The truth is that in every relationship we all have the chance to learn something about ourselves. Most of the time, it is our romantic intimate relationships that give us the greatest opportunity for growth. However, many of us turn away from the lesson, choice to blame the other person, and end up repeating emotional and behavioral patterns keeping us from our greatest happiness.
The key to a successful life and relationship is to fully know, accept, and love ourselves, which may sound easy but can take a lifetime(s) to obtain.
Why is this vital piece of having a great life so hard?
Simply, because it is difficult to honestly look at oneself and witness those areas that need adjusting and healing. It is far easier to point the finger at someone else and say, “It is all their fault!”
In fact, we are wired with defense mechanisms to do just that! We can easily deny, repress, and project any area in us we do not want to look at without even thinking about it.
To be clearer, let us say you are in a relationship with someone who does things differently than you when it comes to organization and scheduling. Your partner is more impulsive and likes spontaneity while you like order and structure. You find yourself becoming angry with him/her and telling them they are wrong and should be more like you. Obviously we can see the problems that would arise and continue to build with this type of relationship dynamic. However, is it so clear what the missed lesson is?
Perhaps the person holding onto the order and structure could look at why they do this. Does it make them feel safe? Does it give them a sense of accomplishment? Does it decrease their anxiety? Is it part of their personality type? Each of these questions will lead to answers providing a deeper knowing of oneself and a possible area of wound that may need healing.
Another example would be if one person in the relationship constantly tried to change the other. Most of the time, if we are focused on changing the other person we are avoiding looking at ourselves. As I mentioned earlier, many of us find it far easier to recognize the faults in our partner rather than looking at what we may need to change.
So how do we get past this and learn the lessons that our relationship provides us?
Simply by what I like to call becoming “consciously aware.” This is an amazing tool that helps us recognize what is really going on with ourselves on many levels. It is the ability to stay in the present moment and aware of what and how we are thinking, feeling and behaving.
I share about this tool and how to fully use it in It’s That Simple! A Woman’s Book on Relationships, Life Ourselves and The Healing of It All and It’s That Simple! A Man’s Book on Relationships, Life Ourselves and The Healing of It All
The beauty of us getting the lessons in our relationships is that once we do this, we have the opportunity to stop repeating negative patterns that are harming others or ourselves. We are able to heal, move on from it, and experience inner peace, real love, and a truly fulfilling life.
Read more posts by Bree Maresca-Kramer, M.A., nationally recognized relationship expert, acclaimed relationship & life coach, talk radio show host, relationship expert & pop culture analyst columnist.