Most of us desire to create positive change in our lives. Some of us are realizing that before this can occur we must be willing to “let go” of limiting beliefs, habits and patterns that prevent us from reaching our goals. Couples continue to seek new ways of relating to one another, with a growing interest of attaining deeper levels of connection, understanding, joy and intimacy in their relationships.
In seeking romantic bliss we sometimes forget that relationships take mutual effort to keep our love alive and juicy over the years. So, the first step is to get your partner involved. Have him/her read this article and see if you can both agree that you need and desire to experience a higher level of love and intimacy between the two of you.
My all-time favorite relationship quote is by Rumi, the 13th-century Persian Muslim poet, theologian and Sufi mystic, offers profound insight:
How true! I often initiate sessions with my clients by saying: “Before you can truly experience Authentic Love – you must first be willing and ready to love and embrace your Authentic Self – for better and for worse.”
What does that mean? Well, putting it all together, it means you gotta be willing to turn off the Blame Game and start looking more closely at who you REALLY are, what your REAL needs are and how YOU may have contributed to creating those barriers of love in your partnership… and what you can to do dissolve them.
When both partners realize that they equally play a role in the challenges they are experiencing in their relationship, they’ve moved one essential step closer to healing any and all emotional separation between them. When we are feeling more emotionally connected, our relationship becomes fertile soil where love can flourish. I call this “Authentic Love.”
< strong>So what are some of the barriers to Authentic Love? Let’s look at a few:
- Fear of being hurt, judged, misunderstood or controlled
- Fear of loss, abandonment or rejection
- Low self-esteem, self-worth or self-respect
- Anger and rage
- Blame and resentment (withholding)
- Jealousy and envy (comparison)
- Lying, betrayal and distrust
- Shame and guilt
- Sadness and Depression
- Physical and emotional abuse
- Lack of clear values (Honesty, Trust, Respect, etc)
- Lack of health and wellbeing
- Poor listening and communication skills
All of these create separation and disharmony in relationships.
As Marianne Williamson, author of Return To Love, says:“Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices, and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life.”
Thus, the core barrier of love is F.E.A.R. – aka False Expectations Appearing Real. The remedy? SELF LOVE, for I shall reiterate, before we can truly love another we must first come to love our Selves – “for better and for worse.”
To love oneself is to recognize that that you and I, in all our glory and imperfections, are mirrors or reflections of one another. I could not possibly learn about myself without my experiences with you, and vice versa. If this is true, then what I perceive of you is coming from my own lens, and thus, a reflection of me.
If I blame you, I must be blaming myself. If I believe you are at fault for making me feel something, and that you are, therefore, responsible for my feelings, then I’m basing my happiness on what you do or don’t do. If I believe that I have nothing to do with making you feel the way you do, then I’m in complete denial. So what’s in the middle? You and me, one and the same.
If you truly desire to create deeper intimacy in your relationship, I recommend you prepare yourself in ritual to open your eyes, ears, heart and mind to take necessary risks, explore the unknown, develop new skills, embrace adversity, and finally, shift your mindset and let go of that which no longer serves you.
Then, look into your partner’s eyes and, like the movie, Avatar – say the words: “I SEE YOU.” If you can’t really “see” them because your barriers of love are blocking the view, then say, “I desire to see you more deeply than ever before… for you are me and I am you… and I’m ready and willing to do what it takes to experience Authentic Love with you from this day forward!” This is the true epitome of Intimacy (In-to-me-I-see).