This week we are continuing our discussion on the differences between us and how we handle them, differences that have come up as a result of Phil’s recent illness. Handling larger differences is a stage of Our Process. You can find details of that process in our blogs and outlined in our latest book.
How do we measure what’s important to our partner and how does that affect what we do?
In the small day to day differences that come up, we often look at how much we are attached to our view, and if we’re not seriously invested, we are usually comfortable going with the needs expressed by the other. We don’t have that much attachment to the smaller things in life. It’s no trouble to let things go. Instead of compromise and resentment, this is non-attachment in action.
What do we do when the differences seem to be larger or more important to one of us? When it comes to larger questions, it is not possible to effortlessly let go. Here, we need to look at what the attachment is and why we hold onto it.
Reflecting on this – the examination of our innermost feelings and what is motivating us in our behavior – is an important part of finding and co-creating mutual solutions. We do this for our personal growth and to learn enough to share with each other what is really of true importance, meaning and value to us.
Small differences in a relationship are not worth holding on to #relationships #quote Click To TweetSo when a larger difference between you and your mate rears its head, look inside.
What are you attached to as a motivation for your reaction? This may be something you want to clear out. Use it to find out what is standing in the way of you being in the present and responding to what is actually happening, rather than something you are holding onto out of habit or stubbornness.
Do you find fear to be a strong motivator of your feelings and behavior in the situation? Do you want to hold onto reactions stemming from fear? Fear is what causes us to avoid certain situations, and it is pernicious because it is – well, scary. We don’t want to look at it, but when we don’t, it controls our behavior anyway. Additionally, fear is a very conservative emotion. It would rather you were scared and alive than curious and dead. Work on letting the fear reaction go. Bring it out, own it, make friends with it, tell it about love and adventure and explorations and novelty and variety and cream scones with plum jam. Acknowledge to yourself and your partner what you are discovering.
These feelings are not to be ignored, but rather used as growth points to free yourself of unwanted responses.
After working with yourself on what aspects of your responses are coming from places you do not wish to give energy to, what are you left with? Are there core values involved in your reaction; things that are meaningful to you and that you want to have included in your mutual solutions? Find ways to describe clearly to yourself and your partner what these things are. These are the things that need to be respected and honored by each other, they need to be heard, and you will want to incorporate them in your mutual solutions. By exploring ourselves in such a way, we can reach our true self, whether it exists in being or doing, and from that position, differences with our partner either become crystal clear or vanish like morning mist before the rising sun.
When you use differences to grow and learn from each other this brings you closer together and creates more intimacy. When you allow your disparities to come between you, you give them power over your relationship and you may be reinforcing things that you would really rather work on and remove.
All this is possible only when you know you are a team, that you are on the same side, and that you always want the best for each other. This is something worth reiterating to yourself every day, whether there is total harmony or some passing discord!