Do you ever recall walking into a room and immediately feeling the heavy, lingering negativity after a couple has had a fight?
How can couples learn to manage those powerful emotions that can be generated between them?
To create a conscious relationship it s important to be aware of the feelings that are created between partners, especially for intimate couples, because their combined emotions are greater than the sum of their individual parts. When couples become aware and learn to be mindful of the energy that is created between them, rather than focus on their individual differences, they are creating conscious relationships.
I`ve observed the tendency of partners to first go through the romantic phase of their relationship, where their combined conscious remains buoyant, lively and fulfilling. At this point they don t perceive differences in each other. The feelings between these couples shines a bright light across the world and life is viewed from a beautiful kaleidoscope. During this romantic phase, couples project on their partner and the world a canvas filled with images of beauty, goodness and love. And this focus on the combined rainbow of beautiful colors catapults them into a higher consciousness.
Robert Johnson observed that falling in love is meant to be an initiation into a world much greater than the individual – it is an introduction to the ideals of love, truth and beauty that transcend ordinary life.
When couples begin to become aware of the differences and faults in one another, they fail to realize that their partner is a symbol and catalyst for the poetry of life. During the romantic phase they view each other in an idealized manner. But, months or years later, when they are entrenched in power struggles, their partner becomes a cardboard-cut-out on which they project threatening characters from their own past. Such perceptions launch soulless, automatic, rigid, right vs. wrong games that separate partners not only from one another, but from the positive transcendent of their combined consciousness.
Instead of couples wishing for a judge and jury to litigate their individual differences, they can develop tools to manage the potentially creative or destructive powers which often unconsciously exist between them.
1. Focus on the process between you, rather than your differences.
2. Work on accepting the imperfections of both yourself and your partner, while looking for the deeper meaning in repetitive arguments.
3. Get curious about your learned patterns that you project onto your partner.
4. Learn to use the combined relationship emotions for creative life-enhancement, instead of destructive maneuvers.
5. Work to make each other s lives larger, instead of smaller.
6. Co-create a picture of what your ideal relationship looks like and visualize that image daily.
7. Make a commit, to yourself and to each other, to not participate in destructive interactions that can damage and may ultimately destroy shared consciousness.
In “Embracing The Beloved”, Stephen and Ondrea Levine write, how in a spiritual here and now process, they view one another as, “beingness” constantly unfolding. They also refer to combined consciousness as a, “beloved energy.”
It can be a difficult process to transform our power struggles into creative energy. As Thomas Merton wrote, “… true love and prayers are learned in the moment when prayer has become impossible and the heart has turned to stone.”
Marion Woodman describes the first time she saw her husband free of her own projections after three years of marriage, when she heard him rattling around the kitchen, attempting to poach an egg. At first, she began to think in terms of “shoulds”, becoming judgmental of his inadequacy in the kitchen. Then, she let go of all judgment and became able to see him for himself for the very first time, as he stood on spindly legs in his bermuda shorts, holding an imperfect poached egg. She felt such profound love.
Learn to watch with “soft eyes.” Watch without any judgment, with compassion and loving kindness.
Copyright 2005 Linda Miles Ph.D