Bringing Together of the Inner and Outer Paths of Life
Forming a relationship is often just the beginning of a more conscious inner path that needs to come together with the outer path of life.
Initially we become awakened by our feelings when we meet another person that we become attracted to. These initial feelings are often responding to the strength and values of the relationship but still at the early phase of the relationship it is largely unconscious. It is in meeting, confronting and engaging in the difficulties and challenges of our own defences that we become more conscious of the opportunities that our relationship offers us to grow in our development and in turn to get our life even more on track.
The courage to grow can be a very confronting and painful path but also rewarding and satisfying. It involves a certain emotional awareness, open mindedness, good will towards growing individually, a meaningful relationship and partnership. The business of life and making our relationships work can be tough and also incredibly rewarding.
Our defences and defensive behaviour are developed whilst growing up and designed to protect us (things like acting helpless, avoiding, controlling). In childhood we get lots of messages from parents, relatives and teachers. Often about being good, whats bad, right and wrong. Lots of messages about avoiding shame and not getting it wrong. While these messages are generally well intended they can sometimes come from a place of fear or be simply the messages that those particular adults were given when they were growing up.
These coping mechanisms live on well into adult life, and can become a way of doing our life and often add to a lot of expectations on how we expect our partner to behave, how we react to stressful situations and how we deal with conflict in our relationships and life around us.
The good news is that we can become conscious and rework old patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving, to be able to better regulate and manage our inner and outer worlds.