Redefining Relationships - 7 Essential Qualities for Evolved Relating
Our consciousness shift is hotting up. People are unwinding, unfolding and breaking free from aeons of constraint.
The shift is challenging relationships to evolve
Our consciousness shift is hotting up. People are unwinding, unfolding and breaking free from aeons of constraint. It's a truly wonderful movement to behold. I feel blessed to be here during these times of profound change. But it's a double edged sword too. In many cases it's generating untold pressure within families and relationships: it's causing great friction and sometimes even tearing them apart. What is the most effective approach to this unfolding dynamic? I feel strongly in my heart we need to redefine the very nature of relationships...
Classic Archetypal Relationships
Consider for a moment some of the classic archetypal relationships like marriages, partnerships, parent-child, friends and work colleagues. These are classic stereotypes that have been fixed quite rigidly in humanity's collective consciousness, cemented by aeons of conditioning.
What do these relationship archetypes do to the soul?
To me, the soul arises from the inner void of pure presence. In enlightened states, the soul is highly spontaneous. It flows like the wind through the trees and although has consistency, is never completely predictable. It flows according to the myriad of possibilities within our consciousness landscape.
Prior to this state of course, there is the conditioning of the ego to overcome. The ego builds loops of conditioned programming based on our upbringing and the dogmatic beliefs within society. Many take on either controller or victim type mentality (or a subtle blend of both). Each behaviourism is like a computer program, it has a purpose and a need to run. All it requires is someone else to push the buttons. The risk is to end up living in co-dependant emotional and psychological states.
Working with the Law of Attraction
Society has inculcated in people fixed ideas and notions about how our relationships with people should be. These are not just conscious thoughts however. I'm speaking of an inner consciousness landscape that impacts our lives but for many, cannot even be seen, touched or felt. The ego is looking through conditioned veils.
That's why embracing the (authentic!) Law of Attraction is so beneficial to us. We draw to ourselves the mirror: one which not only reflects how we are, but also how we could be. The mirror activates all kinds of inner buttons - like that of blame for example: "why are you doing this to me?" is the classic, disempowered cry.
The problem is that soul's are working towards enlightenment- total freedom of expression and liberation. They don't want to be put on show like some bird of paradise and simply admired, they yearn to escape the cage and fly freely.
Opening Pandora's Box
What I've frequently noticed in marriages and partnerships for example, is the challenge of one partner accelerating or having a breakthrough, whilst the other remains temporarily constant. It can place inordinate amounts of stress within a fixed 'relationship'.
If we get up one morning expecting our partner to be exactly how they were yesterday, speaking to them and treating them as some kind of fixed identity that we rotate around, then in effect, a prison of consciousness is being created to either stifle the unfolding soul or causing it to rebel.
You can't close the Pandoras box once it is opened!
And of course in being totally authentic, we provide the possibility for others to see their truth too. If we're always living according to their expectations, then the mirror we're supposed to provide is tainted and so we're actually disempowering them, because we remove the possibility of an accurate reflection...
"Mirror mirror on the wall, aren't I the fairest of them all?" Well actually, you probably need to peel away a few layers first!
I've also experienced the dynamic from the other side. Where I've allowed myself to be seen and defined simply as "Dad", it's come with all kind of limiting expectations within the child that I simply couldn't live up to. Yes, I feel compassionately responsible, but I find my soul naturally challenges situations where another would become dependent upon me. Not that I haven't naturally supported them, but love does not smother, it empowers and liberates.
If you love someone, set them free!
In one of my three paternal/child 'relationships', which was at the time was struggling for true empathy and understanding, we jointly ditched the word "Dad". I encouraged my "son" to call me Open and to embrace me exactly as he found me, without expectation. Likewise, I allowed myself to see him less of a "son" (in a labeled sense) and to address him as I found him.
I can tell you it had a deeply profound effect, like switching from night to day. Any expectations (including karma on his part) positively broke up and floated away like a helium balloon with the "Dad" label attached. Although we are both very different - in many ways like chalk and cheese - we have come to totally accept each other the way we are. It took much of the stress out of our relationship, that led to a mutual 'relating' situation which honours both.
By ditching the labels, we were able to find a more aligned relating experience. It's been heart-warming!
