Healthy Relationships (Part 6)
Romantic Love as a Concept

"We learned about life as children and it is necessary to change the way we intellectually view life in order to stop being the victim of the old tapes. By looking at, becoming conscious of, our attitudes, definitions, and perspectives, we can start discerning what works for us and what does not work. We can then start making choices about whether our intellectual view of life is serving us - or if it is setting us up to be victims because we are expecting life to be something which it is not."

Quote from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

Consciousness raising is a process of enlarging the intellectual paradigm which we base our relationship with life upon. As I have stated previously in this series, our beliefs, attitudes, and definitions determine our expectations and perspectives - which in turn dictate our emotional relationships to everything and everyone in our environment. And when I say everything, I am not just talking about objects. Everything includes ideas, concepts, opinions, etc.

In order to have healthier romantic relationships it is very important to examine our concept of romantic love. If we do not have a healthy concept - realistic definitions and beliefs about - romantic love, then we do not have much chance of having a healthy relationship. If our concept of romance is based on the fairy tales and books, songs and movies, from our childhoods, then we are set up to be disappointed in our romantic relationships.

Read the quotation above and substitute "love" everywhere it says "life" and you might better understand why you have felt like a victim in romantic relationships. We were set up to be victims in romance because we were taught that it is a magical paradise where we will have all of our needs met - and live "Happily ever after". We were taught that getting the romance was the goal and that after that everything was smooth sailing.

Obviously that is not how it works in reality.

It is part of the dysfunctional nature of society that we are set up to believe that love, and life, are something other than what we are led to expect them to be. It is also part of the dysfunctional nature of society - and of civilization as we have inherited it - that we react to not having our expectations met by blaming. We blame the other person, or we blame ourselves. And even underneath the blame we are pointing toward the other person, is the feeling deep inside of us that it is all our fault. That there is something unworthy and unlovable, something defective about who we are at our core. The more loudly and emphatically we blame the other is usually a direct reflection of how much shame we feel about ourselves deep within.

As long as we are blaming we are buying into the belief that we are victims - either of them, or of our self. It is very important to move out of the victim place into a place of empowerment. Empowerment comes from owning our choices. Empowerment is about seeing life as it is and making the best of it - instead of being the victim of life, and other people, not being what we wish they were.

Love as we have been programmed to understand the concept, is one of the great victimizers in our culture - and one of the biggest excuses for unhealthy behavior.

Whenever someone I have been working with answers the question "Why do you stay?" - in a relationship that is abusive or with someone who is unavailable - with the line "because I love him/her," my response is "No, what is the real reason." Because the "love" is never the bottom line. The bottom line is always fear. Fear of being alone, of not being able to support self, of never having another relationship, of getting in a worse relationship, etc.

If we are living life in reaction to fear, we are being victims - and there is no chance of us being healthy in a relationship if we are making our choices in reaction to fear.

That is why it is so important to have a Spiritual Awakening - to raise our consciousness. By being in recovery, on a healing path, we are realigning our intellectual paradigm away from one that is driven by fear to one that is based on Love. In awakening to the possibility that perhaps there is a Higher Power that Loves us, we can start seeing life as a growth process rather than a test we can fail. Then the events and people in our life become opportunities for growth rather than instruments of punishment.

Life then become an adventure. One that can be painful and scary, can feel like a stupid game sometimes, but one that can also be Joyous and wondrous and full of miracles at times.

By changing our concept of romantic love, we can also make it a great adventure to be explored rather than some test we can fail.

Romantic relationships are the greatest arena for Spiritual growth available to us. It is well worth the risk to take a chance on love if we are viewing it as a learning experience rather than the goal in, and of, itself. Romance is part of the journey - not the destination.

There is nothing wrong with wanting the prince or princess to come into our lives. What is important is to know that they will have issues to work through - and they will push the buttons of our issues so that we are forced to face them. Romantic relationships are hard work. It is necessary to keep working on them to give them a chance to be healthy.

Being in Love is a wonderful, magical feeling. It fills us with energy and lightens our spirit so that we feel we are soaring on the wings of Love. It is wonderful to feel that energy. What is dysfunctional is expecting it to last forever. It is important to know that the feeling of being in love is not going to last forever, or be there all of the time. Two people who are working on emotional intimacy - who are communicating and working through issues - can recapture that feeling again and again for years and years, but it is not going to always be the reality of your relationship.

