Suzanne Carter | The Harmony Relationship Center
As I was driving through Loveland, CO, and the streets were covered with snow and slush and frozen ice, it was lovely to look up and see hearts everywhere, valentines that were on the street signs and street lights. The Valentines seem to have different messages of Love or remembrances.
Valentine’s Day has always been my favorite holiday and to be in a city that celebrates it so perfectly is a blessing in every way. It seems this city is celebrating relationships in a really outward and demonstrable way and they even have a Sweetheart festival.
~RELATIONSHIPS ARE IMPORTANT~
Further, A new study finds that more than 70 percent of popular songs since 1960 are about romance and about love in relationships.
So, why do humans have so much trouble with relationships? Why is most counseling centered around either healing from childhood wounding from relationships with our caretakers, or dealing with being rejected by the ones we love the most?
We, humans, are meant to be in relationship. We are more like horses and wolves, who teach us that we cannot really survive on our own. Just as horses live in herds and wolves live in packs, we are meant to be connected to a group of other people.
The Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, MD, recently linked depression and gun violence to loneliness.
So again, why is it that something that is so important fraught with challenges?
A major part of my career has been to try and understand this question and to try and come up with the answer and then to help humans solve the relationship problem.
I have had the privilege and delight to study with the world’s greatest relationship theorists. I have created a program to help couples heal what stands in the way of their relationship issues. And, I have found out that typically, it is not what’s wrong with the person or persons involved in the relationship that is causing the problems.
The problem lies in the fact that humans have not learned the skills necessary to have a happy and healthy relationship. Relationships have changed.
Terrence Real in his book, The New Rules of Marriage, tells us:
“More than any other generation, we yearn for our mates to be lifelong friends and lovers. The New Rules of Marriage shows us how to fulfill this courageous and uncompromising new vision”.
Thus, just as the scarecrow from THE WIZARD OF OZ, simply needed new skills in order to use his brain power that was always there.
We, humans, need new awareness and thus new skills, to build healthy relationships. In my wedding ceremonies, I tell couples that they do not find a “Happily ever- after relationship”, they must create it and the responsibility lies with both partners.
There are 3 steps that one must be willing to take in order to be ready to create this relationship.
Here are the 3 steps:
- Each partner must be willing to nurture the relationship with themselves.
We can only love another to the degree that we love ourselves. This is not easy, and it is step one. I call this the first step: learning to connect with your true and authentic self. At the end of this article, you will find a fun way to begin to identify some of the best qualities of your true self.
- Each partner needs to do some healing work in order to heal what stands in the way of expressing who they truly are.
- Each partner must be willing to connect to the other from their authentic self. This is also difficult but there are many wonderful communication tools that can make this easier.
Over the next year, I am going to write a monthly column for North Forty News talking about how to implement these steps. I will always include a new skill that will enable you to create your “happily ever after relationship.”
Though this may be one of the most difficult things you have ever done and may require a lot of work, the effort you put into your relationship not only with yourself but with your partner will bless you, your partner, your children, and the world.
The depth and breadth of our deepest dreams can come true if we choose to find the courage necessary to heal our relationship with ourselves and then be our authentic self with our partner. As we do this work, we are helping to heal the world, and we are doing it by being ourselves.
Exercise to help Identify some of your authentic self-qualities.
HERO’S QUALITY WORKSHEET
Step One: Make a short list of individuals – personal heroes or persons you admire. They could be living or dead, historical or fictional. Each must possess qualities that you value or attributes you wish for yourself. (also, some may list trees, ocean, rivers, lakes, Mother Earth or anything you simply love).
Step Two: Beside each person, briefly list the qualities you admire in them. The quality answers why this person is on your list. For example, if one of your heroes is Superman, beside his name you might list strong, courageous, etc. Use 1 or 2 words to identify the attribute or quality, e.g. compassionate, faith filled, trustworthy, etc.
Step Three: Share with your partner. Take turns and your only job is to listen to one another with your eyes open and connected to your heart.