Many of my women clients, when starting to step into their power, sometimes find that the relationship between them and their intimate partners are running into conflicts. The women start to change but their partners do not step up to the plate as far as “meeting” their partners. More conflicts arise as the women become more devoted to authenticity, listening to their intuition, and open to deeper ways of fulfillment. The women start to wonder: Have I outgrown my partner? This brings up much fear and sometimes even sabotages a woman’s desire to grow. They want to live love as deeply as possible, but if that means losing the love they currently have, they may compromise themselves and keep themselves “small”, as a result. So the question becomes: Should I end my relationship in order to grow, or should I stay in it, settling for someone that I really do love, but not fully satisfied with in relationship?
Here are my thoughts on this common question:
- First of all, if you are into growing together, versus just “growing old” together, your desire will always be towards growth. If that’s the case, you will never be satisfied. Let me repeat: You will never be satisfied. That’s not because you’re neurotic or anything like that. It’s because, at some point, you will outgrow your current state of being and want to learn the next lesson, or become more aware, etc. There will always be a point of dissatisfaction and oftentimes, it may reflect in your relationship. Dissatisfaction is not a bad thing. It’s an indication that you’re leaning into your comfort zone and wanting to expand beyond it. That’s growth. But remember, your growth is your karma. Your path. Your pace. To be deeply in relationship with someone means honoring their path and pace. If you really want to grow, don’t insist on them keeping up with you. The real growth here is to open more in compassion, appreciation, and love while in relationship where your old wounds of “I’m not being met” or “I’m not being loved here”, etc. keep getting triggered.
- You don’t have to “lose” yourself in relationship in order to stay in relationship. Being in relationship means finding out more and more about yourself so that you can show up more. Not show up in righteous way, but in a revealing way…..a vulnerable way…where mutual tenderness can be the path to deeper understanding and greater love. Some people think that it’s a black and white decision to either give up on themselves, or give up on their relationship. BOTH (their truth and their relationships) can definitely be included. Both will bring up a lot of “stuff”. And it’s in the “stuff” where the real juice is…where the gems of wisdom lay.
- The real question here is not “Should I or shouldn’t I”, regarding staying with your partner. The real question is not even about your partner. The real question is more about you. And the more accurate foundation to the question does not have to do with your relationship with your partner, but more about your relationship to your feminine capacities to feeling. That’s right: Feeling. Emotions. Especially in our very masculine work world, we have been taught to “do” rather than “feel”. So we tend to “make” a decision rather than “feel” a decision. It’s like mechanically painting a landscape versus letting your eye for beauty and your soul guide your brush strokes. One is a painting. The other is art.
Here’s a practice I often give my women clients to help them feel the deeper question within. Once they feel the “truer” question underneath their ego’s chatter and fears, then they can make a decision based more on their heart’s relationship to Love, versus their mind’s relationship to fear. You will need:
- A yoga mat, a bolster (or pillows), music, and two eye pillows (or one eye pillow and one heavier object to place on your heart), and a journal.
- Go to a room where you can have privacy and put about 15 minutes worth of your favorite music which evokes feeling and depth.
- Place a yoga mat on the floor and place a bolster or three firm pillows on top of the yoga mat, parallel to the length edge of your mat.
- Lie your back down on top of the pillows so that only your back is resting on the pillows. Your buttocks are sitting on the floor and your arms are splayed out to your side. Extend your legs straight out in front of you.
- Put an eye pillow on your eyes and another eye pillow on your heart (or an object such as a flat stone or something from the earth that is equally as heavy).
- Close your eyes. As you hear the music, let your breath come naturally in and out as your inhale takes in the music and your exhale relaxes the rest of your body.
- Let the melody of the music open your heart. This position on the bolster allows you to feel your heart more, too. Feel the weight of the object on your heart (this helps you feel from your heart more).
- Feel the presence of the Divine (or God, or Love, or whatever you call as your deeper source to your soul). Feel him/her with you…in you. Keep feeling the music move you…touch you.
- Continue to allow feeling to come up for you. As your breath flows in like the waves on a beach, ask yourself, “What do I need to know right now?” Don’t try to answer it. Just allow the question to be felt in your body.
- As the music continues, let the answer come to you through your feeling-based essence. The answer will come in the form of a question, sooner or later. Just stay in this deeper space of allowing…expanding into your heart and opening your body. If you find yourself in your head, come back to your heart – feel the weight of the object on your heart, and let your inhale caress yourself back to your heart.
- After the 15 minutes are up, take your journal and write down, in a stream of consciousness, what comes up for you. Don’t edit yourself. Let your heart guide what you write. Write until you feel complete. Let the true question be revealed.
- Get support from your friends around this question. Let them be the witness to your quest for the answer. Let them hold you in this place of truth, authenticity, and tender beauty. You’ll know what to do from that point.
So you see, the first question to ask yourself is not, “Should I or shouldn’t I stay with my partner?” because often times, you’re asking from a hurt or depleted place. It’s not about finding another person to help you feel better about yourself, which primarily comes from a wounded place of not feeling met. It’s about finding yourself… period… first and foremost.
And in that, you will find the most glorious jewel of wisdom. Then, you will ask the deeper question. And from that deeper question, you will find the key to unlock the hidden desires of your heart. Love will then simply describe the way things are, the way they truly are in your heart… not just the way you want them to be. You will dream your dreams in an awakened state and you will have outgrown your hunger. Whether or not you ultimately decide to let your partner go, it will be because you have learned to love a greater love and found the courage to do so.
You will have loved your way to the other side.