This year has been all about relationships for me. Searching for ways to connect more, to deepen the bond, to really cement what we have. Identifying areas in which I want us to work on, sometimes driven by the fear of what would happen a few years down the line if we didn’t fix this now. You might know already that I recently got married and it was one of the most amazing and eye-opening experiences of my life. What you might not know is that marriage was not on my list of things-to-do in life, but rather on the list of scary things that more often than not will fall apart. It took a lot of internal work, courage and huge trust in my relationship to make this leap of faith. And I’m glad I did.
Focusing all your energy on your relationship and planning a wedding makes you want to foresee the future so you can plan for disasters. It touches those insecurities about who you are and who you should be, and if you do not have those golden answers (who does?), you are bound to end up questioning what the hell you are doing. Knowing you want to spend your life with someone now does not make you immune to the fear of the unknown, the knowledge that relationships are hard work and the undeniable certainty that nothing is permanent.
Are you afraid that the future will ruin your relationship?
Are you so happy now that you so desperately try to find the secret to keeping that happiness alive forever?
Do you find yourself looking for the magic answer, realising that you are forgetting to live in the now?
– I am.
My wonderfully patient man will tell you how every few days I come up with another brilliant idea of what we can do to make sure we stay as happy as we are today. Another plan, another exercise, another conversation. He will smile lovingly and agree to give it a go – most of the time. And some of those times we will stick to our new plan, we will test my theory and end up having an evening of connection, accessing a new level of knowledge of each other and earning bonus relationship points. Other times, depending on the clarity of my intentions, the evening ends in disappointment, where I silently long for more, but fail to ask for it, while he frantically and hopelessly searches my face for hints to help him solve the impossible mystery of what-the-f-did-I-do-wrong-this-time.
What all these games not so cleverly disguise is the need for deep, conscious connections and understanding for each other. A need to be seen and to be held in a safe space. What these evenings have in common is that we are there, together, working as a team, working for us. There is no opponent – apart from fear – that we need to fight against. We are learning from each other and about each other and the goal is to make this process valid and essential. Holding each other’s hand, and making it not only acceptable, but also desirable (and sexy) to be ourselves, to be imperfect, to be a beginner in this journey. My fear is taking things for granted and as such, being taken for granted. Taking something for granted to me means that you become unaware of its importance in your life, that you stop paying attention and eventually stop rooting for it. Taking something for granted is the opposite of gratitude, of presence, of consciousness and awareness. It seems like it is also the opposite of love.
So consider this a friendly nudge or a gentle loving kick.
Up your game. Be present. Play. Experiment. Think outside the box.
And then do it all over again.
In your relationship with your partner, your friends, your family, but most importantly, in your relationship with yourself.
++ What are your thoughts on relationships? Have you identified what’s the scary stuff that is holding you back? Do you find that you take things for granted?
image credit: Marysia Klosinska
Have you read Part II on conscious relationships? It includes tips on how to be more present and balanced in your relationship while being yourself!