Do you find yourself programmed to believe relationships are meant to last forever? Are you in a romantic partnership following the “Till death do us part” vows? What happens when one or both individuals have a shift in values, sexual needs, or personal desires over a period of time?
Do we honor our initial promises to each other, pushing our needs aside, losing ourselves in an effort to hold onto that relationship as we know it? Or do we acknowledge these changes, lay the cards on the table and talk about how we can best support each other?
I believe, “relationship” is one of the highest forms of spiritual practice. Now, consider how many relationships you have at this time in your life. You have a relationship with your family members, friends, employers, lovers, and yourself. In each relationship you learn to give and receive… you find your growth edge.
Your growth edge is where you explore all the most intricate pieces of your being, and have an opportunity to learn the most extraordinary things about yourself.
What an incredible journey in life and love!
In our hearts we long for connection. We want to share life and ourselves with someone or others. We look for our soul mates to share emotional and physical intimacy with. Perhaps you have a relationship(s) like this where communication thrives and every touch ignites a pulse of passion. You share life alternating conversations, moments of absurd silliness, your life purpose is fueled and you both feel like royalty in your relationship castle.
Although relationships are not impervious to change, each connection is an exquisite gem that deserves devotion and honor. Change does not make relationships (or the individuals involved) bad. Nor is it an excuse to run away or hide your love in fear.
Death and life are cyclical. You, my friend change on a daily basis. It is essential to continue to cultivate your connection to yourself so that you are aware of these changes.
Within relationships with others (even best of relationships), one may lose sight of these changes. I want to share a great love story with you. It’s not your typical knight on a white horse fairytale but it does involve magic, passion, and unconditional love.
Four years ago I met a beautiful man. Our first embrace was one where our bodies disappeared and our spirits soared through multi-dimensional realms…
I decided to attend a community gathering, and arrived solo – I love going out with myself and having freedom to explore on my own and people watch. It was not until I was leaving the event that we shared this embrace in the middle of the entry doorway. Traffic was blocked for a few moments as our spirits united through this connection. The words that came through once we released each other were, “why, thank you!!!” With a wide, heart filled smile. I would later discover he had been eyeing me throughout the night, wondering who I was.
This was the beginning of an extraordinary spiritual venture of love, passion, magic, soulful connection, and a getting to know each other and myself more than I had ever before. I was met on high levels of compassion, clear communication, spirituality, sex (OMG,YES! sex wild with abandon!) and the peace and care of a soft gentle heart.
Prior to this relationship journey my great work and service in the world was being a transformational seminar leader, entrepreneur, speaker on mindful relating, and teaching. Loving what I did was my solo primary partner, of course next to the relationship I had cultivated with myself. This divine union with my new love would eventually and joyfully become equal to my relationship with my work, which was a new experience in my world. The Love that this relationship was held in was exquisite; I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to swim in its ocean!
This ocean had its flow, changing tides, and trust me when I say it had its edges! That is the beauty of the relationship life force. Our souls are uniting and teaching each other for a brief moment in time. I do believe, when love is an ocean so vast to explore with another in the relationship paradigm, it is our duty to swim with eyes wide open to the growth opportunities that arise. Old insecurities and stories rise to the surface only to be acknowledged, loved and healed.
Another beautiful aspect of this relationship was that we had the presence and awareness to recognize change and truth. This is not always an easy experience, especially in such beautiful love stories and connections. Earlier in 2016, we acknowledged changes in our needs and questioned what our individual truth was at that time.
Perhaps you’ve experienced the following scenario in your own relationships or witnessed it in others. One partner does or says something that hurts the other. Anger and resentment come to the surface. Blame and shame are set in motion. Attempts to communicate fail and a break up ensues. I remember such relationships in my younger years. I was so caught up in my emotional upheaval without skills to know how to handle them.
Now, I know when this change of season begins, it is the perfect time to dive deeper into relationship as a spiritual practice. When both parties are emotionally mature, they take ownership for their own emotional states. A high level of communication skills and tools are required to work through challenging, edgy discussion. Creating a safe container to do so is the key.
There is a big difference in choosing to break up because things are scary or challenging and having an empowered realization of how much you love one another and have changed so much that you want the best for each other. Sometimes the best, means shifting the style of relationship you are currently sharing in.
This is called Conscious Transitioning or Uncoupling.
I am not here to say this is an easy process. It is quite the contrary, and may be the more challenging path compared to a typical separation. A multitude of emotions will erupt. They want to be acknowledged, expressed and loved into transformation. If we as humans ultimately want love and connection I am here to invite you to put down the fight and learn to cultivate a new empowered relationship with the pain and the pleasure of those emotions. In the long run it will be the most fulfilling and liberating path because we are honoring each other’s truths.
Relationship itself is a profound life force that stands in its own sovereign space. You and your partner are also individual life forces that are whole and complete. Together you have birthed a unique threesome (if I may call it so). This is important to remember because the waves of emotions will be intense but they must be honored.
My own conscious transition with this beloved man whom I have shared life with for four years, was incredibly difficult. I had days where all I felt was anger and then there were days of grief and sadness which softened me allowing anger to let go of its tight grip. These emotions are not negative or bad; they are our teachers. However, they can become harmful when we project them onto our relationship and partner.
There were times I wanted to hate him, really hate him, yet I knew this was my sadness arguing with the reality of our circumstance.
There was an importance to feeling the hate and owning it because what was real was that we loved each other more than ever.
The only difference was that our truth had shifted. Seeing these emotions for what they were gave us the power and choice to lean into each other and our relationship and create a game plan to move forward. We spoke of conscious transitioning as a way to become closer to each other, a way to break the old the old conditioned ways of separation.
My partner and I had an amazing support system including a dear friend, and counsel for mediating our transition journey. We held a ceremony for sacred sharing. We made love for closure. We set intentions, stepping stones for the future that would allow us to maintain an extraordinary friendship, soul family, and have playdates that simply looked different. We both showed up with compassion during the mourning period and sought out support from a loving tribe and counsel.
What I’ve found in the traditional “Till death do us part” vows are unions that are no longer fulfilling when nature was ready to change its season. I recall my grandparents sleeping in separate beds during the entire period of my younger years. Were they happy? One would not know because things like that were not spoken of. Were they together because religion or society bonded them to that disempowering agreement?
What would life and relationships look like if we let go of those disempowering agreements? What if love and relationships never died but rather they were expressed continuously changed like the seasons, like nature.
Life gives way to death, death creates space for life.
Conscious Relationship Transitioning begins by continually asking ourselves what our current truth is.
What are your values, your present day needs, desires and feelings? What are your partners? Is one of you moving faster toward a devoted partnership and the other simply moving slower than you? Where are your needs and values in alignment, and where are they not?
If relationships are unconsciously maintained longer than a season is due, they may become dysfunctional and contain resentment, arguments, and pain.
Today I bow in honor of the life force I call “Relationship”. To the experience of loving and being loved so profoundly so that I may continue to discover myself in extraordinary ways. I bow to my beloved partner who shares this journey of relating with me and who gracefully rides the currents of change with such presence and commitment.
Thank you for showing up in such a big way for yourself. I invite you to take the next step into cultivating that rich relationship with your body, mind and spirit. Today, ask yourself where you have held onto an old relationship story, scared of change and have suffocated yourself by doing so. Today, take one baby step toward doing things differently.