As a relationship counselor, I usually see couples or married partners but all types of relationships are welcome, such as friends, siblings, co-workers, parent and child, etc. I am an advocate for improving the relationship. Frequently couples that come to my practice are judging and blaming each another. They are often angry and their hearts are closed to one another. Whenever we are struggling or suffering with any relationship, we often seek ways to find peace and harmony. The alchemy unfolds when the interaction in any relationship changes due to a shift one or both make in outlook, attitude or perception.
All individuals in the relationship have contributed to the current state of that relationship. As co-creators of the relationship they can create something different. Those individuals have the opportunity to transform that relationship into one that is mutually supportive and joyful. This shift always includes love and acceptance as a major component.
A relationship can serve as an alchemical container — an arena in which there is opportunity for change and transformation to take place. Being in a loving relationship with another can bring us face to face with those hidden parts of ourselves that feel fearful, unlovable or unworthy. Most often these uncomfortable feelings are not born in the current relationship but have been brought forward from the past. Each person has the opportunity to heal past hurts in order to participate in the relationship with acceptance, respect and authenticity. It is often said that the ‘art of relationship’ is the MOST rigorous spiritual practice!
In order to assist you in discovering the most profound path to creating the loving, supportive relationships you desire, I work with the couple to unearth critical keys in your current relationship. Some important areas of examination are Trust, Safety, Communication & Love.
Are you able to say what you mean? Do you do what you say? These are two important components to trusting another and yourself. Think about some important relationships in your life and notice if those people regularly do what they say and say what they mean? How does this affect your willingness to trust them? Notice if YOU do what you say and say what you mean with others.
Safety – Healthy Boundaries
One of the major ways that we can create safety in relationships is by respecting the limits and boundaries of others. Questions I will raise include:
1. Do you respect the limits and boundaries of others?
2. Can you accept it when someone tells you ‘no’?
3. Do you feel that others honor your limits?
4. Do YOU honor YOUR own limits?
5. Are you able to say ‘no’ when you mean ‘no’?
Part of communication is being a good listener. Are you able to really hear what the other is saying or are you waiting for them to stop talking so you can make your point?
Do you often interrupt when others are speaking? It is essential that both parties feel that they have truly been heard. ASK if they feel that you have heard them, and then you will know.
It is important that we know what we want from the other person and BE WILLING to communicate that desire. It is not realistic to expect others to know what we want at all times. Are you able to say what is true for you and ask for what you want? Can you say this without blaming or judging another or yourself?
Extending love to yourself and others is a beautiful and joyful part of any relationship. What I mean by “extending love” is being able to give yourself and others acknowledgment, validation, appreciation, recognition and gratitude. It feels good to offer this to others as well as to receive it. Gratitude is an elixir for our body and soul. Gratitude lets the mind know that all is well.
Love is the binding element in all relationships.