The Trouble With Relationships

 By Maya Zack 

                                         

Relationships are what ultimately brings most value and worth to our lives. No matter what we’ve managed to achieve, learn or accumulate, it is essentially relationships that define our human experience, and which we will come to realize (whether sooner or later), have most impact on our feelings of contentment along our journey.

We yearn to experience satisfying, joyous or productive relationships. What makes them satisfying is a personal question which depends on one’s own learning, beliefs and past experiences. But we all want to feel valued through these interactions; to feel special, important, loved or appreciated.

Because it is our nature to constantly learn and evolve, we enjoy those relationships which inspire or teach us new things, provide us with lessons, or empower us and strengthen our self-worth and belief. We also all want to be able to express ourselves as fully and truly as we can through them; authentically and freely, comfortably being ourselves. When we enjoy these things, we feel fulfilled and rich.

  • So if we all want these same things… why is it so complicated rather than straight forward? Why do we engage or stay in relationships that don’t work, don’t offer us this richness? Why do we engage in damaging or abusive relationships? Why do we sometimes sabotage or even somehow try to destroy good ones?

  • What we should fear is the fear itself...

One of the biggest blocks to having it good or simple, is our old time favourite intruder: fear. It’s often more subconscious than conscious. Fear of what other people think of us. Fear of judgement. Fear of what the other might feel, say or do. Fear of being vulnerable; of expressing our truth; exposing our real self; of being misunderstood, rejected or ridiculed. Fear of the unknown; what would happen if we did or said this or that or of what the future might hold. Fear of being alone. And the list goes on.

As a result we want to control the other, to make sure we are safe. We think that surely that would make things a lot easier for us; yep, it’s not just their annoying habits we want to change, but we want to control the way they think, feel and react, as well as make sure we are approved, valued and appreciated as much as we'd like to be. We want the others to say certain things or behave in ways we approve of. We want them to approve of what we say and do. We want them to provide us with some security, to answer to our needs, and to fit in with what we want for ourselves.

The truth is though, that we will never be in control of another’s experience. No matter how much we want to. And this will only cause our own frustration and suffering. We are unhappy, not because of them, but because we want them to be somehow different.

It’s a bit paradoxical, but it’s because of this fear that we all share, that we then create conditions which create even more of that same fear in the other… By wanting to control the other and their experience, we are in fact judging and not allowing them to be fully themselves; essentially rejecting them as they are. And of course in turn they fear us even more – therefore wanting more control over us…I think you can see where this is going!

Letting go...

When we let go of the fear and the wanting to control another, we are actually allowing them to be themselves. What we discover by doing that is not only do they allow us the same (as they are no longer afraid of us), but also that we ourselves lose that fear.

This may seem paradoxical again; but it’s because we no longer want that control over another and their reactions to us that we fully accept ourselves – as we simply no longer need to be approved by them… This is why it is said that loving our selves comes first, and that it’s only when we fully accept ourselves, we can fully accept others, and so we (or they) no longer suffer.  

Another one of the major blocks that often stands in our way is that we carry around with us many unresolved issues, painful feelings, beliefs or stories from the past. We tend to recreate same patterns until we have finally either ‘learned our lesson’, or fully accepted the past and let it go. Yep, letting go…once again. We hear about this concept all the time. It’s almost a cliché and as such, we don’t pay too much attention to it. But yes, it can be that simple.

***

Taking this even further, we can apply this to our relationship with the rest of society, life and the universe in general…what is stopping us from experiencing the joy, bliss and contentment we speak or dream of?

It’s not ‘the way things are’ that is the issue, or the world being a terrible mess. It's again our own fears, beliefs and resistance; wanting to control or change what is here now rather than fully accept it. We resist what we judge as threatening or uncomfortable to us in any way. We hold on to past suffering and programming. This is a whole other article. But if we manage to become free of these limitations on a smaller scale in our interactions with each other, we would surely experience a huge leap forward in our perception and participation in the whole of reality around us…so perhaps we can start here.

Published by Hove StressBusters
November 2012

                                                              

Approaches that may support you in building healthy and happy relationships:

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) Emotional Transformation Therapy (Emotrance)
Life Coaching Matrix Reimprinting
Mindfulness NeuroLinguistic Programming (NLP)
Sedona Method Thought Field Therapy (TFT)®
Time Line Therapy (TLT)® wingwave Coaching®