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Be Benevolent by Rick Hanson

What are your intentions toward others?
The Practice

Be benevolent.

Why?
Benevolence is a fancy word that means something simple: good intentions toward living beings, including oneself.

This goodwill is present in warmth, friendliness, compassion, ordinary decency, fair play, kindness, altruism, generosity, and love. The benevolent heart leans toward others; it is not neutral or indifferent. Benevolence is the opposite of ill will, coldness, prejudice, cruelty, and aggression. We’ve all been benevolent, we all know what it’s like to wish someone well.

Benevolence is widely praised – from parents telling children to share their toys to saints preaching the Golden Rule – because it has so many benefits:

* Benevolence toward oneself is needed to fulfill our three fundamental needs: to avoid harms, approach rewards, and attach to others. When these needs are met, your brain shifts into its Responsive mode, in which the body repairs and refuels itself, you feel peaceful, happy, and loving.

* Benevolence toward others reduces quarrels, builds trust, and is the best-odds strategy to get good treatment in return.

* Benevolence within and between nations promotes the rule of law, educates children, feeds the hungry, supports human rights, offers humanitarian aid, and works for peace. Benevolence toward our planet tries to protect endangered species and reduce global warming.

Of course, this is just a partial list of benefits. Bottom-line, benevolence is good for individuals, relationships, nations, and the world as a whole.

The fact that benevolence is often enlightened self-interest makes it no less warm-hearted and virtuous. And at this time in history when individuals feel increasingly stressed and isolated, when relationships often stand on shaky ground, when international conflicts are fueled by dwindling resources and increasingly lethal weapons, and when humanity is dumping over nine billions tons of carbon each year into the atmosphere (like throwing 5 billion cars a year up into the sky, most of which stay there) – benevolence is not just moral, it’s essential.

But easier said than done.

How can we sustain benevolence in ourselves and in our relationships, nations, and world?

How?
* Know what benevolence feels like in your body, heart, and mind – Bring to mind a sense of warmth and good wishes toward someone. How does this feel? Try on other kinds of benevolence, and toward other beings, to sense what these are like as well.

* Realize that benevolence is natural and normal – In the media, we are so bombarded with words and images of anti-benevolence that you can start to think that ordinary decency and kindness are somehow exotic. But in fact, as we evolved, our ancestors stayed alive and passed on their genes by caring about themselves and others. And given the gratitude and reverence for nature commonly found in hunter-gatherer bands today, they likely also cared about the world upon which they depended.

* Take care of yourself – When your core needs are met – when you’re not stressed by threat, loss, or rejection – the brain defaults to its resting state, its home base. From this home base, most people are fair-minded, empathic, cooperative, compassionate, and kind: in a word, benevolent. While it’s possible to sustain goodwill in a state of fear, frustration, or loneliness, it is sure a lot harder. An undisturbed, healthy brain is a benevolent one.

* Take a stand for benevolence – Establish your intentions formally – perhaps at the start of the day, or during a contemplative practice, or at a meal – to wish yourself and all other beings well. In challenging situations, take care of your needs while also asking yourself, “How could I be benevolent here? How could I restrain any destructive thoughts, words, or deeds? Can I wish for the welfare of others? Can I express compassion and kindness?”

* Step out of your comfort zone – Not doing anything foolish, consider how you could stretch a bit (or more) in your good intentions toward others. For example, seeing people you don’t know, try wishing them well. Or with someone who’s irritating, try looking past the surface to sense this person’s own stress and worries; without waiving your rights, can you find more patience, can you let go of recrimination or payback? Or could you extend yourself with friends or family, maybe doing more dishes or giving someone a ride? In the larger world, consider volunteering some time or giving more to a charity.

* Last, appreciate some of the benevolence that buoys you along – We’ve all been nurtured and protected by friends and family, humanity altogether, and the biosphere. In some sense, there’s an exuberant benevolence in the physical universe itself; consider that most of the atoms in your body – any that are heavier than helium – were born inside an exploding star. Afloat in these gifts, who could not be benevolent?!

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Truth

Communication is the single most important part of creating a healthy relationship. A relationship without communication is like a beautiful flower without water and sunlight, it will quickly wither and die. I don’t care if you think what you have to say is hurtful or you are afraid of expressing yourself, speak your Truth. Be kind, but speak up and be honest. It’s easy to communicate when it’s good news and happy times, but it takes a truly authentic and courageous person to communicate openly and honestly when darkness falls on a relationship.”
 
