How to love consciously
Every intimate relationship begins with YOU
Shall I tell you my number one tip for a joyous relationship that actually works?
Having a sense of intimacy with yourself.
When you know yourself through and through, you can freely be yourself with another. As brilliant, funny, weird and imperfect as the day you fell in love. Without any need to be admired and validated as a wonderful girlfriend, husband, lover, etc. There is no pressure to do everything together. Or to live up to the image of the perfect couple, constantly cuddling and hugging on social media posts.
Cuddling, kissing and hugging are of course included! As are caring and nurturing of yourself and your partner and allowing them to grow and be all they want to be, which sometimes isn’t all that soft and cuddly.
Truly, what is love?
On our mother’s knee, we’re taught that love is all about making others happy. “If you love mummy, you’ll eat all your dinner, pick up your toys…” and so on.
We are encouraged to place other people’s needs, desires, and requirements ahead of ourselves to prove we care and expect the same in return. Isn’t that how all the great love stories go. Except, how often do we judge that person for the way they do and don’t demonstrate their love?
I have a friend who brought his wife a bouquet of 12 beautiful red roses one day. This made her furiously angry. Why? She had decided that a single red rose was the symbol of true love. We are all so different.
To truly love someone is to recognise their difference and encourage them to use all their gifts and talents and capacities in every way they can.
For instance, my partner is a keen cyclist and so are many of our friends. They often ask me when I’m going to start cycling. I smile and say that I’m not.
Being consciously ourselves in a relationship is choosing what contributes to us instead of hopping on a bicycle (or doing something) to prove that we are together.
I am far more interested in exploring ‘what can I choose’ in this relationship to be more of me and contribute to my partner being more of them. This is the never-ending adventure of intimate relationships.
Intimacy is a fine idea, but…
Intimacy with self is not just an empty slogan; it is within the reach of everyone willing to have these five elements: Honour, trust, allowance, gratitude and vulnerability. Let me explain each one a little further as they might not be exactly what you think they are.
Honour means to treat yourself and everyone else with regard; never be disrespectful.
It’s quite common for people to make their ex-partners wrong for whatever went on in the past. If you didn’t have to defend your choices, you could simply say: “It’s just not working for me anymore.” Doesn’t that bring a sense of lightness to your world? By not defending our choices, we honour ourselves and contribute to the relationships we will have in the future.
Trust is recognising that other people will be exactly as they were when we first met them. If someone lies to you, don’t get mad. Be happy. It means you can trust that they will always lie and you don’t have to waste time trying to fix people or make excuses for them.
Allowance is not judging anyone’s choices as right and wrong, or good and bad. Every choice, yours and other people’s, is simply interesting. Regardless of what someone else thinks.
Vulnerability is having no barriers up to anyone. This is often considered a weakness, especially if we have been hurt in the past. We try to protect ourselves behind invisible walls so we don’t have to suffer a broken heart again.
Here’s a scenario where vulnerability is actually a strength. When we’re truly being present there with someone, with no barriers or agendas, it creates a softness that invites them to choose a different possibility. In contrast, what does ranting and railing at someone (or yourself) accomplish? Only more ill-feeling and upset.
Gratitude covers so much more than thankfulness. What if you could have gratitude for your ex-partner? When we are grateful for someone, we cannot judge them which frees us from investing time and energy to make them wrong.
Now, imagine having these five elements with yourself. Don’t they open new possibilities for you and your intimate relationships?
Greater than fairy tales
Almost everyone in the world is looking for the perfect relationship. There is no perfect relationship; it’s a huge myth.
I’ve been married three times and realise that a conscious relationship can be far greater than all the fairy tales and romantic fantasies combined.
Every day is an adventure, even with yourself. To go on that adventure requires us to be honest about where our choices are leading us. We always know if we’re about to make a certain choice, it may be fun for a short period and after that ― less so!
It’s also recognising that, if a choice didn’t work out so great, there’s no need to judge it. Instead, what can we change and what can we be in this relationship that would contribute more?
And the survey says…
What makes a relationship successful? Researchers at the Western University in London, Ontario, recently studied
11 000 couples for a year to determine what predicts the quality of relationships.
Assistant Professor Samantha Joel, the study’s lead author, said how couples engaged with each other had a major impact on their happiness levels.
“When it comes to a satisfying relationship, the partnership you build is more important than the partner you pick,” Prof Joel wrote in an email to CNN.
My take on this is never to stop actively creating your relationship.
Your choice to choose that person is what creates a true love relationship, a togetherness or communion. Each new day is a chance to create more joy.
Even when choosing to grow old together, what if there were no end to our relationships and we were always seeking more? What else could your relationship be, if you were consciously being you every single day?
Samantha Lewis is an Access Consciousness Being You and certified facilitator and owner of Conscious You, a wellness practice nestled in the heart of Fourways, Johannesburg. Samantha delights in empowering you to live an authentic life filled with ease, joy and an abundance of infinite possibilities. With over 20 years of experience in the personal wellness and body energetics field, Samantha has assisted people from all walks of life to discover their truth and choose a life that works for them, including their bodies. Her unique way of facilitation, tailored to each individual’s personal development, empowers them to see what they can change and make the choice to move forward in their life.