A relationship – and that’s the same for a love relationship as for a friendship – should bring out the best in us. It should help us see our strengths and resources, be joyful, laugh, feel good about ourselves, and support us in good and in bad times.
I’ve learned the hard way that one other aspect is very important and crucial in relationships: Balance. Equilibrium between giving and receiving. And many times we catch ourselves working so hard on a relationship, trying to understand, trying to talk, trying to adapt, trying to help and give and be better for the other person. And when we work hard, the responsibilities feel bigger and heavier and we experience less and less love and joy and laughter and lightness, less happiness. Then what we do is try to make the other person see how they have to change to bring about balance for us, to give as much as we have given, in the way that would work for US. Maybe it wouldn’t actually work for them, or maybe they are just not there. The interesting thing is that, whether we want or not, if the relationship is not balanced, if we don’t receive as much as we give or give as much as we receive, it makes us BOTH feel small and inadequate and pressured and just NOT ENOUGH.
We don’t attract people who make us happy. We attract people who make us grow. And when we do grow, we get happy. When we expand and resolve negativity within us and actualize ourselves and feel complete and in our power, that’s when we are happy. And the people in our lives help us get there, but they cannot do it for us. When we are happy and complete, that is when it’s easy for others to love us. It is because we love ourselves, and we can radiate that energy, and others connect with it and mirror it to us. The same way that they may mirror our feelings of inadequacy, doubt, or fear. So there is only one recipe for a long lasting and happy relationship: Both partners have to learn to love themselves, and to take their own responsibility for their demons and destructive patterns. Because of course, our demons and shortcomings and doubts are always part of the relationship, too. The important thing is though, that we raise our awareness of those patterns, have the courage to admit to them, and that we keep the responsibility for our own needs that underly them. When we take care of our own needs, we don’t have to project onto our partners and we can create closeness and sharing. We don’t have to expect our partner to make us happy, and burden them with too much for anyone to carry.
So how can we get out of feeling needy, projecting on our partner, fighting, or living relationship patterns that are not healthy? How can we let go?
One common difficulty in relationships, both in the end phase and in a phase of conflict or growth, is that we get so mixed up energetically and emotionally. We experience each other’s emotions and take on lots of responsibilities that are not ours. In turn we give the other person responsibilities that don’t correspond to them. For example, I may feel responsible for comforting my partner in his sadness or strengthening him in his fears, and they may have taken (MY) responsibility to make me feel pretty and loved. The content is almost arbitrary. It is normal that we make these kinds of exchanges, and healthy at times. But it stops being healthy when it is not balanced and when we keep sticking to those responsibilities even though they hurt us. And we know this is happening just because we feel less and less satisfied with the relationship.
So a big part of letting go of a partner in the process of a breakup – as well as in the process of getting through a rough patch and growing together – is to sort out the responsibilities and the energies that are connected. When we do that, we come back to our own center and calmness, and from that place of strength we can see things clearly, take better care of ourselves and love ourselves more, face our own issues and points of growth, and take decisions that are healthy for both people.
The funny thing is, this kind of attitude is basically helping us to process the current situation as if it were a breakup. To get independent again. And then, when you’re independent, your energy shifts and you are happier. And that’s the place from which you can see if you actually love your partner, or just need them, if loving them means having to be with them. In case you do return to love as a feeling for your partner, it means that you have processed your own sadness, anger, guilt, need and dependence and opened up to love. Many times, the energy of love also shifts something in the partner and facilitates change. But sometimes it doesn’t, because the other person can choose to hold on to their negative projections and suffering. In either case, you will be back to feeling good and in your own power – with or without a partner.
If you are interested in learning how to sort out the energies and responsibilities between you and your partner, and how to return to your own inner strength and clarity, watch out for my next post! I will share an audio file that will guide you through the process.
One thing is for sure, no matter what comes out of this process and what you decide: Love feels good. Love does not need anything in return. You can love someone and not be with them. You can love someone and let them go. Love is a quality of who you are and have become, not a quality of the person you are with.
For me, experiencing love and fulfilling relationships are two of the main ingredients of an abundant life. If you want to bring more love and abundance into any area of your life, my free ebook may be just the right read for you. Write us an email if you are interested!