our partners may join us in being dream catchers, rather than dream shredders.”
― John M. Gottman, And Baby Makes Three
- Am I in love with the idea of being in love?
- Do I rely on others to inform me if I am okay in my relationships?
- Am I grounded in the idea of romance?
- Am I trapped in addictive thinking- all or nothing?
- What does it mean to be intimate with 'Self?'
- Am I willing to be vulnerable?
One of the key researchers in the field of relationships is John M. Gottman. Gottman has dedicated the last 40+ years of his life to relationship work. In one of his groundbreaking books, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, he backs his findings with research that was collected in his Seattle, "Love Lab." In this "Love Lab" he studied couples and within 5 minutes was able to predict divorce with 91% accuracy.
His book debunks the myths surrounding relationship troubles, he identifies how a couple is able to argue, he predicts divorce probability, he emphasizes that marriage is based on deep friendship, and he identifies the seven principles for making a marriage work.
As we awaken to the richness of the relationships in our lives, some of our greatest work is done in conjunction with the partners in our lives. The souls that we chose to be in relationship with in large part become a mirror for us. We notice our inner child, our shadow parts, our unhealed hearts. It is the wounded child who thinks in black in white-all or nothing thought. When we are triggered in relationship, it is often our unhealed child that comes to the surface. Our biological age crumbles as this unhealed child rises in protest, hurt, despair or disbelief. As adults perhaps we use certain behaviors to avoid feelings of intimacy- we stuff down our feelings with food, we fill our schedules with commitments so that we don't have to be alone, we abuse our bodies with exercise, we become addicted to sex, and we fill our shopping carts with purchases that give us an instant high.
As we get in touch with the intimate nature of our own hearts we begin to create intimacy in the world around us. We notice patterns of behavior that either serve us or cause us to suffer. Over this past weekend my teachers again taught our group, "As you create an intimate relationship with self, you can be intimate with others. Too often we settle for a fast food type of relationship."
Because we are alive, we have such room for growth and exploration in the relationship arena. Bottom line, 'Are you willing to do your work if you notice any inconsistencies or in-congruencies in your life?' We ALL have work to do:).
Today and everyday I am thankful for all of the relationship experiences that have caused my heart to crack wide open- open to a deeper reserve of love- open to a deeper level of understanding- open to a much more profound cavern of intimacy. I recognize that everyday I have an opportunity to create a more intimate relationship with 'Self' and the Divine- and as I do this, I cultivate deeper relationships in my life.
What's one thing you can do today to become more intimate in your relationship with "Self?"
May You Sweetly Seek:)