One of my clients feels badly that she wants her boyfriend to tell her he loves her. She thinks that she shouldn't need the acknowledgment. She says she should feel solid enough about herself-- about how attractive, intelligent, sexy, and special she is--that she shouldn't need his acknowledgement. She wants to find the hidden secret to confidence, the magic potion that will take away her sense of wanting. Another client is trying to get a new business off the ground, one that really excites him. His current job is "soul crushing," but his wife offers him no support whatsoever; in fact, she's sabotaging his every move by criticizing him and laughing at his ideas as if they were the antics of a juvenile. No matter how much he wants to switch gears and how many times he starts and stops the movement in a positive direction, he can't really get traction. He knows his wife doesn't support his ideas, but he can't seem to connect the dots in terms of why he's stuck. Like my client above, he's hoping for that tool, that shift in perspective, that stroke of magic that will get him out of his current job and into the career of his dreams.
Loving Yourself is Bullshit
Both of these clients have something in common. They're both doing it alone. Neither of them realize that we can't. I'll say it again. We can't do it on our own. This thought is so contrary to the New Age concept that we have to love ourselves first before anyone else can love us or the all-American "Lone Ranger," pull yourself up by your bootstraps mythos. Either way, there's a hardcore ideal within American culture of self-reliance, but really, that's just a bunch of bullshit.
A lot of the heroes we read about in history books are individuals who overcame odds to create great change, people like Martin Luther King Jr. or Nelson Mandela. But nobody speaks about all the love and support they had along the way. These men had people who believed in them, who offered them their energy, their resources, and sometimes even their lives in support of their goals. What's discussed is the greatness that these men achieved. Very little is mentioned about their collaborators.
Certain relationships come into our lives to remind us that we are brilliant, creative, capable, and beautiful. These are the relationships that feed us. And if each of us looks closely at whatever excellence we've accomplished or created, we will never find us and us alone in the creation of it. We will always find collaborators, people who believed in us and/or people who shared a common goal. Either way, we didn't--and by the way, can't--do it alone.
The Magic of Partnership
The magic my clients are looking for can be found right in the relationships that they're currently in. Sure there's always more soul searching we all could do to establish a deeper accord with ourselves, but we are social creatures. Even if we could do it alone, why would we want to?
Any project, any experience is so much more vibrant when we have a partner, a friend, and collaborator to share the adventure with. Our relationships are what give a quality of richness to the experience. In addition, our partners see to it that not only do we not fail, but they support our success just as we support theirs.
Creating Conscious Relationships
The magic my clients are looking for is right in front of them, but where can they start? How do they transform the relationships that they're in from relationships that aren't supportive enough or even antagonistic into ones that are collaborative? The first step is building on the foundation of their relationships: trust and respect. Without these two, collaboration doesn't happen. I've written a whole blog series on recreating trust in relationship. Check it out.
Once trust has been reestablished, the next move is to consciously design the relationship, which I've written about as well.
[jbox color="blue" vgradient="#fdfeff|#bae3ff" title="Complimentary Relationship Rescue Coaching Session"]If you are ready to make a shift in your relationships and want help developing a game plan, I offer a complimentary 60-minute Relationship Rescue coaching session. There's no obligation; I love doing these and hope you'll get in touch.
If you have a story about a collaborative relationship that might inspire others, please share in the comments.