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Inspiring Success on the Road to Recovery

Friday, April 1, 2016

Conscious Uncoupling or Conscious Couples?


I love the idea of changing the form of relationships without losing the love. I have walked couples through it so I know it is doable when two emotionally mature people commit to the process.
However, I can’t help wondering if our relationships were more conscious to start with, would we have to uncouple? So what exactly does it take to create conscious relationships?    
 There are four major requirements for creating great conscious relationships; Awareness, Boundaries, Communication and Commitment.

These are requirements for all meaningful relationships including family and friendships, but let’s focus on mate relationships. See how you fare with a few questions about your own.      
First, Awareness — are you in your relationship in a whole souled way? Do you have one foot out the door or are you looking for greener pastures?

Experience tells me one foot out the door leaves you out of balance and there are bird droppings even in the greenest of pastures. Is your partner able to reach you emotionally? Are you willing to share your deepest feelings? If not, why not? What work do you need to do to stay open when you have fear, doubt or disagree with what your partner is saying? Does difference make you uncomfortable or curious to know more ab
out your partner?

Do you work harder on your own issues than your partner is working on theirs? If not, your partner is cleaning up the mess. For instance, if you lie about certain things, your partner deals with the lack of safety in the relationship. Where ever you are not doing your fair share, your partner is picking up the slack. If you disconnect or check out, you partner is, no doubt, always trying to figure out how to connect with you.    

Second, Boundaries — Do you take 100% responsibility for your own feelings, words and actions? Do you respond to your partner with compassion and let them know you understand their truths and care about what they are feeling? It’s not helpful to do your partners feelings for them, i.e. you feel devastated when or if your partner is devastated. And neither is it helpful to feel responsible for your partner’s feelings. Either response reflects poor boundaries. Instead, you want to show up with compassion as your partner works on his or her own feelings.    

Third, Communication — Are you able to hear your partner’s feelings and truths knowing they are true for them — even when you disagree or the feelings are not true for you? Do you need to change your partner’s truth for the sake of sameness or validation? Do you value excruciating truth telling so you can feel safe and deepen the relationship? In 30 plus years of therapy and soul coaching, one of the most important things I have learned is that the truth is not always comfortable, but it is always healing.  

Fourth, Commitment — What is the level of your commitment? Are you in this for the long haul? Do you value your partner, do you stay close and connected even in tough times? Do you take a hike emotionally or can you hold the discomfort long enough to get to resolve? If you need support in some of these areas and we all do, there are some great tools on my website at DrDinaEvan.com. and you can email questions.

We seldom get these tools in our families of origin, or in grammar school, high school or college.

Frankly, therapists are not even taught about ethical communication or boundaries, other than professional ones. So don’t feel bad if you have work to do. Get excited! Go download some of the exercises on my site or read some of the recommended books or just take the relationship report card — no one will see it but you. Identify the issues are that you want to work on. It’s great fun working on these issues. If you are not in a relationship at the moment, find a best friend and do the work with a friend. You’ll be glad you did. The payoff is worth it.