THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL
We chase them – we lose them – we fall for them – we sing about them – we cry about them – we cling on to them – and often when we’ve got them, we don’t appreciate them!
“Relationship” is a verb, not a noun. It is a doing word. We do relating. Conscious relationship is a team game. As well as being an individual you are also required to become a team player. The rules change when you enter a relationship and most often there is no coach to instruct the players. We fumble around in our reactions and our projections and often all that is needed is intervention by someone who has perspective.
There are principles that underlie successful and nourishing relating: at home, at work and in the world. These can empower you to heal yourself and your ways of connecting with others and transform the quality of your life.
We are always in relationship, so let’s make it a magnificent and rewarding experience!
Relationships are not there to fulfill our egoic wants and desires, not to shield us from our deepest fears: they are there to help us unfold our inner magnificence and to become whole once again.
There is no subject at any school that I know of, or ever attended, that covers emotional intelligence. We learn the 3 r’s and come away uneducated in matters of the heart. No teacher taught me how to handle my anger when my best friend went off with my boyfriend after our matric dance; no class prepared me for the grief I was to feel when my father never came home and my mother cried every night for months.
S. A. N. E. RELATIONSHIPS
1. S = SAFETY
Safety is one of the paramount issues in a relationship. How often do we hear couples saying that they walk “on eggs” around each other because it is not safe to tell the truth.
When we hide things from each other and we stuff our truth and cannot speak it we go into all sorts of negative holding patterns to avoid conflict. We may lie to each other, or we may withold and go into sullen silence, or withdraw into other avenues of expression such as keeping ourselves too busy to relate, or falling into addictions such as alcohol or drugs, or have affairs or get absorbed in our cell phones.
Learn how to create a safe environment in your relationship where you never have to be afraid to tell your partner anything and can breathe deeply knowing that you are safe.
2. A = ANGER
When we are angry we mostly perceive that we have not been heard or seen or validated. Learning to ask to be seen, or heard or appreciated can unfold anger into deep conversations that lead to safety and intimacy. Anger uses up a lot of energy in a relationship that could be directed towards mutually supportive and creative common goals.
Learn how to manage anger in a constructive way.
3. N = NEGOTIATION
Negotiation is about win-win communication and not about “I win and you lose”. When one partner gives in through submission it is never a win-win situation, one becomes the victim and the other the perpetrator; one becomes the enemy and the other becomes the attacked. Negotiation takes a different form when we feel safe and know that we can speak our truth without anger.
Learn how to negotiate so that everyone wins.
4. E = EMPATHY
Empathy is the ability to stand in someone else’s shoes and feel how they are feeling from their point of view, without giving up my own personal truth. In this way I hold both my own truth and that of my partner. Empathy is a way forward to embrace another opinion that is different to ours and to learn and appreciate the differences. This leads to team work and mutual respect in a relationship and obliterates power over and control.
Learn to be empathic so that your relationships can become creative and open.
When we practice SANE RELATIONSHIPS we step into productive, creative relationships where we experience harmony and ease and can experience the full force of love at its most powerful.