Another way it is important to change our perspective of love is to own that falling in love is a choice. It is not some camouflaged trap in the sidewalk you are the victim of falling into. It is a choice. Get conscious about your choices. It is not smart, or functional, to choose to fall in love with someone who is unavailable.

We are, of course, drawn to certain people. We are drawn to people who feel familiar energetically. They might feel familiar because you have known them in past lives - maybe they are your twin soul or soul mate. That doesn't mean they will not have issues to deal with. In fact, there will probably be more issues because of the Karma involved.

More likely, they feel familiar because they fit your patterns. That is, they are the type of unavailable or abusive or addictive person that you have always been drawn to because of your childhood wounds. I realized at a certain point in my recovery that if someone felt like my soul mate I had better beware.

Sometimes, it is both kinds of familiarity. The point is to pay attention and make a conscious choice. You do not get involved with someone because you are forced to - you choose to get involved.

The more we heal our childhood emotional wounds and change the dysfunctional intellectual programming the clearer we can see reality. The more we learn to have boundaries, to ask for what we need, to be direct and honest in our communication, the healthier we become in our relationships. Healthy enough to get out of them quickly if we see too many warning signs.

Romantic relationships can be a great adventure if our perspective and expectations of them are realistic and healthy. {Play}

Healthy Relationships (Part 5)
Healthy Joyous Sexuality

"The gift of touch is an incredibly wonderful gift. One of the reasons we are here is to touch each other physically as well as Spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. Touch is not bad or shameful. Our creator did not give us sensual and sexual sensations that feel so wonderful just to set us up to fail some perverted, sadistic life test. Any concept of god that includes the belief that the flesh and the Spirit cannot be integrated, that we will be punished for honoring our powerful human desires and needs, is - in my belief - a sadly twisted, distorted, and false concept that is reversed to the Truth of a Loving God-Force.

We need to strive for balance and integration in our relationships. We need to touch in healthy, appropriate, emotionally honest ways - so that we can honor our human bodies and the gift that is physical touch.

Making Love is a celebration and a way of honoring the Masculine and Feminine Energy of the Universe (and the masculine and feminine energy within no matter what genders are involved), a way of honoring its perfect interaction and harmony. It is a blessed way of honoring the Creative Source."

"Whenever two or more are gathered in the name of Love and Truth, in the name of healing, there is incredible power."

Quotes from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

On one of my web pages I state that romantic relationships are the greatest arena for Spiritual growth available to us. I believe that this is the Truth because it is the area that is most important to us. Recently I saw a communication from the Dalai Lama in which he stated a very simple Truth: we all want to the same thing, to be happy and feel Loved. I would simplify that even further to say: feeling Loved makes us happy - so ultimately we all want the same thing, to feel Loved.

Romantic relationships are not the only type of relationships that we can feel Loved in, of course, but they are the only relationships in which we can completely connect with another being with all the levels of our being: physical, emotional, mental, and Spiritual.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to connect with another being on a physical level. A Loving God/Goddess/Great Spirit would not give us sensual and sexual sensations that feel so wonderful unless we were meant to enJoy them. Making Love - becoming one with another being in the moment - is so powerful because it is symbolic of the Highest Truth, that we are all ONE.

Being sexual with another being without connection on the other levels however, is ultimately pretty empty and shallow - but a shadow of how glorious the uniting can be when there is True Spiritual union, mental connection, and emotional intimacy.

Of these levels of connection, the one that is hardest to achieve because of the dysfunction we were raised in, is the level of emotional intimacy.

When both people in a romantic relationship are in recovery from their emotional wounds and dysfunctional intellectual programming there is the potential for a partnership that touches the Divine - that has moments when the connection is nothing short of Sacred. The greatest gift of romantic relationships is that they can help us to remember how much we Truly are Loved - that who we are on the Highest level is LOVE. Here is a quote from A Wedding Prayer/Meditation on Romantic Commitment that I wrote for two friends at the beginning of this year:

"You are together because you resonate on the same wave lengths, you fit together vibrationally, in such a way that together you form a powerful energy field that helps both of you access the Higher Vibrational Energy of Love, Joy, Light, and Truth - in a way that would be very difficult for either one of you to do by yourself. You are coming together to touch the face of God. You are uniting your energies to help you access the Love of the Holy Mother Source Energy.

You are not the source of each other's Love. You are helping each other to access the LOVE that is the Source."

