PHIL: Many years ago I visited a Southern Texas city with a friend for – oh, the reason doesn’t matter. We went to a museum in the afternoon to beat the heat and came out in the early evening. The air was hot but the low sun no longer radiated heat. We walked through a small urban park where the deep-cut stone-walled paths placed the lawns at chest height. I suddenly saw, back-lit by the setting sun, the silk threads from hundreds of baby spiders waving in the breeze and creating a delicate shimmer above the grass.
“Look at the spiders’ webs!” I exclaimed. My companion couldn’t see anything.
“No, look; see all those gossamer threads,” I repeated. Again she could not see them.
I insisted, and then suddenly she saw them, plain as day, waving in front of her eyes.
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I tell this story because Maude and I point to a different way of relating, one that has no conflict, and yet people can’t see it. They say “Oh, you two are just lucky” or “Surely you argue on occasion.” No, we don’t. It is a qualitatively different way of relating, and it surprised us as much as it might surprise you.
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There are a couple of prerequisites for it to be so.
- Your core values have to align. If not, unresolvable arguments lie beneath the surface, emerging twice a week or twice a year, each one energized by the failures of all the previous ones. I don’t want to name your core values for you; different people have different core values, as clearly illustrated by the intractable political divide in America, but you have them, even if you can’t articulate them.
- You have to be committed to the relationship. Take that how you will. As someone who has been accused of lack of commitment numerous times, I am an expert. Being committed is a bodily state much more than it is a mental intention. Without it, you have a constant sense that you are in the wrong place in life. If you’re comparing your partner to other people or imagining life without them, the following steps will be much harder.
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With those in place, the key aspects of a harmonious relationship are acceptance and individuality. We’ve written extensively about them elsewhere so I’ll just say that they involve fully accepting your partner in whatever they do and however they are. You can appreciate difference as variety not as a threat. To do this requires a certain level of self-knowledge – of awareness that you are not the events that happen to you. Fortunately, life, and especially your relationship, offer numerous opportunities for you to practice this.
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So Maude and I have this interesting problem. We have this wonderful, peaceful relationship. We’ve talked to other people who have the same knowledge and ability as us, and we know that it is potentially available to nearly everyone. BUT we have the spiders’ thread problem. How do we get people to see it, trust it and live it? We call this the belief and intention problem.
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We share our great relationship so you’ll know such a thing can exist #relationships #marriage Click To TweetMAUDE: Belief and intention is indeed the starting point to manifest the kind of togetherness that we are sharing.
When we describe our experiences, we do so for a reason, and it’s not to say that whatever you are struggling with, we don’t have that problem, nor is it just to wave our great relationship in your face!
We share our experiences so that you will know, if you don’t already, that it is possible to have such a relationship; so that you will know it really can and does exist. Once you know it exists, it is possible to have belief, and from belief to move into intention.
One of the primary things necessary to have this experience is to believe it is possible. An obstacle to this is the belief that conflict is inevitable within a relationship. This myth has become so insidiously inculcated in today’s culture that most people take it as a normal part of relating. In fact, many relationship experts extol the virtues of arguing and conflict, and praise all the good that will come of embracing and working through these problems.
“Nonsense!” we say to all of this. 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
Some excerpts from our blogs on belief:
With our process, we seek for mutual solutions. We are firm in our knowledge that we are on the same side. We always want the best for each other and know that our mate feels the same way. No desire, or projection of need, or fixed concept of what we want ever comes before this primary understanding. The Importance of Belief and Intention in Relationships Part I: Maude
Imagine that we know about a wonderful but obscure State Park. If you haven’t heard of its existence, you won’t go and visit it. But even when you do know about the park, you have to make the effort to get there. And so it is with relationships; even when you believe good ones exist, you have to intend to have one yourself, you have to want one, you have to change what is currently not working for you. It should go without saying that your partner needs to also hold a similar belief and intention. The Importance of Belief and Intention in Relationships Part II: Phil
We offer up our experience as a support to engender your belief in what’s possible and to encourage your intention to create it in your relationship.
We can all achieve our own versions of relationships that support and promote peace and love. We encourage you to find yours!