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? Or operating on automatic pilot creating relationships just like the ones we grew up around, for better or worse?
Meaningful intimate relationships are seen as one of the most important aspects of life yet are also seen, in a world of amazing achievements, 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 when the attraction is at its most intense, we have a perceived sense of ‘perfection’, where our partners can do little wrong. This ‘positive’ projection is commonly seen as ‘looking through a pair of rose coloured glasses’. When this honeymoon period passes and we start to see each other as faulty, we pull away in hurt and disappointment- this wasn’t what you signed up for! and the relationship starts to break down. 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 and being open to moments of ‘perfect imperfection’ – 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, and the magic that lies within us, more clearly. And when we don’t take ourselves too seriously it can even be fun being imperfectly perfect!
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 our significant other, including the pain and suffering we experience with them, is seen as the force that moulds the ‘rough diamond’ of our conditioned personality (who we think we ‘should’ be to be safe and loved) into our most authentic self (who we are).
This means we make a conscious choice to not function purely from our ego self – that part of us which blames our partners for what is wrong, and wants everything exactly the way that it wants it; but also from the heart and 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 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.
Choosing to see relationship from the 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’re empowered to change any undesired outcomes from within ourselves. This definitely doesn’t mean we should ignore the negative behaviour of those around us, instead taking responsibility offers us a greater range of responses to it.
And the cosmic joke is, because what happens around us is a reflection of what lies 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? We say, you might as well learn to deal with whatever it is 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. Often once the issue is resolved in ourselves the relationship takes on a new bloom.
Problems and challenges as gifts
In this way, we come to understand our ‘problems’ as gifts that help us 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 (or at least incomplete) 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’re 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’s also where, with help, the greatest gifts of healing and wholeness can come from.
In a Tantric Relationship, the art of relationship is also choosing to move beyond being whole only when we are with the other- letting their conditioned personality strengths support our weaknesses. For example, like the couple with one very dramatic and emotional partner whilst the other is the quiet with little to say. We would see this 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. This allows us to become more whole within ourselves. It doesn’t mean we will no longer want our partner, we’ll probably want them all the more, but from a place of love and joy, rather than from incompleteness and unconscious need.
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, relationship freedom and love beyond imagining.
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