We’re taught Maths, Science and English but not the Art of Relationship
How much more satisfying might our relationships be if we gave them as much attention as we do in learning our careers or hobbies, rather than as we often do, expecting them to just happen?
Meaningful intimate relationships are seen as one of the most important aspects of life yet are also seen as one of the most difficult to achieve.
How can we make relationships more rewarding and more sustainable?
We can do this by making relationship into an art form, living it according to our conscious choice and even some Tantric principles. In the early days of a relationship, with the attraction is usually at its most intense, there is often a perceived sense of ‘perfection’, where our partners can do little wrong. This ‘positive’ projection is commonly conceived as ‘looking through a pair of rose coloured glasses’. When this honeymoon period passes and we start to see each other as faulty, we begin to pull away in hurt and disappointment, and the relationship breaks down – this wasn’t what you signed up for! However if you can see this process as a natural evolution, as part of getting more real, of dropping the mask of niceness and being human – this is where the art of relationship begins.
If we can learn to love the realness more than the mask, this is where the perfection of our partner never needs to end. Love arises in the intimacy of seeing each other more clearly. And if we don’t take ourselves too seriously it can even be fun- being imperfectly perfect! This is the beginning of the art of relationship.
The even deeper layer of relationship begins when we choose to see ourselves and our partners as seeking relationship in order to become whole.
And that our relationship with others, including the pain and suffering we experience in them, is seen as the force that moulds the ‘rough diamond’ of our conditioned personality (who we think we should be) into our most authentic self (who we are).
This means that we make a conscious choice to not function purely from our ego self – the part of us which blames our partners for what is wrong, and wants everything exactly the way that it wants it, but from the soul which is willing to look within and see where we are helping to create our reality. This may sound like hard work, which it is, but it is also ultimately very freeing.
Soul not ego perspective
Tantric – or conscious relationship – whether it is with your beloved, your family, friends etc, takes the view that no matter how important the external relationship appears the primary relationship we have is always with ourselves.
We choose to see relationship from a soul perspective, that what is happening around us is,
at least at some level, a reflection of what is happening within us.
In taking responsibility this way, we are empowered to change any undesired outcomes from within ourselves. This definitely doesn’t mean that we should ignore the negative behaviour of those around us, but offers us a greater range of responses to it.
And the cosmic joke is, because what happens around us is a reflection of what is within, if we don’t acknowledge what is happening in our current relationship as a part of us, we will merely create it in the next one. Have you ever seen this in your relationships? So you might as well learn to deal with it as much as you can with the partner you have, rather than going to the trouble of getting a new one, only to end up in the same place.
Problems and challenges as gifts
In this way, we come to understand our ‘problems’ as gifts that help us to see ourselves more clearly and as challenges that force us to grow.
The ‘challenges’ from our most intimate partners are usually deep enough to take us
right back to early experiences of our wounded inner child – where we learned our strongest conditioned behaviours in order to survive, get our needs met and to gain approval. This is why they hurt so much. When we are responding from our wounded child our pain is greater and our skills to deal with it are few. And when both people are acting out from their wounded child is where relationship chaos reigns. It is also where, with help, the greatest gifts of healing and wholeness can come from.
In a Tantric Relationship, the art of relationship is when we also choose to move beyond being whole only when we are with the other- letting their conditioned personality strengths support our weaknesses. You know, like the couple where one partner is very dramatic and emotional whilst the other is the quiet one with little to say. We would see that as an opportunity for the expressive person to learn the gifts in being more contained and the quiet one in standing up and being seen. We become more whole within ourselves.
A safe container
A Tantric relationship is the ideal place where these wounds, when triggered are healed for we create a safe, honouring container in which we can each learn the skills to safely show ourselves and reveal all the layers of who we are – the layers of our conditioned, authentic and Divine selves. We receive the gift of seeing all of this in our partners as well.
This is ultimately a totally liberating, but more challenging way to view relationship because it means we can no longer play a victim role. It takes courage and a willingness to face the unknown in ourselves and our partners. This is the pathway of self awareness and self responsibility, which leads to both personal authenticity and relationship freedom.
It keeps a freshness and spontaneity in the relationship and offers the deepest of connections through shared vulnerability. It is a journey well worth taking.
At Oztantra we teach you to create a safe and empowering container in your relationship for growth to happen through the art of relationship!
For more see our Ultimate Couples Getaways