Whenever two or more are gathered. The purpose of romantic relationships is Spiritual - and the more that we remember that who we Truly are is Spiritual Beings having a human experience, the more we can enjoy the human part of the interaction including the sexual coming together.

That does not mean that it is bad or wrong if you are presently in a relationship that does not include connection on all levels. One of the tricky things about romantic relationships is that the only way to really learn to do a romantic relationship in a healthy way is to be in one. We all need time alone between relationships to process our feelings, do our grieving, and heal our relationship with self - but ultimately, it is only in a relationship that the buttons to our deepest wounds and greatest fears are pushed. That is why romantic relationships are such a great arena for Spiritual growth - because they are so personal that they bring us face to face with our deepest wounds.

As I say repeatedly in my book and on my web site, we need to take the shame and judgment out of our internal process and realize that we are in boarding school being guided from lesson to lesson on our journey home to Love - to the Divine Source of which we are all perfect parts. Do not judge yourself for the relationship you are in - or for not being in a relationship. Maybe the Divine Plan is for you to be in five more relationships before you get into one that will last. Maybe being alone in this lifetime is healing the Karma we need to heal to be with our Twin Soul in the next lifetime. We do not, and cannot, know what the Divine Plan is - what we can do is align ourselves with Truth so that we can own the power to Love ourselves more, which gives us the capacity to open up to receiving more Love from others.

The more that we awaken to the Truth that the whole purpose of life is Spiritual - that everything and everyone in our life is a perfect part of our Spiritual growth process - the easier it becomes to allow ourselves to overcome our fears and take the risk (rather that means getting involved in a relationship or leaving one that is not working) that Truly there is a God-Force that has a Loving plan for us that is unfolding perfectly, with no accidents, coincidences, or mistakes.

The more that we have faith in the power of LOVE, the more we are able to take the risk of opening ourselves to Love, the more opportunities we will have to Truly start integrating Spiritual Truth into our human experience. Then we can have the opportunity to enJoy more fully all of the gifts of this beautiful playground that is the illusion of human life on Earth - including the incredible gift of being able to Touch with Love. I am going to conclude this article with the end of my Meditation on Romantic Commitment because I feel like it says what I am trying to communicate very well.

"The more you do your healing and follow your Spiritual path the more moments of each day you will have the choice to Truly be present the moment.

And in the moment you can make a choice to embrace and feel the Joy fully and completely and with Gusto.

In any specific moment you will have the power to make a choice to feel the Love in that moment as if you have never been hurt and as if the Love will never go away.

Completely absolutely unconditionally with fearless abandon you can embrace the Love and Joy in the moment.

Glory in it!

Loving is the Grandest, most sublime adventure available to us.

Lets your hearts sings together.

Let your souls soar to unimagined heights.

Wallow in the sensual pleasure of each others bodies.

Roar with the Joy of being fully alive.

Go for it!!!!" {Play}

A Wedding Prayer/Meditation on Romantic Commitment
Healthy Relationships (Part 4)
Partners in the Journey

"It is through healing our inner child, our inner children, by grieving the wounds that we suffered, that we can change our behavior patterns and clear our emotional process. We can release the grief with its pent-up rage, shame, terror, and pain from those feeling places which exist within us.

That does not mean that the wounds will ever be completely healed. There will always be a tender spot, a painful place within us due to the experiences that we have had. What it does mean is that we can take the power away from those wounds. By bringing them out of the darkness into the Light, by releasing the energy, we can heal them enough so that they do not have the power to dictate how we live our lives today. We can heal them enough to change the quality of our lives dramatically. We can heal them enough to Truly be happy, Joyous and free in the moment most of the time."

"One of the false beliefs that it is important to let go of, is the belief that we need another person in our lives to make us whole. As long as we believe that someone else has the power to make us happy then we are setting ourselves up to be victims. A white knight is not going to come charging up to rescue us from the dragon. A princess is not going to kiss us and turn us from a frog into a prince. The Prince and the Princess and the Dragon are all within us. It is not about someone outside of us rescuing us. It is also not about some dragon outside of us blocking our path. As long as we are looking outside to become whole we are setting ourselves up to be victims. As long as we are looking outside for the villain we are buying into the belief that we are the victim."

Quote from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls {/xtypo_info}

A healthy romantic relationship is about two whole, independent people choosing to become partners in the life journey for as long as that works for both of them. This is, of course, a theoretical concept. Because of the cultural dysfunction and emotional trauma all of us have experienced due to the human condition, we are never, in this lifetime, going to be a completely whole healthy person with no emotional wounds - and we are never going to meet someone else that has no emotional wounds.