– Jackson Kiddard, author & polymath.
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Boundaries- What are they?

Bonus Tip of the Week:
“Boundaries are limits that you establish within yourself and express to your partner about what’s acceptable to you and what’s not acceptable-what you’ll tolerate, what you’ll put up with and what the consequences are if your boundaries are crossed.
Boundaries have to do with your own self-respect, your self-esteem, your beliefs, your preferences and what you need and value in relationships.
A partner with healthy, established boundaries, for example, can say, ‘No.’
So, if you have healthy, established boundaries you’re comfortable saying, ‘No.’ You don’t sweat it out, or have anxiety, you don’t worry about it. If something’s not right for you, you can say ‘No.’ A partner with healthy, established boundaries can take responsibility for their own feelings and behavior. They don’t blame their partner for how they feel and don’t take on the role of victim.
It is essential for any successful relationship that both partners are able to clearly and compassionately communicate their boundaries to get their own needs met.  The ability to do this creates a healthy strong foundation for both partners where they can trust each other to speak honestly and truthfully taking any guess work out of the equation.
So if you are unable to speak up and set healthy boundaries from a loving place, learn how. Speaking your truth is a loving act to oneself and another and could save your partnership”
Contact me if you want to learn how to set boundaries
Love Mheyah
Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings”. Anais Nin

“To nourish LOVE, learn, grow, heal and replenish it’s source through honest connection”

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To the Point by the Dalai Lama

When we face problems or disagreements today, we have to arrive at solutions through dialogue. Dialogue is the only appropriate method. One-sided victory is no longer acceptable. We must work to resolve conflicts in a spirit of reconciliation, always keeping others’ interests in mind.

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The High Cost of Anger

The High Cost of Resentment and Anger
By Nancy Wasson, Ph.D.

Many spouses carry heavy suitcases filled with a collection of anger and resentment from their marriage. Periodically, they unpack these suitcases and review every situation in which they feel they were treated unfairly.

“Resentment is an extremely bitter diet, and eventually poisonous. I have no desire to make my own toxins,” declares Neil Kinnock. Hanging on to anger and resentment is toxic, and the resulting sludge can slowly poison you and your relationships.

It’s easy to lose your perspective about the bigger picture and to become obsessed with how things “should” have been and how others “should” have treated you. In your mind, you may visualize yourself zapping the other person with the perfect verbal comeback or having the opportunity to get even in some way. The more you let your mind gallop in this direction, the angrier you get and the more you feel self-righteous and justified in your reaction.

When you become mired in anger, resentment, blame, and revenge, you are only hurting yourself. In the process, you put yourself at risk for experiencing health problems, sleeping difficulties, depression, relationship rifts, and daily agitation. You automatically increase your stress level and decrease your enjoyment of life. And the longer you carry a grudge, the heavier it gets.

Nothing you do to try to find inner peace will be effective when you are filled with anger and resentment. “If we have not peace within ourselves, it is in vain to seek it from outward sources,” states Francois de La Rochefoucauld. As long as you hold on to bitter feelings, you are sabotaging yourself by destroying any chance that you can experience peace of mind.

Dr. Wayne Dyer, in 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace, states: ” It’s your ego that demands that the world and all the people in it be as you think they should be.” He continues by saying, “It is perhaps the most healing thing that you can do to remove the low energies of resentment and revenge from your life completely.” Dr. Dyer compares resentment to venom that continues to circulate in your system long after the snakebite has occurred. He emphasizes that it’s not the bite that kills you; it’s the venom.

What Is the Antidote to Anger?

How can you find peace of mind? How can you handle your feelings of anger and resentment from the experiences in your marriage? How can you create a peaceful marriage now?

The answer lies in letting go of resentment and practicing forgiveness. You can’t change what has happened, and you can’t control what your spouse chooses to do. But you do have control over the choices you make.

You can choose to cut the emotional bond that is keeping you tied to your anger and resentment. Instead, you can decide to experience the joy of freedom from the heavy burdens you have been carrying around for so long. To get the help you need in letting go of the past, you always have the option of asking a therapist or minister to assist you.

Thomas Fuller observes, “He that cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself; for every man has need to be forgiven.” Without forgiveness, your life becomes an endless cycle of anger, resentment, and retaliation.

You practice forgiveness so that you can stop ruminating about the past and put your energy into the present moment. And you practice forgiveness so you will be free from the poisonous effects of resentment.

Then, you can experience peace of mind and bring inner peacefulness into your marriage. You will never have a peaceful marriage until you are at peace within yourself.

