Breakthrough + Balance: Relationships
I hope you read my post on achieving breakthrough and balance in your self-care, in which I also defined the key terms for this blog series (if not, read here)! This series is all about finding breakthrough and balance in different areas in our lives though a favorite yoga lesson of mine-- not by learning where to tighten but by learning where to RELAX.
This post covers a hefty subject: Relationships! I'll mostly be focusing on romantic relationships but I do think there are lessons here that translate to friendships, family dynamics, etc. I guess now is a good time to share a little information about myself... as much as I somewhat flippantly navigate through life with a carefree attitude, I can be controlling in relationships. In addition to being controlling, I'm also pretty judgmental (Meyers-Briggs, anyone? ENTJ here, nice to meet you!). This means that learning where to relax is so very important to experience breakthrough and maintain balance in my relationship. Magic happens when I give a little and allow myself to soften in some areas, like water around rocks.
When I get stressed or irritated, my reaction is to tense up and stone wall. In some areas, that's ok. Remember, this is about learning which areas to relax, not to completely relax them all. You probably have core values that can't be compromised. That's good! Stand firm in those areas. But allow softness to fill the other areas!
A lot of people idealize relationships they see on IG or fall into the trap of filtering potential partners through dating apps. But that's like approaching dating like a game of tetris! "I am these hard shapes that can't be changed and the other person is those hard shapes that can't be changed and I have to find the exact right fit for these rigid pieces." Well... good luck with that! I admit I've thought the same way at times! But I've found more peace when I think of my core values and "deal breakers" as pillars and let the other areas be more flexible, which allows my partner to be human just as much as I am.
Enough with the prose, though. Let me give you an example. I love white walls and minimalist interior. But one of Kolby's "pillars" is music-- it is central to who he is. So when he moved in, I relaxed a bit in my aesthetic preferences and we have guitars and a couple of band-related framed pieces on the walls now. Does it make me wince every time I look at what could be a beautiful, blank white wall? No! Of course not. Here's why-- I let water fill that area and I'm reaping the benefits. I'm in a relationship where we both stand alone and get to be ourselves AND we both compromise where we can. And that's better than any white wall I've ever seen.
If you're in a relationship, reflect on the ways you've allowed softness to fill it and acknowledge how that has allowed other areas to strengthen. Think of new ways to add gentleness into that relationship. If you're single, consider making a short list of your boulders. Then when you meet a potential partner, stop scrutinizing the areas that don't fit into that category. Allow that person to be human and maybe you'll learn to love the way the water fills in the spaces between the two of you.