Suzanne Carter | MA, LPC Therapist, the Harmony Relationship Center
We must be centered in ourselves before connecting with another person in a healthy, loving way. This connection to oneself means connecting to one’s thoughts, feelings, perceptions, history, dreams, and inner strengths.
This process can be likened to seeking our authentic, accurate, or Divine selves. When we are more aware of our true nature, we bring this awareness into our relationships. It becomes easier to be present to another when we know our authentic self and are willing to be present to the authentic self in our partner.
Here are three easy exercises you can do, ideally with another, to find this authentic place within:
Make a short list of individuals – personal heroes or people you admire. They could be living or dead, historical or fictional. You may also pick natural qualities such as trees, ocean, rivers, lakes, Mother Earth, or anything you love.
Beside each one, briefly list the qualities you admire in them. This step reveals why they are on your list. For example, if one of your heroes is Superman, besides his name, you might list strong, courageous, etc. Use 1 or 2 words to identify the attribute or quality for those on your list, e.g., compassionate, faith-filled, trustworthy, etc. The words you have identified speak to how you experience your authentic or true self. These are some of the qualities you bring to your relationship,
In thinking of your Authentic self, this is the place in your consciousness where your soul gifts lie. Your dreams, and your passions and your true self reveal the One you have come here to be.
To identify your true gifts, reflect on the following questions:
What have you always been good at your whole life?
Think about times when you felt at one with your surroundings, one with others, having peak experiences.
When have you been in the flow? What does success look like to you?
What dreams have you always had? (They may be hiding below the surface or on the list of “someday maybe”).
This inquiry will reveal more helpful information about your Authentic Self and how it wants to be known. Be open to receiving answers that may surprise you. These are the unique gifts you bring to the world and to your relationship. Talk with your partner or anyone you are in a relationship with. Speak openly with others about these aspects of yourself that you have discovered and ask them to share their gifts with you.
Three: Safe Space
The third step is creating a safe space with another. Like the other two steps, this does not have to be difficult.
When we have connected with who we truly are and seek to gather with another from this authentic place within, we are connecting in love. We are creating a safe and holy place between us. Martin Buber, German Jewish philosopher and theologian, said it like this:
“When two people relate to each other authentically and humanly, God is the electricity that surges between them.”
Because there are so many aspects to the Divine, and the Divine is hard to define. Here are some important facets we can focus on to bring the presence of Goodness, another name for the Divine, to our relationships. These are Light, Love, and Life. As we practice connecting to our true and authentic selves, we bring these qualities to our relationships.
Pure guiding light will enable each of us to know what to do.
Perfect love can transform everything unlike itself. Thus, Love flowing between two or more can help us deal with conflict, can help us find solutions that were not revealed before, and so much more.
Re-vitalizing life enables us to be restored to wholeness.
Then, when we gather with other beings, be they of fur, fin, feather, or skin, we can bring these qualities to the safe space between us. Here the presence of Goodness is magnified, and in this gathering, we are blessing ourselves, others, and the world.