Do You Want to Improve Your Relationships? Work on Yourself First!
MAUDE: As many of you know, we are offering a course on Transforming Your Relationships. We were recently contacted by someone who wanted to register, but wondered if it would be appropriate. She shared that she is single, although looking for a partner relationship. At first I shared that the information and tools we provide can be applied to all relationships and she would certainly find much that would be useful.
As I thought more about it, I realized there is another and perhaps more important point, which is that being able to transform the way you relate really comes down to working on yourself. No big surprise there, right?
Well, it turns out that although seemingly obvious, many people get caught up in looking at the other person they are relating to, and arguing and criticizing the differences they find between themselves and the other.
To move out of this pattern and move forward in bringing harmony and peace to your relationships, one of the most important factors is getting to know and feel comfortable with yourself. You want to be as authentic and revealing as possible in your relationships, while at the same time honoring and respecting the other person. In order to do that, you need to have a sense of trust and safety.
This becomes easier as you find and get to know your inner self and become safe and secure within.
Do you want to improve your relationships? Work on yourself first! #relationships #quote #blog Click To TweetThe more you see your own attitudes and behaviors, the freer you become from actions and thoughts that center around yourself. The less you are involved with yourself, the more open and accepting you can be of others. When swept up in your own busyness, it is easy to project your inner turmoil onto those you care about, and to assume that the unresolved things that are bothering you about yourself are actually coming from them.
This leads to assumptions and it often leaves little room to be present and actually experience what the other person is sharing, feeling, saying. The more you get truthful with yourself and the more you clear out your stumbling blocks to calm and peace, the freer you will be and the more present with what is.
As this personal journey unfolds, you will be more and more available to transform your relationships.
Phil also wrote about finding yourself, but from a completely different angle.
PHIL: We need each other to survive. Food, shelter, health, safety – we work together to provide all these and more. We have to get along with each other to make this happen. Not everybody does, like the airline passenger who “attempted to hug and kiss the passenger seated next to her; walked to the front of the aircraft to try to exit during flight; refused to return to her seat; and bit another passenger multiple times,” but most of us follow social norms. We are polite to each other, we dress to impress, we believe in property rights and respect personal boundaries. The giant machine of society runs on agreements like that.
But the persona we have each constructed so we can fit in with society can leave us feeling incomplete because we minimize or hide the emotional parts of ourselves like fear, anger, sexuality and love.
Society provides us with our material needs, but it’s people who fulfill our psychological need of connection.
The strength of that connection depends on how much we can share those emotional parts of our self, and maybe they’ve been pushed down so much that we can’t even let them surface. We may be scared of their destructive power. Don’t be. The journey through life is one of self-exploration, of finding how we have been shaped by family and society, and how much of that is constricting. This is not a call to be anti-social. Our feelings are not paramount; they co-exist with our head, and we can use the golden rule to ensure our actions are not harmful.
The more you find yourself, the less you are attached to your ego, and the more you can open to another person. You can trust other people (well, maybe not that passenger) because humans, deep down, are wired to support each other.
Trust in a person takes time to develop, but as you come to feel safer with them, you can open to them, share your full self, and experience the magic of connection.
Photo credit: Shawn Duex
Photo note: Zander Duex driving a backhoe
Read what some other writers have to say on this topic.
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