Do you find yourself programmed to believe that relationships are meant to last forever? Are you in a romantic partnership following the vows of “Till death do us part”? What happens when one or both individuals have a change in personal values, sexual needs, or desires over a period of time?
Do we honor our initial promises to each other, putting 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 better support each other?
I believe that “relationship” is one of the highest forms of spiritual practice. Now, consider how many relationships you have at this point in your life. You have a relationship with your family, friends, employers, lovers, and yourself. In every relationship you learn to give and take … you find your growth advantage.
Your growth advantage is where you explore all the most intricate parts of your being and have the opportunity to learn the most extraordinary things about yourself.
What an amazing journey in life and love!
In our hearts we long for connection. We want to share life and ourselves with someone or with others. We seek our soul mates with whom to share emotional and physical intimacy. Perhaps you have a relationship like this in which communication thrives and each touch ignites a pulse of passion. You share life alternating conversations, moments of absurd nonsense, the purpose of your life is fed and both of you feel like kings in the castle of your relationship.
Although relationships are not impervious to change, each connection is an exquisite gem that deserves devotion and honor. Change doesn’t make relationships (or the people involved) bad. It is also not an excuse to run away or hide your love in fear.
Death and life are cyclical. You, my friend, change daily. It is essential that you continue to cultivate your connection with yourself so that you are aware of these changes.
Within relationships with others (even the best relationships), one can lose sight of these changes. I want to share with you a great love story. It is not your typical fairy tale of a knight on a white horse, but it does involve magic, passion, and unconditional love.
Four years ago I met a beautiful man. Our first hug was one in which our bodies disappeared and our spirits rose through multidimensional realms …
I decided to attend a community meeting and came alone; I love hanging out with myself and having the freedom to explore on my own and people watch. It wasn’t until I left the event that we shared this hug in the middle of the front door. Traffic was blocked for a few moments as our spirits united through this connection. The words that came out once we let go were: “Thank you !!!” With a wide smile full of heart. Later I would discover that he had been staring at me all night, wondering who I was.
This was the beginning of an extraordinary spiritual adventure of love, passion, magic, touching connection and getting to know myself and myself more than ever. They put me on high levels of compassion, clear communication, spirituality, sex (OMG YES! Wild sex with abandon!) And the peace and caring of a soft and gentle heart.
Before this relationship journey, my great job and service to the world was being a transformational seminar leader, entrepreneur, mindful relationship speaker, and teaching. Loving what I did was my main solo partner, of course, alongside the relationship I had cultivated with myself. This divine union with my new love would eventually and happily become the same as my relationship with my work, which was a new experience in my world. The Love in which this relationship was maintained was exquisite; I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to swim in your ocean!
This ocean had its flow, it changed the tides, and believe me when I say it had its edges! That is the beauty of the life force of the relationship. Our souls are bonding and teaching each other for a brief moment in time. I believe that when love is such a vast ocean to explore with another in the relationship paradigm, it is our duty to swim with our eyes wide open to the growth opportunities that arise. Old insecurities and stories surface only to be recognized, loved, and healed.
Another beautiful aspect of this relationship was that we had the presence and the awareness to recognize the change and the truth. This is not always an easy experience, especially in such beautiful love stories and connections. In early 2016, we recognized changes in our needs and questioned what our individual truth was at the time.
You may have 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. Guilt and shame kick in. Attempts to communicate fail and a breakup occurs. I remember those relationships in my youth. I was so caught up in my emotional upheaval with no skills to know how to handle them.
Now, I know that when this change of season begins, it is the perfect time to dive deeper into the relationship as a spiritual practice. When both parties reach emotional maturity, they take charge of their own emotional states. A high level of communication skills and tools is required to work on a challenging and cutting edge discussion. Creating a secure 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 awareness of how much you love each other and have changed so much that you want the best for each other. Sometimes the best means changing the relationship style you are currently sharing.
This is called Conscious Transition or Decoupling.
I am not here to say that this is an easy process. It is quite the opposite, and it can be the most challenging path compared to a typical separation. A multitude of emotions will erupt. They want to be recognized, expressed and loved in transformation. If we as humans ultimately want love and connection, I am here to invite you to stop fighting and learn to cultivate a new relationship empowered with the pain and pleasure of those emotions. In the long run, it will be the most satisfying and liberating path because we are honoring the truths of others.
The relationship itself is a profound life force found in its own sovereign space. You and your partner are also individual life forces that are whole and complete. Together you have given birth to a unique trio (if I may call it that). This is important to remember because the waves of emotion will be intense but must be honored.
My own conscious transition with this beloved man with whom I have shared life for four years was incredibly difficult. I had days where all I felt was anger and then there were days of pain and sadness that softened me allowing the anger to be released from 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 when I wanted to hate him, really hate him, but I knew this was my sadness arguing with the reality of our circumstance.
It was important to feel the hatred and to own it because what was real was that we loved each other more than ever.
The only difference was that our truth had changed. Seeing these emotions for what they were gave us the power and choice to support each other and our relationship and create a game plan to move forward. We speak of conscious transition as a way of getting closer to each other, a way of breaking out of old conditioned forms of separation.
My partner and I had an incredible support system that included a dear friend and advice to mediate our transition journey. We held a ceremony to share sacred. We made love for the closure. We set intentions, stepping stones to the future that would allow us to maintain an extraordinary friendship, a soul family, and have play dates that just looked different. We both show ourselves compassionately during the grieving period and seek the support and advice of a loving tribe.
What I have found in the traditional vows of “Till death do us part” are unions that were no longer fulfilled when nature was ready to change its season. I remember my grandparents sleeping in separate beds throughout my youth. They were happy? One would not know because things like that were not talked about. Were they together because religion or society bound them to that debilitating arrangement?
What would life and relationships be like if we put those debilitating agreements aside? What if love and relationships never died, but expressed themselves continuously changed like the seasons, like nature?
Life gives way to death, death creates space for life.
The conscious relationship transition begins by continually asking ourselves what our current truth is.
What are your current values, needs, wants, and feelings? What are your partners? Is one of you moving faster towards a dedicated partnership and the other just moving slower than you? Where are your needs and values aligned and where are they not?
If relationships are unconsciously maintained for more than one season, they can become dysfunctional and contain resentment, arguments, and pain.
Today I bow in honor of the life force that I call “Relationship.” To the experience of loving and being loved so deeply to continue discovering myself in extraordinary ways. I bow to my beloved partner who shares this journey of relating to me and graciously rides the currents of change with so much presence and commitment.
Thank you for presenting yourself in such a great way. I invite you to take the next step in cultivating that rich relationship with your body, mind and spirit. Today, ask yourself where you have clung to an old relationship story, freaked out by change, and suffocated doing so. Today, take a small step to do things differently.