Do we ever really start over, after a fight with our partner, after a break-up, after getting our feelings hurt?
We think we do, but how much of that last incident and all other incidents that have happened to us in our relationships (mommy, daddy, authority figures, past loves) are we carrying around with us? Is there ever a true reset, where we give ourselves cleanly and openly to the next person who comes into our lives?
We want to, but most of us don’t see how much of the disempowering parts of our past that we are “gifting” to the next boss, the next romantic partner. We relate to ourselves as formerly hurt, as the victim, and unconsciously look for someone to heal us, to “complete” us. Like the line in Jerry Maguire, the idea of another completing us can be romantic, it can feel euphoric, like the right person will take all our hurt away, but this is not the case.
Our natural state is on guard, leery of the next person to resemble the threats of our past and we are looking out for anything that carries even a whiff of resemblance. Eventually, we will find what we are looking for. From then forward, our relationship partner is moving closer and closer to threat status. This can take so much life out of our relationships, so much time and energy and when we fill the space of our relationships with fear based energy, love seems to get scarce.
We’re normally reacting to this pattern in our partners, so they’re reacting o the pattern in us, and on and on.
OK, enough of the gloom and doom, because in actuality this blog post is about getting more out of and freely contributing more to our relationships than ever before. At the last circle, I asked what the experience of our relationships would be if we didn’t have to be on our guard any more, if we were living beyond our former threats to love, relationship and our feelings. The response was that we would feel like a child. Bingo!
Beyond our past hurts lies our freedom, our chance at providing unconditional love, our life beyond feeling like we need to have such a heightened concern for our own emotional well-being. In other words, freedom, and resiliency without even trying. If someone gave you this gift, if this is who your partner was being with you, what would that bring to the relationship?
This is my suggestion,that you be the gift, that you take responsibility for learning how to live beyond your past hurts. Once you give this gift, you will be training your partner, your boss to let go of their own, over time, and a spaciousness, where joy, love, camaraderie, partnership and intimacy can truly grow. This is the true source material for starting over.
And as I know people love to sit in the “how” department of Target, I’ll put a few items on the shelves.
This is my favorite article on understanding the physiology of our own reactions in relationships. I’ve shared it with everyone I know: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/me-first-we-first/201203/how-threat-emotions-cause-us-misread-our-partner-4
Second, practice acknowledging all of your reactions. Get in the habit of knowing when they are happening and get out of the habit of making them right. By all means, get out of the way of oncoming buses, but when you notice an emotion when your mother’s number flashes on your caller ID, just admire the reaction, acknowledge the powerful body sensations and the thoughts that race through your mind and start practicing dis-identification with the reaction. These thoughts ARE HAPPENING, these feelings ARE PRESENT, and they are not YOU. Over time, you won’t take your own reactions so seriously and personally. It will cease to be his or her fault for making you feel a certain way. The engine is inside of YOU, you created how it feels right now and you can also allow it to pass. When it does, you’ll have more of your heart, intellect, compassion and love available for yourself and everyone else.
Next, try just walking away. Sometimes our reactions are so strong, we just can’t help but say or do some pretty ill-advised things. I learned this one from my mother. When I was a kid, my mom would get upset at some of the frustrating things I would do and she just took herself away until she could give me the version of her that she really wanted for our relationship. This was a gift because she explained it and took responsibility. She said she was doing that for me, not because of me.
Another suggestion is completion work. Completion is a process you undertake with ontological coaches who are specially trained for the work. The goal of completion is to leave the client with no energy that disempowers him/her in an area of life. It’s a process because completion is basically infinite. As we take our completion deeper and deeper, more of the essence of who we are comes out and our fears and automatic ways of being (fight, withdraw, injure, avoid, looking for sympathy and agreement as an unconscious need, etc.) start to disappear. We can handle life more powerfully.
Feel free to contact me about completion work and any other questions you have as you live and learn in your relationships.