AUTHENTIC PARTNERSHIPS

 BUILDING LIFE-ENHANCING & JOYFUL

RELATIONSHIPS


As human beings we are driven to form connections with others, the bonds we make enabling us to experience security, support and love.  As we look around though, relationships appear to be increasingly breaking down, and as a society we feel less connected to each other than ever before.  

Thankfully, we are begining to see positive changes, with inequality being challenged in all its forms, and respect for one another being recognised as a nessessity for healthy relationships.  Between adults and children in particular, we are moving on from a time where control was exerted with power and punishment. 

With the emergence of these mutually respectful relationships we are encouraged to live more consciously and intelligently, with all the personal responsibility that brings.  Rather than blaming our past experience or unconsciously learned negative patterns, we are begining to gain personal power by taking responsibility for our actions towards each other.  We are also discovering the skills and techniques that make those behaviour changes possible.

In the search for connection people are reporting a desire to move away from mind games and denial and to experience relationships with honest, understanding, open and effective communication.  When we commit to building emotionally intelligent and conscious relationships we naturally move away from dysfunctional and painful relationships, and move towards a deeply respectful connection that feeds our authentic self.

 

WHAT IS A SPIRITUAL OR AUTHENTIC PARTNERSHIP?

Spiritual or Authentic partnerships involve the coming together of equals for the purpose of personal growth.  The partnership provides a safe and secure environment for each person to explore and heal aspects of the self that produce destructive life patterns.  Spiritual in this context has no religious connotations but rather refers to emotional awareness and growth of the spirit, so that a person may live free of the behavioural patterns that have a negative impact on their lives.  A spiritual partnership can be formed between any individuals including friends, couples and family members.  Based on connection, trust, a deep respect and commitment to self-authenticity and freedom, these relationships are naturally healing.  The essential factor in initiating and continuing on this path is the commitment by both parties to use the dynamics of their relationship to heal themselves, rather than to try to change each other.

 

Once a commitment has been made we can use our interactions to increase our personal growth.  By bringing our unconscious patterns into awareness we can begin to make profound changes.  Our negative behavioural patterns often lead to unpleasant challenges, arguments, pain and upset.  Next time you find yourself in an argument you have had a hundred times, or you find yourself getting extremely upset or angry with your loved one, stop and consider your intention behind the interaction.  Gary Zukov talks of how we create our present reality through our intentions, whereby negative intentions result in a negative reality and positive intentions result in a positive reality.   By making responsible choices about our intentions, we can reduce the negative and unconscious patterns that drive us and find positivity, connection and freedom with our loved ones. 

 

Next time you speak to your spiritual partner become aware of your intention, are you using words to hurt or soothe?  If you are using words to hurt, lash out or put someone down, you will cause upset, and the consequence or creation of that intention will result in their negative reaction to you.  This is where karma exists with force and with an immediate impact of mutual negative energy within your relationship.  If you are constantly sniping and arguing, look at your intentions behind each insult you throw, and consider how you would change those words if your intention was to initiate change and create a more peaceful and loving environment.  This does not mean giving in, in a respectful relationship boundaries and consequences are essential, but we can learn the skills to do this in a successful and respectful way.

 

 

CHARACTERISTICS OF A SPIRITUAL PARTNERSHIP

 

  • Equality – neither dominates or controls the other.
  • Each respects the right of each other to be fully themselves.
  • Acceptance of self and partner as a unique and valuable individual.
  • Each respects their own and their partners own identity, beliefs, opinions and capabilities, particularly when disagreements occur.
  • Confidence, self-esteem, personal growth, success and the pursuit of happiness is encouraged for each partner.
  • Each has a genuine like and respect for the other.
  • Both partners know and respect themselves and their own needs enough to ask for what they want from the other and from the relationship.
  • Each partner takes equal responsibility for maintaining and enhancing the relationship.
  • Each takes the time to really listen and understand the other.
  • Each enjoys spending time separately as well as together.


 IDENTIFYING FEAR & CREATING RESPECT

Consider your present relationships, do the following emotionally charged areas cause problems for you?

 

Anger

Jealousy

Vengefulness

A need to please

A belief that you are superior or inferior to others

A need to control others

A belief that you are unworthy

A need to be perfect

 

These emotions, behaviours, thoughts and beliefs are often based in fear, and if we can identify where this occurs, we can begin a journey in core transformation.  We can move from being driven and controlled by our fears, to being able to choose how we act and react from a basis of knowing and love.

 

To find the core fear behind the above elements ask yourself what is behind each of them.  Does your anger mask pain, which in turn masks fear?  With a need for perfection perhaps you are afraid not to live up to your own or others expectations, in case you are rejected?  Do you swing between feeling superior by bringing others down, and inferior because you see others as better than you?  Are you afraid that you are not good enough just being you? 

 

We all fear being rejected and hurt on some level.  A common core fear is of being intrinsically flawed, with a sense that if people knew how you truly were they would not accept you.  For those who have based their self-valuation on their work or academic studies, a frequent fear is that they may be ‘found out’ and that when people discover who they truly are they will see only vulnerability and inadequacy.  This fear is alive and well in those in all positions, from CEO’s and Professors to students and those in work experience. 

