Healing Love

Love is who we are, what we are seeking, and how we want to be received. Love is the most simple and most intricately complex aspect of life. Love teaches, love hurts and love heals. Remember to love yourself first.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Relationship Problems? So What's New?

Sometimes I think the whole purpose for relationships, especially close, intimate relationships, is to make us struggle, suffer, and wish we could be alone. But then when our wish is granted, when we finally break up with this person who has been the "cause" of all of our suffering, something strange often happens. We begin to "miss" this person. We start to reminisce about all the good times, the good feelings, the happy moments, and the unlived possibilities. Often, in a very short time, one or the other makes contact and the relationship is right back where it was before. For a few moments or hours, or perhaps days, we are back on our honeymoon of love. And then, the relationship problems creep back in and we start feeling upset, angry, anxious, moody, frustrated, bored, or whatever our emotional tendencies are.

What's wrong with this picture? Why do close relationships often create intense emotional problems for us? Why do we remain in such painful, difficult claustrophobic situations? And, once we react in anger, gain the courage, develop the insight to take charge of our own life, and begin to move on, why do so many of us return right back into the lion's den?

The answer is quite simple. We are naturally social beings. We need others to know we exist, to validate our thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. However, the media and our culture provide mixed messages about how "cool'' it is to be self-sufficient, independent, and even self-centered. And our well meaning "friends," in their attempts to help us do what they think is best for us, sometimes plant their own doubt, confusion and downright hostility into our minds just when we need to think our own thoughts.

So what's the deal? Why bother to get close to someone if it's only going to cause suffering and unhappiness? And why bother to have friends if we can't count on their unbiased wisdom in our times of need?

To me the solution is: Ask not what your relationship can do for you, but what you can do for your relationship? How would your relationship change if you practiced this principle? When your partner is not behaving "appropriately" and is hurting you unnecessarily, what would happen if you applied this new way of thinking? How might you respond in any relationship problem if your first concern is what you can do for your relationship, rather than what the relationship is doing or not doing for you?

It boils down to this. What do you believe is the purpose for your relationships? Is the purpose to please you and provide whatever you desire - or- is the purpose to help you develop greater self-awareness, compassion and insight into the thoughts and feelings of others so that you can overcome relationship problems and enjoy life?

If you would like to create a new way of handling your relationship problems but do not know how, a few sessions of counseling can make a huge difference. Seek out a qualified therapist and discover new possibilities for enjoying love and intimacy - perhaps for the first time in your life.

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