Shifting our relationship paradigm
Sometimes relationships can seem like a bit of a crapshoot. Even the most fiery, passionate, made-in-heaven relationships can fizzle over time, despite our best efforts. On the other hand, someone we start out disliking for all their foibles could be the person we walk down the aisle with.
How are we to cope with the uncertainty of the future, with how people change over the years and in fact every day, with the desire to find Mr. or Mrs. Right?
We cope by completely shifting our relationship paradigm. Instead of focusing on finding the right person (and searching the world over), we can work on becoming the right person.
Looking in the mirror
By becoming the right person, I mean cultivating a tender heart and an awakened mind. I mean loving ourselves and being good to ourselves. I mean to say that taking care of ourselves is taking care of our relationships.
If we do not consider ourselves lovable, we will not trust someone who says they love us. If we do not forgive ourselves for being less than perfect, we will not forgive our partners either.
But if we cultivate gratitude, if we cherish the things we do have and lament less on the things we don’t have, if focus on our goodness and our worthiness, we will see our partners in the best of lights too.
Then our relationships will always be moving in the direction of greater intimacy and connection.
We may think (or society tells us) that in order to find the right partner we have to be classically attractive, handsome, the perfect parent, wealthy, strong, thin, a chef in the kitchen and an acrobatic in the bedroom, but this is simply not true. In reality, when anybody is surveyed about what they actually look for in a partner, understanding, empathy and intelligence make the top of every list.
The new shift
So instead of asking, is this the best person for me to love?, we can simply ask, how can I best love this person?. The latter opens up an entirely new realm of possibility and growth.
We move from a world of fear (what if they don’t like me?), judgements (how smart is this person?) and comparisons (is this person good enough?), to potential (how much can we grow together?) and openness (what more can I do?”).
By moving from the head center of discernment to the heart center of acceptance, we spell success for whatever relationship we enter into. We can focus on what we have to give rather than what we have to get.
Instead of expecting someone else to fill up our own cup, we can make ours so full it flows over to everyone that we meet.
If we focus on becoming the right person, then every relationship—whether it lasts a week or a lifetime—becomes a success. It means we loved someone as best we could, we learned about ourselves in the process, and we are more open for the next one.
And if the person we are meant to be with is looking for their right person, we will be ready and waiting.