 

Using our understanding of the connection between behaviour and underlying fear we can also take responsibility for our responses or reactions to others emotions, such as anger.  A common scenario when we experience a partner being angry is to respond with criticism and to be judgemental.  If we can understand that they are actually afraid, then we can respond with understanding and support for the underlying fear, and the anger will cease.  For example, if a partner becomes jealous and angry because you have been talking with your ex-partner, they may fear loosing you and being rejected.  If you respond here by criticising them for not trusting you or tell them they are over-reacting, you are responding to the anger, if instead you respond to the underlying fear, you might reassure them that you love them and will remain loyal to them.  I am talking here about infrequent bursts of non-violent anger.  If a partner is physically or emotionally violent, frequently angry, or has a consistently blaming attitude towards you, then outside assistance needs to be sought.

 

COUPLES

We are often attracted to those who will provide us with the largest opportunity for healing and personal growth, and consequently relationships are often challenging.  When two people come together there is often a desire to change the other person, but true healing and opportunity for fulfilling connections comes only when we become aware that we are only ever in control of making internal changes to ourselves.  This aspect is often confusing and a frequent question is, ‘what do I do though if my partner is disrespectful to me and does not want to make a change?’  Here the purpose of a spiritual partnership is not for you to ‘put up’ with disrespectful behaviour.  Rather it is for you to gain the personal power from taking control of your own personal growth, and if needs be to exit relationships that have a negative impact on you.  If you have chosen this life-enhancing path then the success of any long-term connection depends crucially on the commitment of both parties. 

 

Many couples also come together in the hope that they will complete each other in some way.  This desire often results in a co-dependent relationship with each person either being excessively needy of the other, or desperately needing to be needed.  The development of essential skills and qualities that support long-term adult happiness and personal growth are severely neglected in this type of partnership, whilst a need to control the other in some way, hinders personal freedom.  For long-term relationship health it is of crucial importance that each person develops their own sense of self-worth and confidence, so that they may feel whole in their own right.

 

PARENTS AND CHILDREN

Spiritual partnerships can be extremely beneficial for both parent and child, as the opportunity for healing is immense. The more a parent is healed through taking responsibility for their own actions and reactions towards their child, the more emotionally healthy the child will become.  Clearly there are different boundaries  between parent and child than for couples or friends, and between young and adult child, and parent, but with a focus on deep respect these can be navigated easily and safely.  The clear danger here is if a parent places responsibility onto the child or expects a child to deal with an adult burden.  If you are unsure of where your boundaries do or should healthily lie, it is recommended that you seek out some guidance and assistance from someone who has experience of creating spiritual partnerships in their own lives, before beginning this journey.

 

ADVICE TO HEED

Taking responsibility for our own actions and reactions can be a minefield.  A number of publications continue to write about how we are responsible for creating our reality including any painful experiences we have.  The interpretation of this approach can though lead to great misunderstandings, particularly within the areas discussed below:

 

WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR HOW WE FEEL

This does not mean that people can’t hurt us or lead us to feel pain, sadness or anger etc.  The statement relates to the knowledge that we can become more in control of how we feel, and can change our negative emotions if we choose to and have the appropriate skills.  It does NOT mean that you need to become the sole person with responsibility in a relationship, or that you ‘should’ be able to control your emotions regardless of how you are treated.  In regard to creating your reality, if someone is constantly causing you pain, then you create your reality by accepting the way you are treated and staying with the person or, choosing to make changes or leave the situation.  Another area in which we can take responsibility for our feelings is where we spend a great deal of time mind-reading our partners instead of clarifying what they mean and say.  If we constantly assume that our partner is being uncaring and acting with negative intentions towards us then we might feel hurt and respond defensively and angrily with no true cause.  Another area is if we believe that our feelings must always be put first, and therefore experience our loved ones as a source of constant disappointment or hurt, in this area we can consider our assumptions, expectations of others and our reasonableness.  If you find this area familiar and frequently feel like a martyr, then you might be creating your reality, you can in this instance choose to make changes by setting down respectful boundaries for yourself and others.

 

YOU CREATE YOUR REALITY AND HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE IT

You can indeed change your own reality, but for the most part there are other people involved in your reality, and none of us has the right to control others, or the power to change others without their consent.  If you and your loved ones are constantly arguing, being critical and hurtful or life seems to be more of a struggle when you are together than when you are apart, it is important to look at how the reality is collectively created.  You can play a part in making changes, but all relationships require the intent of all parties to make significant and lasting change.  If you take sole responsibility and continue to be the only person making changes then you are acting to create a different reality for yourself and those around you.  If the people around you though do not wish to change their reality (not everyone wants to make changes) then you can only be responsible for setting your own boundaries, about how you expect to be treated for example, and you also have the choice to leave the situation.

All rights reserved - © SASHA PHILLIPS - 2008. 

 

 

If you would like to build joyful, life-enhancing relationships, Sasha offers a number of solutions:


To attend our seminar and workshop on Spiritual Partnerships, contact us HERE.

 

To book a private session with Sasha for individual, family or couples guidance, please contact us HERE