving my relationship meant I had to find the courage to and value in opening my heart back up, wide open to love, my partner and my life. Everything I’d ever wanted was slipping through my fingers because I was trying to force fear out of the equation by sacrificing my heart’s love and wisdom and the beautiful love of those I cherished most.
This was an emotional awakening for me but one I desperately needed in order to break through the defenses I’d built around myself. You see, most of us can’t really decipher and separate our defensive patterns from reality the deeper we get in to them unless we are jarred by something significant. This ‘something’ is usually a deeply painful event like death or divorce but sometimes it can be one deeply loving and courageous act which was the case for me.
I realized two very important things.
One, I couldn’t expect my partner to keep banging on a closed and locked door for too much longer. Two, I had to be the one, in fact, I was the only one who could open the door to my heart again, no matter the risk or the price I would pay in pain. I would no longer be living the life of the living if I couldn’t commit to opening my heart to all of it, the full spectrum of emotion that comes with living.
Once I became willing and began asking Spirit to help me open my heart and see with compassion and understanding my view of my relationship and my dear partner immediately shifted from disconnection and fear to love.
I once wrote a piece about having enough confidence in our relationships and partners to be able to survive the occasional heated argument and I still believe this to be an important aspect of “relationshipping” but I’d also like to add that’s it’s vital that in the heat of these arguments at least one of you remain loving and grounded in reality. It will make all the difference, trust me, I know because that’s what my partner did for us this week.
Believe me when I tell you I’m just a traveller on this road just like you. I’m not an expert on relationships or human emotion but I am trying to remain teachable and open-hearted through it all despite having adopted a very poor strategy early on of closing my heart to the risks of living and loving. Wish me luck!
© S Lynn Knight, 2017