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How to Avoid Struggle in Your Relationship

Heart-shaped cactusLast year we went to a talk by Anne Lamott. The venue holds a couple of thousand people and the place was filled to the rafters. Anne gave a wonderful talk filled with personal revelations, sharing of her journey and lots of great humor, often pointed at herself. Her talk reminded us of a similar one with Elizabeth Gilbert when she appeared in Santa Barbara while her book “Eat Pray Love” was skyrocketing. Writers like these are able to reach deep within themselves for understanding and also turn that into words that resonate with people.

Their revelations started us wondering about the strength of their attraction.

A story is usually a journey of some sort. The hero’s progress and the sharing of the struggles, and often pain and suffering along the way is something that many people can relate to directly. The same tale is often applied to relationships. People have been conditioned to think that conflict is inevitable and that challenges and struggles are necessary and unavoidable.

We write our blogs and books from the direct experience of our relationship, and struggling and suffering have not been our path. This could be seen as a handicap because we didn’t start in turmoil and then hike through many brambles before arriving at our present state of happiness. Unlike books, films and the authors above, we do not have an arduous story to tell. Instead of describing all the towns we traveled through, we can only offer the city in which we live.

That is not to say that other people’s travails are not real; what we share is another way. We share the details of this because we firmly believe that a way of peace and joy is open to all who wish to embark down a different road.

There is some pushback to the idea that instead of pain and suffering, people can find peace and joy. The common experience of struggling has been given strong value and importance. When things of lightness and joy are shared, they are often met with suspicion and disbelief. This is in many ways understandable, as we all have to deal with many hurts and disappointments in our lives as we come to grow and move forward. And yet there is another way.

It is not a path or a process, although it is usually preceded by these. Instead, it is a leap into a fully different reality. It is transformation.

Open your minds and your hearts to another way. We are living proof that it is possible to love without hardship and difficulty. You do not always have to struggle and work in order for your relationship to be full of calm, ease, and at the same time, juicy passion. – How Two: Have a Successful Relationship

The route, of course, will be different for each person, but here’s what every journey has in common: transformation. Change. There are two ways this comes about. One is incremental, like learning to ride a bike, and the other is instantaneous, the way a crossword puzzle answer suddenly appears. One moment you’re clueless and the next, it’s obvious.

Ideas of acceptance, individuality and presence are ways in which to see the world, and can be owned in an instant. It doesn’t happen just by hearing or reading about it, but at some point, a transformation can take place in the same way we can suddenly see a second perspective in an optical illusion.

When transformation occurs it is often so total that we do not even realize everything has changed until reflecting backward sometime later. With us, our way of relating with each other was so different from our previous relationships that it took us quite a long time to realize that we had experienced a life-altering transformation in relating and in being. By the time we noticed it, the change had become a way of life! Try it and you will be amazed. Jump in full with both feet. Take a leap and reap untold rewards.

Photo credit: Maude Mayes

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Local Indie Authors Reading

Betsy J. Green and Tony Baker will be speaking at Chaucer’s Bookstore on Wed., Nov. 20, 7 p.m, about their books: "Way Back When: Santa Barbara in 1919" and "Hot Rodding in Santa Barbara County."

Successful Relationship Reading Corner

BookshelfIn this week's blog, we stated that you do not always have to struggle in your relationship. Open your minds and your hearts to another way and transform it into one full of calm, peace and joy. You can create a life without hardship and difficulty. Here are some articles to help you.

Conscious Relationships: A Path for Growth and Personal Transformation "A conscious relationship comprises a path for growth and personal transformation that is seen by some as a spiritual calling. The partners in a conscious relationship are committed to the radical practice of love. They are not trying to extract love, approval or security from their partner, but instead seek to behave lovingly toward each other. In conscious relationships, each partner is committed to their own growth and to the growth of their partner over and above maintaining the relationship, per se."

Use Positive Psychology to Transform Your Relationship in Four Steps "Everlasting love can be more than just something you see in Disney movies - if you master four habits from the field of positive psychology. That’s according to a husband and wife team who’ve spent the last decade researching positive psychology and working on a book trying to distil the secrets to relationship success into bite-size rules. “Promoting a healthy (rather than an obsessive) passion, cultivating and prioritising positive emotions, taking time to mindfully savour experiences together, and seeking out strengths in one another.”"

How to Transform Your Love Life Starting Today "Oftentimes, I get asked the following question: What’s one thing someone can do right now to change their dating and love life? A simple question for what is often thought of as a complicated subject. But the truth is, moving your love life forward doesn’t have to be as difficult and daunting as people make it out to be."


Spreading peace one relationship at a time
Phil and Maude
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