When we need a new way to relationship – conscious partnering.
I had no intention of consciously partnering. I didn’t know what it meant. I stumbled upon it on intuition alone.
Back then I didn’t know better and it felt like I was stumbling around in the dark, hitting my head against a wall here and stubbing my toe there. I made mistakes aplenty and I most certainly exhausted myself emotionally and physically. But out of my trial and error way of living and learning, emerged something healthier; me and the way I relationship.
I read a quote that said; “don’t get into an intimate relationship until you’re emotionally mature to handle it.” Well for many of us it’s a bit too late to say that. We’re here in the midst of a relationship with somebody we chose and it isn’t as rosy as we imagined. There are kids involved and when we get down to it, honestly, we don’t want out we just want it to be better.
We started on the premise of something better, we had a good connection when we met, but somewhere along the way something changed. Neither has a clue where, and even if we think we know, well, are both willing to accept responsibility?
This is pretty much where conscious partnering comes in.
A conscious partnership is two people in a relationship, who have made a decision to stay together and both work towards having a healthy relationship where they help each other grow, heal and become the best versions of themselves. Conscious partners are focused not only their individual growth but also on their growth as a couple; how they can grow closer and connect more.
If you think you’re on your own and your partner is not going to come along for the ride, it’s my belief that we can decide as an individual to start. While conscious partnering is both individuals already being very conscious in their choices, actions and decisions, sometimes in already established relationships that isn’t the case. One partner can see that things need to change while the other is in denial that anything needs changing or their defences are so strong that they can’t accept what’s wrong.
It’s our imagination that’s responsible for love, not the other person. – Esther Perel –
What are you working towards?
In conscious partnerships, there is less focus on how the relationship is going to end and more on what to do to maintain connection and growth. A deep trust that the path they’re on is for their best.
Relationships aren’t easy on the best of days, but in conscious partnering, both partners not only accept this but take responsibility to work through difficulties, whether that means disagreeing, time alone or talking through things.
Conscious partners are aware of themselves, their triggers, their emotions, and are mostly able to satisfy their own basic needs and desires. However they also recognise that the other partner equally has needs and desires and they learn to value this equally. Their relationship is intentional and encourages the healing of childhood wounds.
Why is this necessary?
For most of us, we came into relationships with an unconscious expectation of who our partners really were. It’s completely innocent. We do this mostly because of our childhood and our past experiences which shape the way we perceive others. It’s also these perceptions which shape the way we experience the world around us and ultimately drive the way we relationship.
As much as we believe that we consciously chose our partners, there is usually more at play. Some unconsciously see their partners as saviours, the heroic knight come to rescue them and provide safety, and some see them as financial rescuers, looking for a false sense of security. The same can be said for our partners.
Ultimately we are looking for what we either got from our childhood, so that we may relive the only relationships we truly recognise or what we didn’t get from our childhood, with an unrealistic expectation of what’s to come.
Whatever the case is, we’re in a relationship with somebody who we recognise as a partner and ultimately what’s going to be best is to be happy and comfortable and looking positively towards the future.
Where to from here?
I am sure that you will agree that we have no control over our partners. We may have influence but that’s about as far as it goes. And that’s the way it should be.
Who we do have control over is ourselves and the first step is to understand that we are responsible for our own choices. We do this by focussing on our own self development.
It may be surprising to note that the more we truly understand ourself, the easier it is to understand others. When we are able to recognise our emotions, our triggers, our self judgement, we can more easily identify it in others. Equally, when we are able to offer ourselves more self compassion, we are able to offer the same to others. And not in a way that depletes us emotionally.
These are the steps we take as individuals choosing to consciously partner. To understand ourselves better and to understand our partners better. By doing this we aim to create a foundation of safety; to be seen, heard and understood.
Creating a foundation of safety may look like;
- I will learn to understand myself better, my unconscious wounding, triggers and my relationship with my feelings
- I will do the same for you
- I will learn to communicate better
- I will learn to see the best in myself
- I will do the same for you, and remind you of it when you forget
- I will express gratitude
- I will be kind to myself and to you
- I will include you in decisions, ask your advice and share my thoughts
- You will be the first person I share my good news with
- I will be consistent, even when it feels like you’re pushing me away
- I will always listen, even though I may not agree
- I will accept responsibility if you felt hurt by my words or actions even if that was not my intention
- I will be more vulnerable and share my deepest thoughts, fears, sadness, resentments and joy
Relationships are an energy exchange between people. If we, as individuals, take responsibility, are authentic and consistent, we can cause a ripple effect that shifts the energy of our environment. Think of dropping a stone in a pond and watching the effects of that one intentional act.
Relationships are hard work. I’m not sure if anybody ever said it was easy. But as much as it is about the both of us, relationships are ultimately two individuals who get stuck in the roles they think they were supposed to play. Ultimately who we automatically become in a relationship is different to who we would be if we consciously chose.
It’s time to choose.
*follow my instagram account @windfall.emotionalwellness for more steps to consciously live, partner and parent