Here’s something I sent out the other day as a part of the Daily Dharma offering. See what you think!
And just one note before you read the post: someone pointed out to me that this applies to all relationships, not just intimate partnerships, and that is certainly true. Practice this in all your relationships and see what happens…
Be safe and well,
“Good morning, folks!
I have a conscious relationship tip for you today for your Daily Dharma. This came up in a conversation I had with someone the other day. The tip is a sort of process level rule of thumb that I’ve learned to follow in my own intimate relationship….
Somewhere along the line I got the strange idea that I’m supposed to share everything that is happening in my head with my person, no matter what it is. That’s what “intimacy” is, I thought. Looking around it appears that many others have reached that same conclusion. Over time, since I left the monastery and as I have worked to learn what conscious relationship looks like, I’ve come to realize this is a really, really bad idea.
Here’s the distinction I would make: if I’m having some kind of conditioned reaction about my person and what she’s saying and doing, and if it’s clear that’s all it is–that there’s no real thing that needs to be addressed between the two of us–it’s by far the best to keep my mouth shut. It’s my job to see into the fiction of that conditioned reaction and let it go; that’s my work, not the work of the relationship, and certainly not something my person needs to concern herself with. To tell her about it it’s just to create trouble between us. If I can’t manage to let it go it’s good to seek the assistance of friends who can help me, not my person. If there is actually something that needs to be addressed between the two of us, then that’s the place for clear, honest, and direct communication and it’s important that I bring it up.
Now, it is sometimes the case that a person just cannot let go without the help of their partner/lover/sweetheart. In that case it has to be done within the relationship, and that can work very well, but this can get dicey and so it must be done skillfully. There are a variety of tools that are useful in such situations that are too complex to get into in this format, but here’s the thing to remember (as I see it): take responsibility for your own experience! In particular, take responsibility for any of your own conditioning that arises. Talk about yourself and your process, not about the other person. If you fail to take responsibility and instead start projecting onto the other person then all is lost.
Assuming that I’ve managed to let go on my own and I’m no longer triggered, it often is good and helpful to tell my person about what I’ve seen and learned about my process as a result, so that she can know me more deeply and understand the work I’m doing in the context of our relationship.
Just something to consider in your own relationships should you choose.
Be well and have a great day!
About Daily Dharma
Most days I send out a short note with something to practice, something interesting or inspiring to consider, quotes I’ve run across, things I’m considering in my own practice, and so on. The intention is to provide something to focus on or consider over the course of your day. You can receive these via email, through Instagram, or through the Daily Dharma private Facebook group. If you would like to receive them via email just let me know and I’ll put you on the list. My instagram account is @theoneopendoor. Here’s a link to the Daily Dharma private Facebook group : https://www.facebook.com/groups/dailydharma.