By Spring Berriman |
I was once asked, “Where have you been all this time?”. My response was, “Busy becoming the person I am to then bring you into my life”. This friendship has now blossomed into one of the most joyous conscious relationships I have.
Through my eyes this is what a conscious relationship looks like:
The relationship itself becomes a focus. It is respected, nurtured, and cherished. Each partner makes a conscious commitment to meet the needs of the relationship itself. This goes beyond the individual needs of each of the partners. The commitment is to co-create understanding, connection, compassion, and whatever type of love or intimacy both partners want.
The Other Person
A conscious relationship is a two-way street. What is important to know is that you can be on a path that takes you toward conscious living, but you can’t drag anyone else along with you. A journey of self-growth and development is something we choose for ourselves. To have a conscious relationship with someone requires an agreement, spoken or unspoken, to co-create your conscious relationship, together.
Conscious relationships are uncommon enough that few people have been in or witnessed one. That means that too few people have had them before. This could be their first attempt. And perhaps your first as well. Here’s a few pointers to get you started:
- Listen and be aware of your judgments;
- Allow pain without an attempt to fix it;
- Communicate regularly;
- Acknowledge you are still a mystery to yourself;
- Don’t argue to wound, guilt or shame;
- Commit to continual growth of the relationship and yourself (allow for alone time and space for each other to grow);
- Accept that life can be messy;
- Allow time to work through issues and challenges, and
- Be open to feedback, both giving and receiving.
Break Down Negative Automatic Reactions
We all have negative automatic reactions. Do you know what yours are? Are you comfortable enough to let the other person know? Be sure to allow space for them to gently let you know when you are reactive. Try to get aware of when you are being reactive. Calm yourself. Don’t let old thought patterns take control.
Let Go of Old Expectations
Stop working at being perfect and start knowing you already are. No relationship is perfect but it can be perfect for you. Don’t waste energy trying to create self-improvement projects for your partner. That’s their path. Stay on yours and meet your partner where they are.
Try Developing Non-Romantic Conscious Relationships First
Start with a close friend. Develop some new, deeply meaningful connections with others. Your sincerity and authenticity will help you forge these new connections more easily than you think. A lot of people yearn for a kinder, healthier, joyful friendship, so there is a good possibility you will find someone who is looking, just like you are.
Be Okay With Less Than Ideal Results
The ideal results are a series of conscious relationships you develop quickly and easily, and of course, every person you encounter is conscious, just like you. But, realistically it’s not likely. Relationships end, but that doesn’t mean they fail. Sometimes an ending is just the next step. Don’t put too much stock in long-term. A friend you’ve known for under a year but feel completely connected to may be more valuable to you than that friend you have had for 15 years but don’t really know anything about.
Often the best relationships take minimal work to maintain, but there was some serious work put into getting you ready for those relationships in the first place. It’s a place where both parties consider themselves the lucky one, and everyone gets back more than they put in.
The synergy of co-creating a conscious relationship is why it is so desirable. It seems a bit like a miracle, because it is.
About The Beach Psychotherapy
Spring Berriman is a psychotherapist in Toronto, ON. Taking a holistic approach with clients, she encourages talk and experiential therapy.
Visit thebeachpsychotherapy.com today for more information or to schedule a FREE 50 minute consultation.