Essential Gathering Festival

Ardgillan Castle, Balbriggan

2pm to 3pm Saturday 3rd March 2014

When two people come together and form a relationship, initially, there is the “honeymoon” period when they’re getting to know each other. As familiarity settles in however many of the old behaviors and traits from their respective pasts may begin to emerge. Gradually, as a little more spontaneity dies off, the “Robot” of habit begins to emerge: daily routines, financial demands, “TV slump”, life challenges, fatigue etc. all conspire to drain colour and joy from the relationship. One person’s insecurities, fears or angers can spark off the other person’s vulnerabilities and pain. If each person is unable to remain really clear about “who owns what” and take responsibility for their own issues, the boundaries between them become very blurred and the harmony, fun and attraction in their relationship takes a hard knock.

So, building a foundation of shared trust, honesty and self awareness can not only save what could develop into a really worthwhile joyful relationship, but also help to avoid all the pain and trauma of arguments, distrusts and unnecessary drama. Here below are several very necessary steps to ensure ongoing harmony in relationships.

Becoming Conscious / Taking Responsibility

Self Honesty/ Self Reflection – when we’re willing to really look at, recognise and “own” our emotional baggage and endeavor to resolve and release it, we’re automatically removing that emotional burden from the shared space of the growing relationship. To do this we have to be very honest with ourselves.

Acknowledging our Needs – As adults, many people enter into a relationship without realising that they’re actually coming from a place of neediness that has it’s roots in their formative years. As children and adolescents, every time our need for love, compassion and attention wasn’t met – if instead we were ignored, abused and insulted – this is going to create a big hungry void of painful neediness within us as adults. It’s so important to realise that no other person can ever possibly fill this our own inner void of pain. This “need” can only be met by loving and accepting ourselves – more about this below.

Giving your partner space to feel their own emotions – learning to detach and not make your partner’s moods all about “me”. There are times when our partner simply needs space to process their own stuff and not have to explain, justify or reassure us. They may not even know why they feel a certain way and so it’s too much pressure on them to have to explain this to another.

Recognising Manipulative Behaviour
When we deny, disown and push away our own emotional pain, we may then resort to lashing out and blaming the other person. In splitting away our own pain and projecting it onto the other person, we make them responsible for our own hurts. A very typical way this manifests is to become lost in the drama of “poor me – look how much you’re hurting me”. This is one example of manipulating another in an attempt to feed one’s own emptiness. James Redfield’s book “The Celestine Prophecy” beautifully illustrates these four main ways in which we steal another’s energy: Intimidation, Interrogation, Poor Me and Aloof.

Recognising the “Pain Body”
– Eckhart Tolle uses the succinct term “the Pain Body” to describe the trapped energy of our unresolved emotional pain. Various abusive life situations will trigger an individual’s pain body in different ways – we suddenly find ourselves becoming angry, fearful, defensive or aggressive (sometimes with very little provocation). Why is this? It’s because someone (usually unwittingly) has pressed an emotional bruise that was created many years ago, and we now find ourselves overreacting. Little 8 year old Johnny suddenly takes over from adult 48 year old John and can easily create havoc in his adult life.

Taking back our lost “orphans” – Healing the Wounded Child Within
Reversing the trend to ignore, push away, and deny our inner pain: a process I frequently use with clients is to have them revisit their lost, traumatised inner selves from childhood. I invite them to deeply connect to that little boy/girl from their past – to take him/her into their arms and wrap them in compassion and love. In doing this, they’re able to give full expression to the sorrow, loneliness, anger or frustration that they were not allowed to express back then. Truly, we are the only ones who can fully empathise and understand just how much our younger selves have suffered. It is said that the mind/body cannot differentiate between what is actually happening and what is imagined. In this way we can use the imagination in a powerfully benevolent way to undo the neglect and abuse from the past and replace it with healing spacious love.

Relationship as Spiritual Practise
Gradually incorporating all the above disciplines into our daily lives can transform any relationship from dysfunction, guilt and pain into joy, intimacy and love. Becoming more conscious, practising self honesty, taking responsibility for our own thoughts, emotions and actions, this is actually a dynamic spiritual practise. Why? Because we’re engaging in the art of becoming increasingly conscious and present to what is happening right NOW. In giving ourselves healing space to grow, we automatically become sensitive to the needs of another and facilitate their growth as well as our own. In this way not only do we avoid so much trauma and heartache, but instead we develop a relationship that is joyfully self sustaining and nourishing.

Eugenie Heraty,
MCHPA (HyPsych), MCHP (UK), Dip H.P.
Hypnotherapist / Psychotherapist

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