Women have long been considered responsible for relationships and while this can feel a bit like responsibility assigned without consent at times, even science is validating women’s innate biology for skills and prowess in relationship. (Check out this article!) Soooo, if we are the masters of relationship, then it would follow we are all experiencing only happiness in our relationships…not!
Biology alone does not determine how we experience life. Our beliefs, choices, and our interpretations factor into how we respond to life and people. Believing people are either good when they behave as we want or wrong when they do not, is choosing control as our premium value at the cost of our relationships.
Measuring life-and people-with the yardstick of control leaves little room for the treasures offered by the unexpected in life. Being human is a sacred process, passion, and purpose, not a product, perfection, nor power over others. “Either-or” thinking may keep our limbic brain happy about not being eaten, but it will not honor our power to choose compassion, to heal history, and to learn more about ourselves and “the other”.
So the next time you find yourself reacting to the unexpected in someone, consider:
- Taking a few deep breaths in and out before saying or doing anything. Deep breathing brings us into our more neutral core and gives time for the less reactive parts of our brain to come on-line in our processing of what is up.
- Remembering we always have a choice to immediately react or to pause and then respond when people do the unexpected or undesired. Choosing to respond is taking responsibility for our emotions and fears as we are being triggered by another.
- Being inquisitive about what is being triggered within brings gifts in ways unexpected. While we may believe we know what we need in life, life’s gift of messing with our knowns, shows us the love and beauty the unknown in conflict offers us.
- Self-love is the foundation of love we offer others and a lack of self-love shows up in judging, blaming, and shaming others. Taking time and care to love our imperfect selves is crucial to being able to love others when imperfect.
Contemporary relationship invites us into a deeper and richer experience of relationship than simply meeting needs and control. Contemporary relationship chooses healing our family and history, tending to our emotional wounds, and happiness over being right. Tending our heart and honoring the heart of others is the foundation of contemporary relationship…a choice for peace, joy, and happiness for ourselves and our world.