Mheyah @ Connection Point Counselling & Coaching
www.connectionpointcounselling.com

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Improve Your Relationship

Sometimes, when your marriage is on the rocks, you start to wonder how relationship goals that require two people’s active participation apply to you. That’s why I decided to write Ten Marriage Saving Strategies You Can Do Alone! for those people who don’t have the luxury of their partner’s support.  Here are ten goals that you can accomplish yourself! By Divorce Bustings Michele Weiner-Davis

1. Envision positive outcomes
There is no way that you can begin to accomplish positive change your marriage if you don’t believe it is possible. Start by imagining what your life will be like when your marriage truly turns a corner. The more you can picture every detail, the easier it will be to eventually step into this picture at some later date.

2. Act as if you expect miracles to occur
Once you can imagine positive outcomes, reflect on how you will be behaving differently when they happen. Then start doing that right now!

3. Be kind, even if you think your spouse doesn’t deserve it
You may be angry, disappointed, or even devastated by your spouse’s choices and actions. However, rather than react to unsettling behavior, assume your spouse is lost and confused. Be patient, kind and steady and your efforts will pay off.

4. Focus on small, positive changes
Don’t expect big changes overnight or you will be disappointed and it will make it hard to stay on track. Imagine the smallest change possible that would signal a shift in how things have been going. Then focus on that.

5. Promise yourself that you will have a great future, no matter what
You can not control what your spouse does, but you can control what you decide to do with yourself and your children, if you have them. Take a deep breath and envision how you are going to create a great future, regardless of your spouse’s choices.

6. Exercise your worry away
Take a walk, get some exercise to become more fit. Exercise can be a lifesaver. It helps to assuage worries, feel good about yourself and increase feel-good hormones like endorphins. Go for it!

7. Do one new thing you enjoy
Don’t become stale just because you are having a shaky time in your marriage. Novelty will stimulate your brain and maybe even your heart and help you have a more positive outlook about the future.

8. Make sure you have quality time with your children or other loved ones.  Be present.
Many times, when people are teetering on the brink of divorce, their pain makes them become self-absorbed and staying the moment becomes a challenging task. You will never be able to do your children’s childhood again, so do your best to be with them mentally when you’re with them.

9. If you get off track, get back on quickly without self-blame
What separates the winners from the losers is not whether or how many times you get off track, it’s how rapidly you get back on track. If you’ve veered from the Divorce Busting plan, hop right back on track without self-recrimination.

10. Do activities that help you rediscover serenity
Meditate, pray, hike in the mountains or watch a sky full of shooting stars. On a regular basis, do whatever it takes to bring you back to yourself. You and everyone around will benefit from your peacefulness.

Hope you enjoy some of these simple but effective tools for life, happiness and love, Mheyah www.connectionpointcounselling.com

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Announcing Communication Course

“Lets Get Together” once a week for 8 weeks starting Wed April 6 in North Vancouver and really learn some new skills to improve your relationships and your life.
“The Quality of our Relationships determines the Quality of our Lives”

Everyone is welcome to join. You don’t have to be a couple to learn how to improve your relationships. We are all in relationship everyday and the most important relationship we are in is the one we have with ourselves…………

So please join me for
COLLABORATIVE COMPASSIONATE
 CONSCIOUS COMMUNICATION 8 Week Event

This group is for anyone: who wants to understand and to be understood more effectively, for anyone that wants less conflict, to feel less stressed, to have more harmonious connections in your everyday life, personally and professionally.

Do you want to hear what others are really trying to say and do you want to express yourself clearly so you can be understood and appreciated for who you are, what you need and want and for others to understand what is important to  you.
Do you want to feel more at ease in the world, more confident and happier.

Whether we are talking about personal or professional relationships, we can all benefit from learning and developing conscious tangible communication
 and relationship skills that honour and respect each others needs and values, 
create a clear understanding of ones core self and what is important to you, integrating that learning into 
relationships filled with respect and ease.

You will learn to use the communication model of Compassionate 
Communication (NVC) created by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg.  We will do some experiential exercises individually and in a group that will highlight your needs and values and you will learn to communicate these more effectively minimizing stress and emotional upset. You will learn how to ask the important questions, limit the impact of conflict and differences, merging everything you have learned about yourself and others and the goals of the relationship personally or professionally into a harmonious reality.

For some added inspiration and fun we will have one evening dedicated to True Colours Personality Typing. You won’t want to miss this evening for sure.

