Gina Hardy is our new feature writer on relationships. This month she looks at the question of whether to stay or go...
Having been stranded at home for what seemed like forever while the snow gently settled over Brighton and with a delicious amount of time to ponder and reflect and talk to friends and clients on the phone, it struck me that there is a distinct difference between knowing when to throw the towel in and call it a day with your dear heart and when it's just your "stuff" surfacing again. So how do you really know?
I don't profess to nailing scientific proof to either side, even though our minds want to cling to something tangible because matters of the heart are somewhat "fluffy" at times, but there seems to be flavours to the way people behave in love conflict.
I use the word stuff because it makes simple all the techy relationship speak such as emotional baggage, childhood wounds, unprocessed negative experiences, power struggles and I sure don't want to lose you in jargon city.
So there you are in the middle of yet another conflict such as why it seems unfair that you do so much and they don't pull their weight, you give so much emotionally and they don't make you feel wanted... blah blah. Sorry to be flippant but the content of conflict is irrelevant! It seems this has been going on for months or even years and I mentioned the ferris wheel in one of my last articles which is about going round in the same old circles and never moving forward. This sort of brick wall breakdown in communications eats away over time and often goes unnoticed until it's too late.
Unhealed experiences in you, and we all have them, from parenting and other relationships creates the you that you are today and the level to which you have bothered to really seek and clear out those blocks to your happiness, will show up in love conflicts.
Deep emotion can trigger from seemingly simple circumstances. I have experienced hundreds of incidences like this. One of my friends would be in trouble if he spoke for too long to a waitress while ordering dinner in a restaurant and on one particular occasion his partner stormed out because he dared to give the waitress a tip ! Situations like these are stuff coming up. My friend's girlfriend was set into complete fear at the thought of him remotely being near another female in case he preferred another to her. Repeat situations like this wear away and no surprise my friend finished with his lady because she would not address that it was her issue to heal, despite his painstaking demonstrations of love.
We MUST address our stuff people! It is ours to own and be aware of and respectful to our relationship if we explore the essence of what is coming up in us when our partner acts in a certain way. A previous significant relationship for me finished because we triggered deep things in each other from our past. Our match potential was amazing but when we hit conflict and after time he felt that all the pain and heartache signified that we were not meant. Ouch that hurt ! Which brings me on nicely to the depiction of a perfect happy ending that see in the movies. We are all still attached to that view in some ways and we have expectations around what we want but rarely and more so now as the planet shifts gear, do we get the happy ending because our stuff is so present in our daily lives with our partners. In fact it's there more than the love is.
But our desire to have love seems to be getting more, can I say desperate, in its search, hence I believe why there is a growing divorce rate. We want to end it because feeling our stuff coming up is not pleasant and is often perceived as the end of the road. On many occasions this is SO NOT true. Stuff means healing trying to take place and only the right kind of communication will start to unwrap the wrapped. I am convinced about this and can coach you through exactly this realisation. It's amazing when I see the light go on in people’s eyes!
Our partners are, as Martin Buber beautifully highlights, "helpmates in opposition". They are there with a specific job to show you what needs to be worked on, period. Oh to see the day when humanity is born knowing that and can thank and honour their other halves for doing their job!
So what about knowing when it's over? Much more delicate to observe and detect. There are many factors at work. The relationship may have died of un-natural causes such as stuff wars that never seem to resolve. That’s sadly the commonest reason. But what about a subtler element of it just being the right time to end it?
My work embodies and lives in the essence of sacred, all encompassing love with another soul, in truth, honesty and authenticity, but I am discovering that our journeys and growth patterns are all so very varied now. This can mean that more than one "One" will come into your life to walk beside you through the next chapter and as you change and grow, relationship "deaths" are, perhaps provoking to say, but destiny at play.
You may say, but doesn't Conscious Union believe in lifelong marriages/partnerships to the one and only? I would say yes, how wonderful would that be if we are "chipped" to meet our twin flame from day one and to heal with only one person. Beautiful ! But..overlay that with today's world and it seems that people are moving on much quicker to experience themselves through many people, not just one. Maybe our desire to grow more quickly creates partners that we shed, like a snake sheds it skins.
I have a friend who has been married for 25 years and not that long ago left his marriage because he just didn't "feel it" anymore. He found himself growing in a different direction and his wife was not going there with him but he had not consciously decided to move away from her. It was like the relationship was removed from them. Tough decision when all else in the marriage was good. It highlighted to me that wow, things just do change...but where from, when you have loved someone that long?
From an educational perspective people choose mates who reflect traits, particularly negative ones from their parenting and the unhealed negative experiences from the past will surface with that mate. Growth and release can occur where what was unhealed becomes healed and so a person will feel as though there partner is no longer a stimulant for their healing and will end the relationship. I have seen examples of this in abusive relationships where the abusee will heal through their own education and leave the destructive partner to go it alone.
Being of spiritual leaning, I am surrounded by commonly termed spiritually "awake" friends and colleagues and find it fascinating that a life dedicated to self growth and conscious awareness of the self still doesn't mean happy sorted love lives. In fact it's often quite the opposite. And this I believe is attributed to accelerated self growth which leaves partners reeling from the shock of someone new walking in their door after each self development course. A conscious friend said a while ago that "someone pushed the start button on this roller coaster of love and now I just have to ride it". True indeed. I have been there many times and would say it's a tough ride for our other halves to deal with if they choose not to ride in a similar direction at quite the same speed. The result again is often the end of the relationship.
All I know is that as you grow and become more of the real you every day you start to really understand and know exactly you want from life and particularly love. Dearhearts you must know that you absolutely deserve to find the love and happiness you so desire. I would urge you to be still when you are not sure what the heck is going on in a relationship and feel from the heart what is the right way to go. You will sure as heck know when it's your stuff coming up, I don't have to teach you that, it's part of you. If you stop for a moment you will know where the stuff comes from and the art of communicating it can be learned.
Watch for the signs, stand back and observe what the greater intelligence out there is trying to tell you. The answers are always there.
I leave you with this lyric from the song Nature Boy...."the greatest thing you will ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return” and that love just maybe meant from more than one or two people through your lifetime. And if there is such a thing such as destiny when love comes, live and feel it fully on every level!
‘Til next time