We are all longing for love. We may even be blessed enough to find ourselves in a loving relationship. However, even good relationships have problems. Does this mean the relationship is…
We are all longing for love. We may even be blessed enough to find ourselves in a loving relationship. However, even good relationships have problems. Does this mean the relationship is flawed or that it’s simply run into trouble? I believe that relationships are the best tools we have for personal and spiritual growth – and relationship difficulties are just an invitation to step up and move to a new, deeper level, within yourself and with your partner. So how can we do this?
Firstly it helps to realise that problems in relationships will naturally arise, no matter how good you think you’ve got it. Most of us spend most of our time avoiding feeling uncomfortable. In a relationship this often means that we stay within what’s known. When we reach the edge of our comfort zone is when conflicts arise. We usually interpret this as meaning that there are problems in the relationship, but in truth it’s a wonderful opportunity for growth – to state your boundaries more clearly, to be even more authentic about what you feel, or to show another side of yourself which you may have kept hidden.
THE REAL YOU
It can seem the easiest way to have a relationship is to show the parts we want the other to see and hide the messy bits. However inevitably, over time, these hidden parts of us show up in the relationship. This can often be a cause of anxiety and conflict. I have found the best way to deal with this is to share with your partner that this part of you has been activated and that it feels uncomfortable. When we hide a part of ourselves, it can make the other suspicious of what we’re not showing them. When we reveal ourselves, we just give them an opportunity to love another part of us. In showing these parts we grow more into ourselves.
It’s easy in arguments to blame the other, but I believe that we are always responsible for our own state of mind. This can be uncomfortable to acknowledge at first, but when you understand it, it is actually empowering. If our emotional state is so easily impacted by others we are at their mercy – a very dis-empowered place to be. By taking responsibility for our feelings we empower ourselves and grow into a stronger person. We all feel like a vulnerable child sometimes, and it can be hard to share how vulnerable we feel, so we deny it. However, only the adult in us can acknowledge this – because the child pretends to be a grown-up.
Whatever the difficulties we’re facing they are an invitation for deeper learning. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we should just put up with them, but it is an opportunity to develop – personally and also spiritually.
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