I cut my metaphysical teeth on a psychic phone line. Spending 40+hours per week reading rapid fire for an international network exposed me to a vast spectrum of people and problems. While developing my personal style of soul-based reading and healing I fielded questions about anything and everything. “The line,” however, grouped inquiries under a few broad areas – Work/Money, Life/Destiny, Love/Relationships, even Pets/Animals and Lost Objects/People. You could then pick a psychic who specialized in a specific area of inquiry.
Even though my forte was in long-term, big-picture, existential readings about Past Lives, Purpose, Karma and Life Paths, the majority of my clients on “the line” would ask about love and relationships. After working at it for a few years I started wondering… aren’t all questions about love and relationships? Isn’t EVERYTHING about love and relationships?
Just in case it is, I’m taking the opportunity during this New Moon in Libra to offer you my Top 3 Relationship Reminders. I have more to say on dating, sex, marriage, and soul-mates… but these tips are most useful when conflict arises. May they bring you balance and love in all your complicated connections.
Reminder #1- Back the f—k up.
Assess your level of commitment to the relationship. It seems like a given, but it isn’t. Ask yourself a very blunt question, “Do I want this relationship to work out or not?” Am I invested in sustaining this relationship or do I want to destroy it? Do I want to grow and change, or do I want to win?
Backing up is a great way to know where you stand. It’s a momentary disengagement in which you learn how much or how hard you’re willing to fight, and what you’re fighting on behalf of when you dive in. Once you know what your priority is, you know how much you’re willing to bend… or even surrender. Furthermore, backing up and getting real is a great way to intercept patterns of reactivity, in which you might be spazzing out and reenacting an old, learned behavior. What the dynamic is or where the behavior comes from might be useful to understand down the line, but asking yourself “Do I want to sustain this relationship or destroy it?” is useful in the moment as it stimulates a “get-real” evaluation. This trumps any learned behavior because it brings you into the present and aligns you with your highest intention. Then, you’re either a part of the problem or a part of the solution.
Reminder #2 - Don’t Get It Twisted
There are 3 sides to every story, and two of them are incomplete. When you care enough to go to battle, a line gets drawn. You believe you are justified on your side, even if it’s at the expense of your beloved. Your beloved is 100% certain of the validity of their side, even if it contradicts your own. The 3rd side is the truest side, because it is able to contain the partial truths of both parties, at the exclusion of neither. Furthermore, the 3rd side adds up to a truth that is greater than the sum of its parts, the living breathing experience that is THE RELATIONSHIP between two beings. It contains you, the other, and the shared EXPERIENCE which connects you both. Access this remembrance by affirming, “This is happening to both of us. We are both right about something.” Then, there is no separation side. You are in it together and are both aligned with the 3rd side, the shared space of the relationship which makes it possible for both of you to see the other’s perspective without needing either one to be wholly right.
Reminder #3 - Own Your Shade
Notice when you get bitchy. Notice when you’re feeling staunch, adamant, willful. Notice when you go out of your way to make your point 17 times, and that point is NOT about you, but the person with whom you’re in conflict–what they are doing, what they’re not doing, or what you think they should be doing.
This storm of shade can be your best ally in a relationship. When you feel it building up inside (or even spilling over) it’s usually because your shadow material is being triggered. This is the stuff about yourself that you don’t like or don’t want to look at. If left unexamined it builds up until it boils over. When someone’s behavior is bothering you enough for you to go out of your way and tell them so, it’s probably because that behavior is illuminating some of the stuff that bothers you about yourself.
So, if you find yourself pointing a finger at your beloved, go ahead and turn that finger around and point it at yourself. If you feel the need to shove someone’s face in their shit… it’s probably just your own shit.
This doesn’t mean that it’s always your fault. It just means that when it is, you need to take responsibility for it right quick. To tie it to the first two reminders – Once you are resolved to make a relationship work, use the security that comes from knowing you’re in it together to be brave enough to own your shade and use it to help you do you. A useful affirmation: “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work on myself.”
If you get through these 3 steps and find your conflict resolved, throw in a generous “I love you,” and please, celebrate. If the relationship has survived it will probably thrive. If it’s time to move on, “I love you,” is just as good a finish as any.