The new relating
My first marriage ended because my own dramatic awakening through a car crash which my partner struggled to relate to. My personality changed overnight - I couldn't be so constrained anymore. There was a rightness to our parting - our paths were strongly diverging (it often happens when one awakens and the other doesn't).
So I don't see relationships in the 'till death us do part' manner. I believe we have 'sacred agreements' at a soul level to work out with one another. Once the lessons have been learned, either the relationship will evolve and grow together, or the path of the souls will part and each go separate ways to pastures new.
When I came into relationship the second time, I can openly say it was with some trepidation. I had discovered blissful freedom. I didn't want to be constrained again. I simply knew all souls were meant to be free. I remember taking myself off into nature one day, having had a challenging time, pondering my new relationship, when the following realisation popped into my heart...
"Rigid relationships are as redundant as building structures on shifting sand. The sand has no fixed relationship with the sea, rather it relates to the ebb and flow of the waves as and when they choose to kiss the shoreline." Openhand
Wow! It was like a bolt from the blue. Instantly I could comprehend how to be in this relationship: that it should be fluid and flowing; there should be no expectation; there should be space and openness; there should be total acceptance and embracing of where the other person is at. It means you can truly connect with the other, at a deep soul level. It means you can love them unconditionally. It means you can love them more! Furthermore, such openness in our relating, is a powerful catalyst for your own evolution. No longer can you rely upon the tired excuses of yesterday, you have to be alive to the moment, vibrant, attentive, empathic and above all, open to change.
7 Essential qualities in Evolved Relating
So how might we attain such openness within our 'relationships'? Seven key qualities spring to mind...
Core splitting honesty: make no mistake, if we're truly going to commit to the spiritual path, then we will be tested within relationships. Desperately holding things together by belts and braces is just not going to hold. We have to be core splittingly honest with each other. If you truly love someone, do they not deserve to hear the truth from you?
Compassion: speaking our truth is fundamentally essential. But that doesn't mean we can't do so gently and with compassion - especially if 'today's news' is challenging. It is in the crucible of such inner fire, we can truly burn away the dross, such that compassion naturally unfolds its wings.
Openness: We must become open to the fluid truth of the moment. Being in evolving, close relationships is sometimes just like being caught between the polarity of two magnets. If you hold a rigid position and you're not in profound truth, it can tear you apart. So we must be open to the tidal flows of feeling and emotion, always looking for the mast of centred openness.
Unconditionality: We must learn to adapt to ever changing moods, intuit the relating experience that is currently being called for and unconditionally give ourselves to that expression. Sometimes your partner maybe a friend, sometimes a colleague or companion, then sometimes they'll be a lover. Sometimes you'll be distant, sometimes close. We're invited to embrace people the way they are, in that moment. And vice versa.
Courage and bravery: to be this way is going to take a lot of courage and bravery. Your soul will call you to say and do things the effects of which, the ego will greatly fear - "what impact is that going to have?" The ego will be playing the mind games, frequently wondering what the outcome will be. We must have the courage and conviction to confront the ego, always coming from our highest truth, even if that would possibly lead to your separation.
Self completeness: You're in relationship - a relating situation - but it's only truly going to work if you are being whole and complete within the engagement. Yes we're giving of ourselves, but we must first be ourselves in order to give! It's about finding love in the mirror, but not losing ourselves within it. We must walk the blade edge of self completeness but fully expressed.
Empathy, acceptance and understanding: And here's the other side of the self completeness coin. We're not going to have meaningful and fulfilling relationships if we're not fully present and giving within them! An evolved relating experience invites us to unveil ever deeper levels of feeling empathy. The more we can feel the other, the more we feel ourselves and the more a mutually fulfilling energetic feedback loop is created. Both parties are lifted into a state that is so much more than the separate parts. Empathy, acceptance and understanding is the golden chalice from which both can drink.
Spaces in the togetherness
So redefining our relationships into "evolved relating" offers enormous potential for evolutionary growth. The expansion causes continual confrontation of society's dogma. It's like being in a crucible, where diamonds are forged.
Now, I greatly value and cherish the relating experiences in my life. And I find that by committing to my truth and allowing the other to honour their's, means that I feel more committed within these engagements rather than less. Paradoxically, the new openness generates greater respect, unconditionality and commitment to one another.
Just as a wheel is defined by the space between the spokes, it's the space within relationships that forges the togetherness:
"Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow." Khalil Gibran, The Prophet