The goal is to be in the process of healing and to choose a partner who is also in the process of healing. Then we have the opportunity to achieve some True emotional intimacy and to have some companionship on our journey. The person who can support us in our journey is also going to be the teacher we need to push our buttons so that we can bring to Light the emotional wounds that need to be healed and the subconscious programming that needs to be changed.

If we expect a romantic relationship to "fix" us so that we can live happily-ever-after then we are setting ourselves up to be victims. If we define a successful relationship as one that lasts forever and meets all of our needs, then we will end up blaming ourselves or the other person when that insane expectation is not met. (That a relationship could last for the rest of our lives is not an insane expectation but if we believe that longevity is the only way a relationship can be successful we are setting ourselves up to sabotage the relationship and not appreciate the gifts we are receiving in the now.)

It is vitally important to make healing and Spiritual growth our number one priority so that we can look to the other person for help and support - not expect them to rescue us and give us self worth. Healing is an inside job. My issues are my responsibility to work through, it is not the other persons job to compromise her self to accommodate my fears and insecurities. If I am choosing wisely when I enter into a relationship then I will choose someone who will be compassionate, patient, and supportive of me while I work through my issues.

And no matter how wisely I choose, or how much healing and recovery the other person has had, she will still be a human being with her own issues to work through so she will not always be able to be patient, compassionate, and supportive. For one person to expect another to always be there for them, to always have the space and time to be available to us, is another insane expectation.

We do want to choose someone who is willing to work through issues. When another person is willing to do the work with us, a relationship can be an incredibly nurturing, magical space to explore what True Love means - some of the time. It can not be that all of the time. There might be periods of time - days, weeks, even months - where things are going beautifully and it feels like we may have reached "happily ever after". But then things will change and get different. That is how the life process works - it will not be someone's fault. It will be a new opportunity for growth for both people.

Two people who are working through their issues and are willing to do the grief work, can turn an argument about some stupid, mundane life event into some mutual deep grieving. That is True emotional intimacy.

When we are willing to own our power to be the neutral observer who can see our responsibility in whatever is happening without shame and judgment, and can also have the courage and willingness to hold the other person responsible for their behavior without shame and judgment - then the magic can really happen.

Two people who have negotiated some guidelines to help them in times when they are vulnerable and reactive - can transform an argument about some symptom into an opportunity to heal some core wounding.

The way that can look is:

an argument/disagreement starts about some behavior that is upsetting (someone is late, or forgets something that is important to the other, or says something in an insensitive way, etc.);

at some point one of the individuals says "Time out. I think I might be reacting to some old stuff.";

The other person backs off the argument enough to say "How old are you feeling?"; etc.

Two people who have created the space to do this can then get down to the cause underneath the reaction, which might be something like: one person is reacting out of the child inside who never felt important, respected, or heard - while the other person is reacting out of the inner child who was always being criticized and given the message that there was something wrong with them. At that point, they are dealing with the core cause of the reaction not the symptomatic behavior. They can achieve a place of True emotional honesty and intimacy where they can get in touch with their individual wounds and grieve together. That is the kind of emotional intimacy which can form a very deep bond and be Joyously healing for both people.

To be willing to be conscious and emotionally honest with ourselves is a courageous act of faith that will allow us to progressively increase the number of moments in each day that we have the ability and freedom to be happy and Joyous in the now. To find another being who is willing to join us in this adventure, and to explore True emotional intimacy with us, is a priceless gift to be cherished and treasured. {Play}

Healthy Relationships (Part 7)
Valentine's Day 2000

"I needed to learn how to set boundaries within, both emotionally and mentally by integrating Spiritual Truth into my process. Because "I feel feel like a failure" does not mean that is the Truth. The Spiritual Truth is that "failure" is an opportunity for growth. I can set a boundary with my emotions by not buying into the illusion that what I am feeling is who I am. I can set a boundary intellectually by telling that part of my mind that is judging and shaming me to shut up, because that is my disease lying to me. I can feel and release the emotional pain energy at the same time I am telling myself the Truth by not buying into the shame and judgment."

Quote from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

Valentines Day. The high holy Codependency feast Day. That is, a day when, for most of us, the disease celebrates by treating us to a feast of self recrimination and self flagellation.

For a small minority of us, a true holiday of love. A time to celebrate the love we are feeling for a significant other in our life. A time to be grateful for the gift of romance, and to honor the partner who is enriching our life.

