“It is only with the heart that one can see clearly – what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Health Revolution
If you are reading this newsletter, you are undoubtedly already part of the health revolution. You know the importance of taking care of your body, of taking responsibility for your own health. You know that if you don’t, you’ll most likely end up somewhere you really don’t want to be.You know how much it helps your body to lovingly take care of it. Can you imagine the kind of world we would live in if we took as much care of our relationships?
Get Ready for the Relationships Evolution!
In this funny, upside-down world we live in, we have far more information and resources geared to having healthy bodies than we do to having healthy relationships, but the health of the world cannot only be measured by how many people we are managing to feed, or how well our bodies are taken care of. It is more truly measured by how we actually care for each other, in our daily lives, in our everyday exchanges and communications. The people of the world create a vast living network around the planet and the functionality of that network is determined not by governments or regulations, nor by corporations and commerce, but by the output from the heart of each and every individual.
Symptoms of ‘Unhealthy’ Relationships
As our bodies are a network of living tissue, electrical impulses and energy systems, so too are our relationships. When things are not going too well we can ignore the symptoms – irritations, sudden flare-ups, dullness, pain in the heart, inability to see straight or hear clearly, fits of jealousy, lack of energy and so on – but ignoring it usually does not actually make it go away. In fact, it is more likely to result in a complete shutdown of the ‘system’, where the relationship may be damaged beyond repair.
Many of us silently (or not-so-silently!) suffer the symptoms of ‘unhealthy’ relationships, while referencing a horribly out-of-date instruction manual – our conditioning and patterned beliefs about ourselves and others. It’s time to ask ourselves how much value we place on having healthy relationships, and what we can each do to give them the best possible prognosis!
Of course, we humans are incredibly complex and, as with our bodies, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, but the number one cause of unhealthy relationships is fear. Fear of hurt, fear of betrayal, fear of pain, fear of loneliness, fear of vulnerability – fear in all its guises – has us creating protective walls around our hearts. In the resulting disconnection, we are unable to create meaningful, sustainable connections with others. Any feelings of connection are usually fleeting. Those moments occur when we let down our protection and open our hearts. To stay in that feels very risky so up go the walls again, and unconsciously, by default, we find ourselves once again in the pain of separation.
The Road to Recovery
As with taking care of our bodies, the first step toward a healthy relationship is honesty. Yes- it is really like it is; it really does hurt; I don’t know what to do to make it better; what I’m doing isn’t working; I’m desperate and I really need help! The second step is to take responsibility. Others may be able to assist in the recovery process, but without you taking responsibility and being willing to see and own your part, real progress is unlikely.
Healing our relationships is all about realising our own power, becoming aware of how we have been using it, and discovering our hidden resources for making new choices and laying new foundations. It’s a challenging and exciting journey for those ready to undertake it, those for whom mediocre, lukewarm, abusive or indifferent relationships are no longer satisfying or acceptable.
So, what does a healthy relationship look like? It looks like what you know in your heart of hearts you truly long for, what you have always yearned for. It is one in which humour, sensitivity and kindness invites the best from the other. It is facing every difficulty and challenge and finding the treasure buried there.
At its highest, relationship is inseparable from our own growth and evolution, opening new depths and ways of being together, showing us the way to love without limits. The base of it is our commonality, the place where we can truly meet, not just on the level of the personal self, but deep within, at the very heart of who and what we are. It is living fully and unreservedly from the heart. It is what we are meant for.
About the Author
Andrea Gietz Andrea is a relationship coach and the author of The Moving Hearts Guide to real relating, available at Healing Connections for $42.95. The Moving Hearts Guide to real relating is 50 delightfully illustrated cards and accompanying book – an easy-to-use relationships toolkit, covering every aspect and issue, shedding light on old problems and new challenges, taking you deeper into the heart of relating, right into your own wisdom and power.