When my first husband, and I started having some challenges in our marriage, a friend referred us to a well-known psychologist for counseling. After we stopped seeing Margie as a couple, I continued to work with her on my own. One of the most important things I learned was that in order to create a loving relationship, I had to learn how to take complete responsibility for my own feelings and behavior. Only then could I create a safe space for my partner to share his feelings with me, because he wouldn’t have to worry about me taking everything he said personally.
I learned a lot about how to create healthy relationships and grew enormously as a person. Most importantly, that I didn’t have to give up ‘me’ to be loved.
So how do you go about creating a love that works, without giving up yourself?
Here are some guidelines I learned from Margie:
- Learn how to be present. If you’re staying present, you’ll be aware of how you’re feeling in the moment. You won’t be jumping ahead, prejudging what your partner is saying, and worrying about how you might feel. As soon as our thoughts or emotions start distracting us from the present, we stop listening and instead get caught up in what we’re going to say as soon as our partner finishes talking.
If you can learn how to breathe deeply into your feelings (no shallow breathing or hyperventilating allowed!), relax, stay present, and just listen, you’ll create a safe space for both you and your partner to share. Instead of reacting, you’ll be in the moment, listening.
- Learn how to take loving care of yourself. We all get so busy. Sometimes taking care of ourselves gets shuffled down to the bottom of the list. If you’re continually running on empty and not doing what it takes to keep yourself emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually healthy, it will be impossible for you to have anything left to give your partner.
Loving relationships take time and energy. If there are other areas of your life screaming for attention, you’ll start resenting your partner. You’ll be so stressed out and anxiety-ridden that you’ll constantly be on edge because you’ve stretched yourself too thin. I’ve learned this lesson only too well after being a single parent for fourteen years. We have to take care of ourselves first, and then everyone else, if we’re ever going to create healthy relationships.
Take a good look at where you want to spend your time and energy. It’s easy to live by default, letting all kinds of things drain our energy and steal our time. But if a loving relationship is important to you, you need to take time for yourself so you have energy left to give to your partner.
- Love yourself. Only then can you share that love with anyone else. You can’t give away what you don’t have. If you fill yourself with love, that love will come flowing out of you to everyone in your life. When we’re not filled up with our own love, we start to look towards our partner to fill the void in our lives. This not only creates unhealthy dependence on our partner for our happiness, but undo pressure, which he will start to resent. Start giving yourself what you want to receive from others. Then you’ll feel the joy of ‘the more love you give, the more love you have to give away.’
- Learn how to deal with the painful, emotional experiences of your life. Gary Zukav, one of my greatest teachers, said, “Painful emotional experiences reveal to you, again and again, all that prevents you from creating the life of harmony, cooperation, sharing, and reverence for Life that you long to create, so that you can be rid of those painful experiences at last.”
There is no greater hindrance to attracting and creating a loving relationship in your life than unresolved painful emotions and experiences. If you’re carrying around feelings of blame, victimhood, anger, fear, or resentment, you are not going to be able to create a loving relationship. By taking full responsibility for your feelings and behavior, then taking the steps necessary to heal and recover from those painful emotions, you will give yourself and your partner the gift of moving forward in love.
I wish for you the greatest gift of all… love, for yourself, for your partner, and for your life.
About the Author:
Dawn Allen, M.S, C.D.C, C.P.T.F., is a Certified Law of Attraction Coach and founder of Inspired Heart Coaching. Dawn helps single, savvy, successful entrepreneurs to attract the love of their life, and create a deep and magical loving relationship by releasing patterns from the past. She expertly helps you in identifying blind spots of resistance, eliminating self-sabotaging behaviors, and learning new ways to respond to situations.
To learn more about Dawn, visit her website at www.InspiredHeartCoaching.com and receive her Free Life Assessment when you subscribe to her Ezine. For more information or to schedule a session, contact her office at 541.608.0508 or email Dawn@InspiredHeartCoaching.com .