For a significant number of us - who are alone in a relationship - a time to pretend, or blame. To focus on what is good about the relationship we are in, in an attempt to convince ourselves that the payoff we are receiving is worth the price we are paying. A time to put on a happy face to cover up for a sad heart. A reminder that our hopes, and the dream of what the relationship would become, are sadly underfulfilled and that we have settled for less than we deserve. Often the internal conflict is deflected outward in blaming the other.

For another significant portion of us - who are alone - a painful reminder, usually accompanied by self judgment and shame, bitterness and cynicism. Unless our level of denial is great enough for us to truly convince ourselves that it is just another day and does not bring up any feelings - a day of sadness.

If you are one of the lucky few, enJoy it to the fullest. Glory in the magic of love. Let your Spirit soar on the wings of love. Let yourself feel the Love and Joy in the moment as if you have never been hurt, and as if this love will never go away. Grab the moment with gusto and let yourself cherish the "fairy tale come true" feelings.

If you are part of the majority - either in a relationship that isn't working to meet your needs, or not in a relationship - focus on being kind to your self. Use this Valentine's Day as an exercise in Loving you.

Allow yourself to feel the sadness without buying into the messages of judgment and shame from the critical parent voice in your head. It is not your fault that you are alone - or that you have settled for crumbs in a relationship when you deserve the whole cake. It is not because you are unlovable or unworthy. It is not because you have made "stupid" "mistakes," or because you are a "loser" or a "failure."

And if you find yourself wallowing in resentment and blame, realize that underneath your need to point the finger at another is a place within you that needs to be forgiven by you.

It is extremely difficult to have a healthy relationship in a society that is founded on dysfunctional beliefs about the nature and purpose of being human. In a society that is not only emotionally repressive and dishonest, Spiritually hostile, and shame based - but one that promotes, and programs us for, dysfunctional codependent relationships and toxic love.

We were set up to have unrealistic expectations of our self and of romance. We were set up: to make choices that would cause us to repeat dysfunctional patterns in relationships; to choose exactly the people who would repeat the emotional dynamics of abandonment, deprivation, unavailability, verbal abuse, etc.; to choose to open our hearts to people who would ignore, or stomp on, them. Often then, we learned to shut down our hearts in order to survive the emotional pain.

It is very sad. It is very sad that we have had our hearts broken. It is very sad that we have let go of getting our needs met. It is very sad that it is so hard to connect with another being in a healthy, Loving way. It is very sad that so many of us have had to shut down our hearts and lock the romantic part of us away in a deep dark place within us.

It is very sad - but it is truly tragic that we blame ourselves. We have been victimized by society's dysfunctional programming and we beat up on the victim of those forces that we were powerless over.

We do deserve Love in our lives. We deserve companionship and support and friendship. We deserve touch and affection and sexual fulfillment.

We all do!

That is the good news. The bad news is that we may not get to have that experience in this lifetime.

We do not have to like that reality - but we do need to accept it. Because accepting it is the key to stopping the self judgment and blame. Accepting that you can be happy and whole without a healthy relationship, is the key to being able to let go of expectations and judgment so that you are be free to be happy, peaceful, and Joyous in some of the moments of today.

We have all lived multiple lifetimes in this hostile environment. That environment is now being changed. This new age we are in, is the time when - by healing our wounded souls and learning to manifest Love into our relationship with our self - we will bring about a critical mass that will shift the whole planet's relationship with Love.

Everything without is a reflection of within. As long as individual human beings are hating and resenting them self, feeling unworthy and unlovable - the world will remain an angry, violent, love retarded, hostile environment. By learning to overcome our programming to have a hostile environment within us - in our relationship with our self - we will change the world, transform it into a healthier more Loving place, for the Magnificent Spiritual Beings that we all are, to come into body and experience.

Make this Valentine's Day a True celebration of Love by choosing to Love and have compassion for your wounded self (own the emotional pain) at the same time you are allowing your Spiritual Self to nurture (tell your self Spiritual Truth) and protect you (tell the critical parent voice to shut up.)

Make this Valentine's Day about owning the Unconditional Love of The Universal Force for you. {Play}

Healthy Relationships (Part 8)
Pay Attention and Communicate

"The process of Recovery teaches us how to take down the walls and protect ourselves in healthy ways - by learning what healthy boundaries are, how to set them, and how to defend them. It teaches us to be discernina in our choices, to ask for what we need, and to be assertive and Loving in meeting our own needs."