My hope is you will start to see conflict as an opportunity
, learn to debate constructively and respectfully
, recognize your own and others deepest values and needs
 and communicate clear boundaries. We will also delve into the stories and meaning we make of what others say and do and how that impacts our perspectives and our feelings. We will learn to “THINK RESPONSIBLY”

Relationship coaching develops deep democracy in all relationships, teaches valuable emotional de-triggering techniques, 
increases a positive view of others, recognizes mixed signals and creates understanding about the special gifts we all bring to our different roles, partnerships and connections. This unique coaching and counselling approach teaches profound tools that will
 inspire and challenge you to gain a deeper understanding of yourself and others through
COLLABORATIVE COMPASSIONATE
 CONSCIOUS COMMUNICATION
.

REGISTER AND GET A ONE HOUR FREE COACHING SESSION

Recommended reading for the course is:
Non-Violent Communication, A Language of Love by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg
The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman
Cost for the 8 week course is $199
For more information and to register please contact me
Mheyah@gmail.com or 778-881-0410


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Introducing Connection Point

Hap-pi-ness: Is living consciously in harmony with your values, beliefs and heart
Love: Is being compassionate with oneself and others without fear
Ful-fill-ment: Is living on purpose, contributing your gifts and making a difference
Suc-cess: Is something that can only be defined by understanding and living ones authentic self

Happy “Almost Spring” from Mheyah at “CONNECTION POINT”
I hope everyone has started off 2011 full of love and connection with family and friends and with a renewed sense of what you hope to achieve this year. I have been reminded lately of all that is important and valuable to me as I have navigated the terrain of hospital visits with those I love and care about.
It still feels like the beginning of 2011 and I am looking forward to spring days which for me feels like renewal and clearing away for the budding of new things which has me reflecting on my intentions, hopes and dreams going forward.
I know that my most important intention is to live and love authentically through my heart, inspiring others to create conscious, loving, happy successful lives through heart centered connection, thinking positively and following their dreams and goals.
Spring seems like an appropriate time to announce a new beginning for me. I have been busy redefining and recreating so I could best express how I can contribute to making a difference in others lives.
My new company is a more authentic reflection of who I am and what I have to offer to support you to create more happiness, success, love and fulfillment, so I would like to INVITE you to check out my new website and my FREE offer to experience coaching with me @ www.connectionpointcounselling.com
Connecting with a compassionate mentor and coach can help you discover “yourself” so you can get passed the obstacles that are holding you back from having the life you truly want. I will support you to make necessary changes so you can be more successful in all areas of your life, whether you want to feel happier and more at peace, have more loving relationships with less conflict, or find your true hearts calling and purpose.
Change can be so much easier with a coach, someone to bounce ideas around with, define what you need and want, create new ways of thinking and share what is important to you going forward in a new way.
“At last, recent scientific breakthroughs in Quantum Physics provide “proof” that you can, in fact, “think” your way to more Love, Health, Happiness and Prosperity! ”
I am committed to support, inspire, encourage and collaborate with you to create that new path. Call me for more great ideas on how to achieve more success love, happiness and fulfillment in all areas of your life.

Please contact me at 778-881-0410 or email on my new website at mheyah@connectionpointcounselling.com
I look forward to connecting with you, Mheyah
Collaborating for Conscious Change Personally, Professionally, Globally
-Discover your Values
-Define your Purpose
-Create a Vision
-Set Goals and support Action
“At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.” Lao Tzu
www.connectionpointcounselling.com
www.weddinggo2girl.com
www.loveactuallycommunications.com

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What is Communication really? by Mheyah Bailey

“It has been said that the quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives”

People tend to say communication is key” or “you have to communicate to have a good relationship” but honestly, what is good communication?

How is it going to help you create a more loving, peaceful and passionate relationship with your partner?

Simply put, good communication is “heart to heart connection” When we speak from our heart we are being honest and authentic about ourselves creating more understanding,  enabling us to resolve conflicts and show deeper love and appreciation, developing a stronger intimate bond with our significant other.  I am imagining you may be asking  “Well, how do I do that, and what does “heart to heart communication really mean? “

It is actually a simple equation of:                                                                                                                                              Consciousness + Compassion + Collaboration + Curiousity = Connection
When you have created “heart to heart connection “ using the Four C’s , love and passion can be truly ignited and maintained, creating a more intimate and fulfilling love relationship.

There are 5 key elements to great heart centered communication.

