This week marks 2019’s designated day of Love- February 14th, Valentine’s Day. You could spend your time right now reading about the commerciality this brings and the hollowness or shallowness of this dedicated day to romance. Or you could be reading about how to sweep your lover off their feet and thrill them in sexual desire. Instead, I’d like to discuss a much broader topic that is central to a successful relationship……. how are YOU showing up in your significant partnership with lover, spouse or partner?
Who are you choosing to be?
There is no doubt there are challenges in all relationships. The key, I believe, is understanding where your responsibilities lie and who you are choosing to be in every moment. There is also an ambience to a relationship and what you bring to create, maintain and grow that ambience.
What do you put in?
There are a couple of really great metaphors I have been taught about successful relationships. The first is that a relationship is a container. It is as full as what you put into it. The kind of things you put into it determines it’s ambience.
For example, if all your energy is focused on your work, you put very little into the container. If all your focus is on the kids what are you putting into the relationship with your partner? It needs feeding. What are you feeding it with? You can hear more about that here:
What is the ambience of your relationship?
If you feed the container with abuse, control, cynicism, lies and indifference, what do you think the container is going to be like? Gestures of flowers, chocolates and a beautiful meal once a year is not going to do much to change the ambience of the over all relationship is it? Also, you are going to be able to take very little from the relationship that is positive and nourishing.
If love, respect, honesty, curiosity, interest, empowerment and support are regularly poured into the container, the ambience will be empowering and nurturing. Another gesture on February 14th is only going to reinforce what you already know to be true about the relationship, right? Valentine’s Day is just another part of your Valentine’s Life that consistently fuels a beautiful relationship. You will be able to draw positive and nourishing from the relationship whenever wanted or needed.
What you bring to the relationship creates that ambience. Once a year won’t do it. Choosing to be the supportive, romantic, funny, respectful and honest partner you want to be everyday is going to build the kind of relationship you really hope and long for. However you want to show up with your partner, choose it purposefully, consciously and intentionally and choose it everyday. Honour your values and bring them alive in all you do…. and that includes your significant relationship.
Is there balance?
This does not mean all your attention is in your relationship. That is not healthy and balanced. If you did, what other parts of your life suffer as a result? This would only put strain on your relationship and make you dependant in each other. This is known as co- dependency.
This brings us to the second metaphor. Co- dependency is like when two cards lean against one another. Take one card away and the other card crashes to the floor. This is not a healthy open relationship.
Instead, learn independence. Cultivate your own life, interests and friendships. Be an interesting person to yourself and your partner. Be excited about ALL your life.
Including your partner. Be curious about him/ her. Delve deep into them. Discover their fears and their strengths. Listen to their longing and their dreams. Let them surprise you. Allow yourself to be in awe. And be awesome.
Learn to stand beside them. Two cards side by side. Neither one reliant on the other. Each supporting one another. Creating space, freedom and openness in the relationship to be individual, independent wholes. Offer support, love and understanding when needed, in the knowledge that your partner is naturally creative, resourceful and whole. Allow them to do the same with you. Be open, transparent and vulnerable. This makes the relationship greater than the sum of the parts. An inter- dependent system that serves more than the two- it serves all the rich communities of which you are both a part.
You don’t need each other. You choose to be together. Don’t blame them. You are at choice. Take responsibility and choose to be in the relationship or not. If you choose to stay, be all you can be to serve you, your partner AND the relationship.
If it is really not serving you and you have tried everything you can or if you feel you are not being met by your partner, perhaps it is time for an honest conversation. To ask for what you want from the relationship and your partner. You don’t HAVE to put up with any crap……. you CAN choose to, for the sake of so many other benefits that may get as well. It is up to you.
As Valentine’s Day 2019 looms and passes, think about what you and your partner bring to the container that is your relationship. If something is missing I challenge you to speak to them about it….. lovingly, kindly and respectfully. Take ownership of your responsibility and allow them to take ownership of their’s. Discuss it, craft it and design a relationship of which you are proud.
One night of romance can be beautiful. Celebrate it on February 14th or not. It is the little drops of beauty and kindness that fall into the container of your partnership, the fierce love that holds responsibility and accountability to both of you that make it strong.
Don’t allow the hum- drum of life to dull your Light. Shine bright in your work, friendships, parenting, passions and significant relationship.
Love hard, love fiercely and above all love daily and create a container full of jewels that makes your relationship priceless.
Over to you
Do you have a Valentine’s Day or a Valentine’s Life? Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day once a year or throughout the year? Are you consistent in your responsibility for your relationship? Do you nurture your relationship as much as you can? Could you improve in your nurturing? Who do you bring to your significant relationship? Are you happy with what you bring? What would you do differently? Who would you be instead? What’s getting in the way? What are you getting right? What do you want more of?
Pass it on
Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below or on social media posts. I’d live to hear from you and get a conversation going about this topic. Also, please pass it on to anyone you know who would be interested to read the blog. I’d appreciate it. Thank you.