Quote from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

When I started writing this article I thought it was going to be the last in this series on Healthy relationships - it turns out that it is not. Some points that I wanted to make that haven't fit into other articles inserted themselves here. So this article is going to be about paying attention and some more aspects of communication.

1. Pay attention - to your own reactions and to the other person. People tell us who they are within a very short time of meeting them. Pay attention to what they are telling you. Watch and listen - this is part of being present that was spoken of in an earlier article. Do not let your desire for a relationship - your loneliness, horniness, starvation for nurturing and touch - blind you to the red flags the other person is waving before you. We are never going to meet someone who doesn't have issues, who doesn't wave some red flags - the point is to pay attention and see what this persons relationship to their own issues tells you about their ability to be healthy in a relationship.

Pay attention to your comfort level with them - to the emotional reactions you have when dealing with or thinking about the other person. Listen to your Spirit and heart more than you listen to your loins or the needy inner child places within you, and you will be able to see the other person more clearly for who they are - rather than trying to cast them in the role of who you want them to be for you.

One of the reasons that many of us didn't know how to pay attention is that we were so focused on giving a good impression so the other person would like us. A client of mine had a big "aha" recently when she realized that for all of her dating history she had related to men as if she were auditioning for them. Out of her low self esteem, she was always trying to get them to like her - rather than wondering if they were worthy of her attention.

As you learn to Love and respect self more, then you can start being the one doing the auditioning. The reason for spending some time getting to know someone else is to audition them to see if they are a person you want to have play a very important role in your life. By knowing that you are worthy and Lovable you are empowered to make choices about who you are going to invest time and energy in, instead of looking for someone to tell you that you are worthy.

2. Communicate - speak up. Be direct and honest - do not assume, interpret, or mind read - ask if you are not clear what the other person is saying, or what some behavior means to them. The foundation of a healthy relationship is built on communication.

It is very important to be emotionally honest. If you are afraid (they will get angry, leave you, etc.) say so - out loud. "I am afraid that if I tell you what I am feeling you will get angry." Just stating the fear can take some power away from it. If you are hurt or angry or scared, it is important to bring the feelings out into the open. And in very important to remember that the reason we are doing this is to share our inner self and to help ourselves take the power away from the feelings by owning them - the point is not to control the other person. The purpose of saying "I am afraid you will get angry" is not to prevent the other person from getting angry, it is to help the other person understand you (in-to-me-see).

We need to own the feelings for our self - and in sharing them with the other we are developing emotional intimacy. If the other person invalidates our feelings or tries to fix us - that is something to pay attention to, because it indicates that they may not be a safe person to share with emotionally.

Being able to communicate is the only way to develop a healthy relationship. Being direct and honest in our communication is the way to develop healthy boundaries so that a relationship has a chance to grow.

Boundaries in relationships are about 95% negotiation. Boundaries for the most part aren't rigid (some are, like it is not ok to hit me or call me certain names or cheat on me, etc.) but most boundaries are a matter of negotiation, which of course involves direct, honest, communication.

It also involves some compromise. We don't want to compromise our being, our essential self, in any relationship - but it is important to be able to compromise in the day to day details of life. Things like household chores, choices of activities or music or how time is spent, etc. It is vital to have a balance - a give and take - in terms of the compromise necessary in a relationship, not to have one person do the majority of the compromising.

Another important point I want to make about honest communication, is that this does not mean that you have to tell the other person every thought and feeling that you experience. We need to practice discernment in what we share. As human beings we have untold number of thoughts during the course of a day. Some of those thoughts will inevitably be about past loves, or negative thoughts in relationship to our significant other. In fact, the disease often produces those kinds of thought specifically for the purpose of sabotaging the relationship. So, we do not have to share everything. It is possible to use honesty as a defense: i.e. when someone gets too close or Loving we tell them something that pushes them away.

The clearer we can see our self and understand our own issues, the easier it is to recognize when an impulse is coming from the disease - our wounds - so that we know that we do not have to share it with our significant other. (It is helpful to have a healthy friend to share these types of things with if they are bothering us.)

This brings us back to paying attention to ourselves and our own process, and having clear communication with ourselves. Healthy relationship starts at home, in our relationship with ourselves. Unless we are in recovery, doing our emotional healing, there is no chance of having a healthy relationship with our self - which makes it impossible to have a healthy relationship with anyone else. {Play}