1. Consciousness: You need to really know yourself, become aware of your own feelings, needs, vulnerabilities and values and how you become emotionally reactive in relationship with your loved one.  This can be very challenging to learn as it means we all need to become more aware of our underlying feelings, which in conflict or disagreement can be a real struggle. We are usually quite aware of our secondary emotions which show up as feeling upset, annoyed, frustrated, overwhelmed or angry and in our typical way of interacting we are unaware of our underlying primary feelings of fear, hurt, anxiety, sadness, vulnerability, insecurity, shame, feeling unloved, to name only a few.

It takes awareness and practice to notice our real feelings and takes courage to express them.  Usually these are more vulnerable feelings and ones we would prefer not to acknowledge or share with anyone. When we communicate from this more authentic place our partners can hear us differently and as a couple you can collaborate to resolve differences from understanding each other’s deeper feelings, needs and values. This in turn creates a stronger connection between you.

We all need to learn to take responsibility for our own feelings in relationship and learn that there is no room for “blaming or criticism” in any relationship. Blaming/Criticism is one bad habit of the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” which Dr. John Gottman says will doom any relationship to conflict and potential failure.                                                                                                                            The hint here is to only share how you are feeling, what is important to you, without blaming or criticizing anyone else for your experience.  When we learn that each circumstance or upset, no matter what, is our own responsibility, we are becoming emotionally intelligent. How we react to our feelings about anything or anyone says more about our own beliefs, perspectives and imaginings than it does about them or what you may believe they are doing to you.

When I am reacting and not sure of why I am having a reaction I ask myself:  what am I thinking, how am I judging, what am I resisting or attached to and I try to remember not to believe everything I think.

2. Listening: You need to be able to listen without judgment or interrupting.  SSSSHHHH. Listening does not mean that your mouth is moving or that your brain is already in rebuttal mode, it means that you are entirely engaged with your partners experience, how they are feeling as they struggle to express what is going on for them.  It means that you don’t assume that you already know and understand what your partner is trying to express, it doesn’t mean that you take any of what they are saying personally.

It means you are LISTENING INTENTLY to what is being said, what is happening for them, what has upset them, what your partner values and how they want something to be different to fulfill a need they have. A need could be as simple as tidiness or as important as respect, but all worthy of your time, compassion, cooperation and collaboration to resolve.

Then when you have managed this huge feat of listening, you need to find some more…………….

3. Compassion Again:  You need to have an endless well of compassion.         Empathy and compassion are the underlying premise of all heart to heart conversations and is the cord between your two hearts. Compassion is different than sympathy and is simply the ability to remain in your loving heart and be with your partner’s pain even when it is sometimes directed at you. This can be very difficult to actually achieve, however it is vitally important to a loving relationship. You also need to be able to reflect back what you partner is expressing and how it makes sense to you knowing your loved ones values.

Compassionate Reflection is the action required after listening, to show your partner you have heard and understood what they have communicated.

For instance, my son is (occasionally) lovely at showing compassion.  When I am upset he will ask me what I need, what is going on and then after sharing how I feel he will say something like

“Oh Mom I can hear you are feeling hurt and that makes sense to me knowing how relationships are so important to you and how much you value your friendships” Amazing young man, he acknowledged what I was feeling, reflected back compassionately and understood my feelings based on what he knows to be my values.  I feel heard, understood and accepted and to be honest for me, that equates to feeling loved.

“When you truly put your heart on the line and invest selflessly into your relationships you are putting yourself in a vulnerable place but it pays off and the rewards are endless” quote by one “heart centered compassionate wise “16 year old son.

Can you name one person who doesn’t like being understood, acknowledged and appreciated?

4. Curiousity & Collaboration: It is invaluable to be deeply interested in what your partner is expressing, reflect what you heard, check it out, make sure what you heard is what your partner intended to mean, and do your best to understand what is important to them and what they are asking for..

Have you ever listened to a child who is curious about something? They are unequalled in their persistence to get the answers so they can understand.

Curiousity shows that you care, that you are interested, that your partner is important to you and if you can stay curious even in times of conflict, then you have most likely vanquished relationship killers “Assuming and taking things Personally”

This is also where the Second Horseman of the Apocalypse – Defensiveness must not gallop into the relationship.  The opposite of curiousity is defending and if you want a deeply intimate connection with your loved one then it is important to stay present to what is happening, what is trying to happen and collaboratively decide what needs to happen going forward. Being curious about your partner’s life, how they experience it and appreciate their perspective is the key to love and connection and creates an unbreakable bond between you and your partner.

