Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Relationships can be a wonderful opportunity to teach us more about ourselves and the ones we love. Our insights will depend on our perception around challenging times which are almost inevitable in most relationships.
When there are challenging times, it is possible to get swept away in reactivity, negative emotions and drama. Our challenges are not “bad” things in themselves; it’s about how we deal with them that make all the difference. We can constantly escalate the conflict and become stuck in the same old patterns of dealing with things, or we can learn new skills to allow the relationship to grow and blossom to its full potential.
When we can see conflict or any negative feeling as an opportunity to grow and learn about what is going for us, we are choosing to live in a conscious way. This way of living can be very rewarding but is not necessarily the easiest way to live. Courage is often required, to be honest with how you are feeling.
B.K.S. Iyengar, the famous yoga instructor, named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people stated that: “it is often when we want to run we most need to stay.” I have certainly found this true in my life. When there has been conflict or a challenging situation, I have wanted to “run a mile” rather than face something difficult.
My emotions have felt so strong that I have just wanted to cut off emotionally, and run and gloss over things pretending they never happened; this is known as repression. Yet, what I’ve most needed for my own growth and development is to work through the problem and feel the satisfaction of learning how to work through and deal with a tricky emotional situation in a positive way.
Every time we do this, we grow a little more in emotional mastery, and it’s great for our self-esteem too! Anthony Robbins once spoke about how when we accomplish something that we previously found difficult; it boosts our self-esteem and confidence.
When my first daughter took her first few steps when learning to walk, it was a challenge for her. However, when she mastered her first few steps walking, I had never seen her beam with such pride. Learning to walk one of her major accomplishments in her journey through life. It’s the same way with us, too.
When we begin to master our internal world we become less reactive and more real. This allows us to respond in a way that we would like in the right place at the right time. This boosts our confidence, and we, therefore, feel more secure in ourselves.
I have found that when I have had the courage to “stay present” with my emotions, particularly my more challenging ones, I have become less reactive in situations. Observing my emotions allows me to make loving choices around them in a conscious way.
Unconscious behaviour is when our emotions control us, and we can act out or release the tension of these emotions that we feel within. This can mean being angry with others and saying things that we later regret and cannot take back. Alternatively, we can withdraw from the situation in a passive-aggressive way, shutting out the other person we are angry with as punishment. Either of these fight-or-flight reactions doesn’t feel good for anyone. In these situations, we are not acting by choice and are left feeling weak and not as though we are the masters of our destiny.
Emotional unawareness can lead us to say and do things that create anger, hurting and distancing us from the ones we love the most. The journey to consciousness is certainly worth it. By taking the actions that you need to step into your conscious, empowered self, you could be changing unconscious emotional patterns that have been passed down from generation to generation. Unawareness of our inner world and our thoughts and feelings can create pain and suffering.
As you and your partner create new conscious patterns of behaviour, they will be what is passed down creating instead peace, harmony, and joy for future generations.
To discover more about relationships see: Love Now eCourse