How becoming an emotionally calm center creates more room for love
Seasons of Change is a biweekly column from Jayne Clark addressing different topics each season. Spring’s focus is relationships. Jayne Clark works intuitively with clients to help them resolve issues regarding relationships, loss, grief, health, and career path. To learn more, head to jayneclark.com.
In a romantic relationship, you’ve probably said one of the following:
- “He is a great guy and all but he just doesn’t want to connect with me. When I want him to open up, he just seems to push me away even more. He shuts down and I feel resentful and abandoned.”
- “She is a great mom but she cannot make up her mind about what she wants! She says she wants this or that, I give it to her and it’s still not enough! I surprise her with a date night and she is less than excited because I didn’t complete some of the projects I started around the house. I feel so frustrated because she is so hard to please. ”
While these scenarios may play out in our relationships, they are not the root cause of our frustration or disappointment. The problem lies in our interpretation of our partner’s behavior and actions.
If it is a loving relationship we want, we must take responsibility for how we “see” our partner. If we see them as someone who is unkind, disconnected, and unpredictable our response will mirror their behavior. In other words, we will react defensive and hurt. In that energy, no one experiences love.
A loving partnership requires a different set of eyes and a different purpose as to why we are in relationship. We have to be willing to recreate in our minds what romance is and whom we are in relationship with.
How to Find Your Emotional Center
A great question to ask yourself is: who is your partner to you? Your husband, your wife, the mother or father of your children, your best friend, the love of your life? Those are great answers, but if your significant other is only playing a role, at some point there won’t be enough energy to carry you to the deeper levels of spiritual insight and perception.
We must be willing to see past their role and into their innocence. This allows us to see them objectively and remember the truth as to why they are in our lives. Whether they are conscious of it or not, they too are on a path of healing and self discovery. We lovingly come together to contribute to the process each other’s spiritual growth and awakening.
In every moment, we are either expressing love or we are calling out for love. When you can truly see your partner’s less than attractive behavior as a call for love, it gets you off the hook of taking things personally.
Who Is Responsible?
The hardest part about being in relationship is when our partner is in a bad mood, we tend to be in a bad mood. When they act defensively with either shut down or act defensively back. When they disconnect from us, we suppress our truth. When they are loving, we are loving.
It all comes down to taking full responsibility and ownership of our thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. We have to take a thorough inventory of our world view and realize that people, including our significant others, don’t hurt us intentionally. And if they do, at the deepest level, it’s not about us personally.
Much easier said than done. But if we commit to the practice of looking within and being willing to see past our partner’s shortcomings, we will be able to stay connected to the love we desire to experience. It is a much more sophisticated way of approaching romantic relationship—one that leads to peace and empowerment versus frustration and projection.
Love is the Answer
Love is never the problem. It is always the answer. Yet I think we are a bit confused by what love is, where it comes from and who is responsible for making us feel it. In Greg Baer’s book Real Love, he writes, “we can have expectations about many things, but we never have the right to expect someone to love us or make us happy even when they promise to do so.”
If we leave our experience of love up to someone else, we will surely suffer. It is wonderful when our partners shows us love or acts in a loving way towards us. But it is also very dangerous for us to only identify ourselves as being loved when someone else shows it to us.
Taking responsibility offers us an opportunity to love without attachment. Love without projecting our agenda and expectations onto our partner. And from that space we can know the real freedom in opening our hearts to another fearlessly and be loved by another fearlessly. In that space we can truly be and experience the love we so desire.