“The purpose of a relationship is not to have another who might complete you, but to have another with whom you might share your completeness.” -Neale Donald Walsch
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it takes to create a healthy, loving, conscious relationship because of my marriage to Michael. It’s been over a year since we were married and prior to that, I was single for many, many years. As a single woman, I continued to pursue personal growth. And, those times were filled with enormous learning and “opportunities” for growth. I think you know what I mean. Yes, I have my tongue in my cheek.
In this new phase of my life, I am using the tools I have learned (thank goodness) as well as continuing to grow and learn and, it seems, this growth is coming with a even deeper understanding of myself. I feel it’s because of my having someone that in my life that is also practicing conscious loving.
So, what is conscious loving? I would like to share some of what I’ve found as principles underlying this important practice. Some of these are from Kathlyn and Gay Hendricks’ work and others are just a compilation of many others teachings that I have heard over the years or learned from my own experience as a Psychologist and as a seeker of personal growth.
1. Commitment- Make a commitment to your partner that you’re willing to go beyond all your ego-defenses to full unity.
2. Drop the defensiveness – When we can learn from each interaction rather than becoming defensive, the relationship thrives. Deal with your disagreements positively.
3. Honesty- No hidden feelings, withheld truths or agendas.
4. Agreements – Keep your agreements but also speak your agreements. We have so many unspoken agreements that don’t serve the relationship.
5. Be Accountable – This means “don’t blame” but take full responsibility for your part in any challenge or disagreement.
6. Emotional self-reliance – Don’t rely on someone else for constant validation or approval.
7. Appreciation – Be in gratitude for your partner and share it directly with them.
8. Acceptance – Accept one another as is and don’t try to make someone into who we think they should be.
9. Communication – Practice constant communication and share your thoughts and needs with your partner.
10. Listen – Listen openingly — without judgement and without thinking about what you’re going to say next. Just listen.
11. Personal Growth- Continue to seek your own personal growth and support the growth of your partner.
12. Love – Love with your whole heart and look for new ways to love your partner more every day.
I’m sure you have your own thoughts and ideas about what makes a conscious relationship and I’d love to hear them. How can you bring more consciousness and love into your relationship whether it be romantic or not? I’m eager to hear back from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.