Many of us have wanted “more” relationship in our relationships! We wanted more contact and connection.
As children we probably pushed, pulled and provoked in order to try to meet the “real” of our parents. As young adults, we may have provoked our boyfriend or girlfriend and felt them provoking us. We may have hated the feeling of ‘losing’ ourselves into the raw wild crazyess of reactive relating. Perhaps sometimes enjoying the raw contact… sometimes drained as if essential energy was wasted…
Most of us did not receive the fullness of love we wanted as children.
As a result, most of us tend to spend most of our lives, trying to get what we don’t have… We may end up seeing other people, animals and nature as objects to satisfy us, objects from which we want to get (by whatever strategy we have!!) the thing/s we feel we need. That is not the basis for real relationship. That is foundation for manipulation, strategy, co-dependance and addiction…
We need to tend to ourselves
Instead of constantly trying to “get” what we need from outside, I suggest that we cultivate kind responsibility for ourselves. The word responsibility comes from the French ‘responder’ – ‘re’ means again and ‘spondre’ means to promise – so it means to promise again, make anew the original “yes” to life… it means really caring for our own tender selves, our needs and impulses.
This is not a selfish amassing of money, friends, status to appease inner hunger. This is self-love and self-acceptance. It takes slow, gentle attention to discover what we really need – and more attention to give this to ourselves. We can tend to our own needs without this being in competition and at the expense of others!
Opening to others
Modern society is very masculine. Most of us are practiced in giving, but are not good at receiving. We need to relearn that receiving can be safe and good, that passive receiving is not of less value than active giving! When we allow-in what we need, from ourselves or from others, then we can feel inner fullness or fulfilment, and can begin to relate more healthily with others.
Letting others in
There is so much beauty in the world. It can sometimes seem like a risk to see the beauty of others, to hear, feel, touch, smell it. Being affected by beauty is a soul response. We are vulnerable, sensate, impacted. Letting someone in to our private inner world can be exciting, but it can also be scary! Relationship is not a noun. It is a verb, a co-creation of a relational field. Relationship is a being in relation with another. An exchange of thoughts, feelings and sensations… energy…
A relationship is between two
Relationship-ing happens in the space between two or more elements. Connection, creativity, pleasure, sensuality! Electricity! A real relationship is magical, alive, sparkly with co-creation. The inter-subjective field is dynamic! In a real relationship between two people there is individual and shared responsibility – individual self-authority, self-determination and self-expression, and at the same time, genuine love, interest in and consideration of the other.
Love, pleasure and sensuality
Personally I have always enjoyed tremendous ordinary pleasure and sensuality – small details of touching textures, tree bark, railings, stone… seeing light, details of colours, shape and so called human imperfections not judged as imperfect just seen as they are… it has felt to me as if most people most of the time are too busy looking for something, anything, to really notice the deliciousness of what is present… and to further confuse matters there is great cultural misunderstanding and judgment about sensuality.
Sensuality can be present at any time between any two people. It belongs to all relationships, not only to intimacy, nudity and sexuality. It is, or can be, if we would only slow down enough to notice it, where there is real relationship, anywhere, anytime.
Let’s have fun
Could you imagine God as a sort of enormous octopus?! A huge, vast, many tentacled being. Imagine we are each at the tip of a tentacle, and as the tentacle ends meet together, move apart and meet again in new combinations, there is the opportunity for many rich meetings or relationships, endless creative permutations of two or more… My sense is that we are usually mostly too serious about relationships and too superficial. There is the potential for much more playfulness, soulful respectfulness and fun!
Rewarding relationships are possible
The everyday physical world is already sacred. It is imbued with the divine. We can live much more aliveness and joy by including everything exactly as it is, acknowledging that we are all, all of the time already in relationship/s. In shamanic cultures people’s names are not nouns but verbs, for example I would be Julia-ing. By shifting our focus from what we might get, to what is already here, we can enjoy deeper, more rewarding relationships. Ordinary interactions become gateways for radiance! Simple relating with a father, daughter, partner, colleague… sales woman and bin man… natural world… anger, frustration, fear and compassion… all of it included! Let’s allow love to flow for ourselves and each other, in this life web of constant interconnectivity, inter-relationship with many others.