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Grace Is a Knockin'--Will You Let Her In?

She loves to play hide-n-seek. But if you go searching for her, you won’t find her. If you try too hard she stays hidden in the shadows, just out of reach. And yet she is always there, knocking on your door in plain sight. Her gifts are more valuable than all the riches in the world and more powerful than nuclear bombs, yet they cost nothing and she bestows them with the lightest touch. The only way to receive her gifts is to drop the protective armor around the heart and provide the opening. She enters through the receptive heart—the door must be open. She knows exactly what you need and if you allow her, she will change your life.  It only takes one moment, this moment.



The Greater You Is Emerging!

Why are relationships very often so challenging? Shouldn’t something that is so fundamental to our existence be much easier? For some time now I have been exploring this question through both research and the battlefield of personal struggles. One of my findings is the following. Relationships bring to the surface our deepest held limiting beliefs that we need to shed in order for a greater version of ourselves to emerge. We are all walking around with unlimited, unconditional love within us that wants to emerge and express itself, but we resist it and hold back, often unconsciously. Our relationships are the perfect vehicle to help illuminate the things we need to refine within ourselves in order to evolve to greater states of love. What is truly fascinating is that just about every day we are offered opportunities with our partners (or others) that could propel us forward in our personal evolution—if we would just capitalize on them:

Am I ready and willing to forgive now?

Will I risk being open or vulnerable?

Am I willing to love my partner just as they are?

Will I claim my voice and speak my truth?

Am I open to receiving love from my partner?

And so on…

Saying YES to these opportunities requires that we let go of an old version of ourselves and make room for the Spirit of Love to come forth. The big problem, of course, is that in a relationship it is very seductive to wait for the other person to change first. I know this because I have been seduced many times and waited, and waited, and waited, and to my utter astonishment nothing changed. 

Are you ready to make the following commitment?  

For every challenge in my relationships, I will seize the opportunity to transform myself into a greater version of me.

Even if you don’t know how to transform yourself yet, it is important to make this commitment. If you do this with sincerity the next steps will become more visible, particularly if you trust the unfolding of this process. All you have to do is let that greater YOU emerge and express the infinite love from within.



After the Fight--3 Steps to Reconnect

We are very likely going to hurt each other in relationships, and I don’t know if there is a way to avoid it. Therefore, the ART of reconnecting and repairing after emotional pain becomes a crucial component in a long term, loving relationship. Much of the time our repair attempts are incomplete or outright fail, and a true reconnection with our partner is not established. We then hold on to anger or resentment (sometimes unconsciously) and slowly begin to drift apart. It may even get to the point that we are irritated by almost anything our partner does.

In order to prevent this from happening, a complete reconnection must be established any time feelings have been hurt. This means that we must be able to look into our partner’s eyes and feel authentic love and appreciation for them again. If we don’t feel that way yet, then we haven’t fully repaired the connection. It is essential that we do not stop until full reconnection is achieved so we don’t hold on to the past. This process is not about solving a problem or negotiating something. For example, if the original conflict arose over a dispute over who would do the dishes, this conversation is not about figuring that out. It’s about repairing the emotional damage that occurred in the dispute. Once reconnection is established, you can then more effectively discuss the issue of dishes. 

Creating a formula for reconnection is tricky because it is an art form, and it may look different each time. However, there are 3 key steps that are present in most successful endeavors:

Step 1-Readiness/Willingness

Ask yourself the question, “Am I ready and willing to move toward reconnection?” This requires an honest self-assessment as to your emotional state and willingness to engage in a meaningful way. This does not mean that you must feel completely healed already. You may still feel some pain, but you have moved past being immersed in blame and defensiveness. If you are not at this point of readiness it usually does little good or causes even more harm to attempt. If you do make an attempt and realize you are becoming too reactive, it is best to shelve it for a period and come back when you feel ready again. 

Step 2 – Ownership/Responsibility

In your mind and heart you must accept full ownership of your feelings and your contribution to the situation, and this must be reflected in any words you use. If even the slightest hint of blaming your partner comes through, it will likely derail the situation.  When words are required, it is best to speak more about yourself and your experience and very little about your partner.  This is not to say that you should blame or criticize yourself either; this prolongs the process as well. If an apology feels appropriate, which in some cases is not, be certain it is heartfelt-no hollow apologies! When it is sincere you will feel it deeply and only need to say it once.

Step 3 – Forgiveness

This last step is arguably the most challenging and misunderstood of them all. It involves a true letting go of the emotional pain/attachment around the situation and the ability to have compassion for your partner at the same time. The way you feel is the barometer as to whether you have reached the level of forgiveness. You will be able to look at your partner and feel authentic love and appreciation again. Just like an apology, contrived forgiveness is not effective. If you are not at that level yet, let that be OK for now because it cannot be forced. However, each day you can make a conscious choice to keep moving toward it. In a quiet state of mind, ask yourself questions such as:

What am I afraid will happen if I forgive?

Do I have to continue holding on to this?

How much am I willing to forgive in this moment?


And remember, don’t stop until you reach the freedom and glory that true forgiveness offers.



Is the Cart Before the Horse in Your Relationship?

Take a moment to ask the question, “What do I truly want from my partner?” Maybe the answer is support, or intimacy, or connection, or love, or cooperation, etc. Try to come up with one word that defines what it is you truly desire from your partner in this moment. Now ask the question, “Am I allowing myself to receive _____________ (insert your word) from my partner?” In order to answer this question think about what it would feel like to be open to receiving _________________. Are you open to receiving it?

This exercise is important because if you want to receive something from your partner, you must first be in the energetic state of allowing it into your experience. Otherwise, you may sabotage or fail to recognize it even if your partner attempts to give it to you.

Very often we verbalize to our partner that we want to receive before we have cleared any internal barriers and resistance. The cart cannot go before the horse!



Do The Unexpected

Have you ever received an unexpected gift, whether material or otherwise, and noticed the positive impact on your emotional state?  The surprise of receiving something we did not expect usually has greater power than when we are already anticipating that something is on the way.  This Valentine’s Day, which is quickly approaching, why not reach deep into your heart (not necessarily your pocket) and surprise him/her with something truly meaningful? Let your soul guide you to give something that they would not expect, but that has deep meaning to your partner.

Better yet, don’t let Valentine’s Day be the only day you give gifts such as these. Find ways to give and express your love on just ordinary days for the pure joy of giving. You can begin right now!