5. Body Language: You need to be open. Your body language says a lot about you and whether you are open and accepting of your partner and what they are saying to you, or whether you are being defensive or distant. We can give a whole different message if we are not conscious of how we are physically showing up.  We need to have an open body stance without crossed arms, eye to eye contact and affectionate reassuring touch so our partners can feel our availability, our love and acceptance even in conflict.

It is vitally important that we do not give in to the Third and Fourth Horseman – Distancing and Contempt and are close cousins.  Distancing or withdrawing is obvious in that nothing can be resolved if you are physically or emotionally unavailable for communication and connection and may send a message to your partner that they are unimportant. Contempt can be subtle but is an extremely negative signal that is not only physically damaging to the receiver but is the main cause of relationship failure. Contempt can be as small a gesture as an “eyeball roll” a “downturn of the lip” signifying judgment and disapproval, to the extreme of condescending comments and disdainful or disapproving put downs. If a person lives with contempt it increases their chances of ill health and depression.  So I want to encourage you all to refrain from any contemptuous behavior.  Compassion is the antidote to contempt, and body language shows love and acceptance through being in a relaxed open posture with eye to eye connection.

So now you have the basic “4 C’s of Great Communication “which if used regularly will create more love, fulfillment and passion in your relationship.

Consciousness + Compassion + Collaboration + Curiousity = Loving Connection

I hope that these insights have been helpful for creating loving connections with your partner

Some of my favourite reading suggestions are:

Non-Violent Communication by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg
The 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work by Dr. John Gottman
Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix
Me Tight by Dr. Sue Johnson
Conscious Loving by Gay and Katie Hendrix
Happy Communication = Happy Loving
love Mheyah

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Is that a projection or are you just happy to see me by Jeffrey Sumber

Great article by my colleague Jeffrey Sumber about relationships. Enjoy:

“I like to ask couples with whom I work at the start of counseling what the point of their relationship is. It’s not that I like to see people squirm in their seats, it’s that I don’t experience many people with healthy understandings as to why they actually engage in relationship. After all, effectively relating to others is arguably one of the hardest things we do as humans.

Many people suggest they’re in it for the love, the support and the companionship. However, the really honest folks tend to admit that they get involved with someone in order to get their needs met. “Who else is going to take out the garbage?” Good question!

I believe this oftentimes “stealth” motive for why we engage in relationships is one of the key reasons that so many people seem unhappy with their significant other. Many of us know we’re not supposed to really expect anything from the other person, but it doesn’t take much to uncover the truth for people: why would I be partnered if I can’t expect my partner to give to me, do for me, be for me…?

Sorry, but I’m here to suggest that this is one of those things that will keep you unhappy forever unless you accept a significant paradigm shift. I believe we enter the landscape of relationship for all those fun, exciting reasons like love, companionship, dependable sex, etc., however the most compelling reason is that through relationship, I grow, evolve, and transform. It is about me changing as much as I like to fantasize about you changing.

If I step away from my projections as to how you could change (thereby creating a perfect world in which I can live) and direct my attention to the ways I would like to be in the world, the person I want to strive to be, then I have the potential to truly create a peaceful, supportive relationship.

So, it’s Valentine’s Day. Many of us are used to being disappointed on these kinds of holidays. We tend to have expectations that we project onto our significant others and when their behaviors inevitably don’t match our fantasies, we hold them responsible. We blame them. We resent them. We criticize, scold and threaten. We even make up excuses like “it’s not a real holiday anyway…” As if any holiday is real.

Be Your Valentine? WHY?

And they’re absolutely right. What is fun about feeling like we failed once again at doing what you wanted? Why would I feel motivated to do it better or differently next time if my motivation is powered by shame, guilt or anger?

The solution? Focus on being the partner you think your partner should be instead of waiting for them to magically transform into your own best self.

Shall I repeat that?

Express your needs in terms of yourself, not your partner. It is not a given that your needs will be met by your partner and they are not bad or wrong for not successfully fulfilling your needs.

If you do get your needs met, it is a wonderful, amazing occurrence. Celebrate.

If your partner meets your needs as a result of a deep, organic longing to please you, as a gift rather than an obligation, then rejoice and nurture the experience of something sacred and wondrous occurring in your life. Receive the gift and nourish yourself”

Use your relationship to grow deeper into yourself, not to diminish your partner!

Please leave your feedback so I know how you are enjoying the posts, Mheyah