Conscious Loving Relationships
How do you define a conscious loving relationship? I see a conscious loving relationship as one where both parties are constantly reflecting, questioning and working to respond rather than react. It is a relationship that is built on the foundation of self-love first, to allow for creating and sharing that space with another. A relationship where both parties have done their work to heal their inner child and expand awareness around any insecurities they might have. In doing this, we become mindful of our thoughts while we are thinking them. This allows for greater awareness and choice in the moment, which helps avoid projections from past pain or insecurities. It is living in the light, while acknowledging the shadows but not camping out in them. The foundation for such a love starts with a deep knowing of your own inner worth and value, in how you see and feel about yourself. It is complete self-acceptance that allows for us to love without fear and embrace another without conditions, as we are first grounded and secure within ourselves.
Manipulation and control
Anytime we attempt to control another we perpetuate our own insecurities. The illusion is that if another would change we’d be happy, or we would feel safe. However, we never really have control, its always short term. In attempting to play this game, we end up placing our happiness and inner peace upon external conditions. The result is constant triggering and emotional distress, which perpetuates low self-worth. Low self-worth is often the cause of most relationship drama and to play the game of trying to please another is a trap of temporary gain and repetitive conflict. For it feeds the up and down cycles of conflict and distress. You cannot make another person happy if they are not first happy and accepting to themselves. Any attempt to do so, ends up enabling their behavior which continues to belittle their self-worth and insecurities. When we have self-love we love without control or conditions naturally. To get out of relationships that are manipulative, go within and make the inner changes first and then notice how the outer begins to reflect such.
The shame and blame game
Anytime we respond with phrases like “I’m so disappointed in you” or “I expected better” we end up projecting shame and guilt onto our partner. This often leads to resentment over time, and has potential to change the dynamics of the relationship from a partnership to a parent-child relationship. Shaming your partner is like shaming a child, which triggers the inner child leading to unconscious reactions. To add insult to injury, it cripples one’s self-worth. Shaming itself, stems from low self-worth and when projected onto another, it causes them to feel incomplete or less than. The one shaming then feels more superior as a measure to dominate the other, due to their own insecurities. The “projector” and the “projected” both suffer here as it impacts the self-worth on both parties involved. It’s one thing to have insecurities and notice them, but another thing entirely to project from those shadows. Remaining present and aware is key here.
Loving without conditions
If I love someone without a condition, I remain free. I am free to love without fear, concern, or loss. I question, “If we have fear, are we really loving in the first place?” If we love with conditions, we become limited as we can only expand so much before a condition becomes threatened. When a condition is threatened we get triggered as the ego freaks out from the ‘unknown’ as it attempts to control everything. As we become mindful of this we can shift our internal focus and change our mental patterns. When we love someone regardless of their choices or actions, we remain free – always. This does not mean to discard consequences, as they are often a part of having healthy boundaries. It’s all about remaining free to express yourself in every moment. In order to create this space with another we must FIRST create it within ourselves. Otherwise we have no foundation to build from. In this act of self-love we surpass all unconscious blocks, as our personal connection to the self is restored.
True independence is not based on fear. It contains within it an ability to be close to others, coupled with a choice to be free and autonomous.
– Gay Hendricks
Self-worth value check
Have you thought about how you see and value yourself? Do you fully and unconditionally accept (and appreciate) all aspects of you? If you wish to test this for yourself, write down all the things that you love and adore about you. Do you have a large list? If not, go deeper. Then review the list and cross off anything that is tied to external circumstances, people, or things. So for example, if you wrote down how much you love your job, kids, partner, cross those off the list. Or if you wrote down your house, car, or business, cross those off. What you should have left on your list should be genuine, appreciative aspects of you. As you reflect on this, acknowledge how you currently see yourself. If your list is empty, or you’re feeling a plethora of negative thoughts about you, then you know you have work to do. The beauty here is that anything can be changed. Begin to reflect and question your thoughts, for every negative thought you have, counter it with a positive thought of the opposite nature. Bring awareness around your inner dialogue and it will lead you to change. It’s like looking at the rarest diamond in the entire world, noticing how there is nothing like it, and seeing the value placed on that rare object. It becomes priceless. Now look at you as that unique and rare being, for you are the only person in this world that has your experiences and gifts. At the level you acknowledge and feel this, beyond the intellect, you’ll notice a deep awakening joy and peace from within.
Self-love and conditioning
Most of the time, our self-worth is based on how our parents treated us, which often results in faulty conditioning. For example, if we lacked connection with our parents, we become disconnected from ourselves and how we value ourselves suffers. We think that our parents didn’t love us because they were emotionally distant or tough-loving, so we forget how to love ourselves. If there was manipulation with love from our parents, such as “if you love me you’d do this”, then we associate love with conditions and use it to get what we want by attempting to manipulate (and control) others. All of this leads us further away from our true nature. We become so disconnected within, we measure all of our worth based upon external circumstances. Anytime these circumstances are threatened, we feel “less than” and get depressed. It becomes a vicious cycle, leading to addictions and dependencies upon external sources for validating our self-worth. When we go within we heal this inner void and become complete with the self.
Conscious love, self-love
Conscious love starts with first having unconditional love and appreciation for all aspects of the self. The minute we go within and embrace all that we are unconditionally, we become full and complete as we are. We begin to remember our true nature. This comes forth in layers, and requires daily effort only at first, as it becomes automatic as we go deeper into our realization and our mental habits shift. The subconscious mind simply replays its input and we control our input through our thoughts and feelings. As we develop our self-worth to a deep unconditional acceptance of the self, we become more appreciative, loving and present within. When we meet another that has done similar work, we experience the presence of love. We become mirrors of infinitely expanding presence, continually bouncing and building off each other. We express to another that which we are and when we have appreciation and acceptance within we naturally feel more grateful, open and loving towards another.
Without self-acceptance we can only express our inner turmoil and pain.
-Lilburn S. Barksdale
Until next time,