Stress May Affect Your Relationship
The economic shut down put in place by Covid19 has created a great deal of strain on our relationships.
Friends disagreeing on what is true and what isn’t. Parents being forced to stay home to supervise children distance learning or home schooling, fears of what is to come next. Perhaps you’re even enjoying a little too much togetherness at home or perhaps your spouse is an “essential worker,” and spending more time at work.
I think we can all agree that we’re living through some very challenging times, testing even the healthiest relationships, friendships, family members, neighbors, and especially with our partners.
Whenever there’s a lot of change happening, rapidly and on a daily basis with an emphasis on nothing is “normal” or as it once was just a few months ago, we can experience a tremendous amount of stress and confusion. This can cause us to doubt ourselves and the entire foundation of our lives as we’ve created them. Our routines have been blasted to smithereens and the human brain is equipped to only handle a small percentage of change.
All this rapid change is truly unsettling. But as in all things, there is also a huge opportunity to take a pause, reflect and decide what is truly important. So, join me as we explore some ideas and solutions to power through.
Ordinary life poses challenges to our relationships? What happens to us during an “extraordinary” time?
There is currently a plethora of opportunities for stress and strain on any relationship! Please know, you are not alone in this as a large number of Americans are dealing with similar scenarios.
Take Time to Pause and Breathe. Connect with Your Faith.
Take a deep breath and just be for a moment. Take a time out. My goal is that you come out of this with your sanity and your relationship intact and your kids thriving if that pertains.
Couples either come together and get closer or, become frustrated and angry, shutting down any attempt at positive communication. If you get yourself centered within your own heart and take time to be loving and kind to yourself, you’ll be better equipped to hold a healing space for your partner to adjust as well.
Here are some suggestions to help you thrive, not just survive.
Number 1: Respect your partner. Understand that he or she may be feeling especially uncertain and insecure. Give them the space to allow them to figure things out. Your personalities may be completely different with regards to how you handle stress. Patience is KEY!
Number 2: Calm Your EGO! Take a time out….Sit quietly, take several deep breaths, and become fully present with yourself. Tune into your heart center and tell your own heart, “I Love You.” Breathe and feel the calm flow through your body. The I Love You exercise works in every situation.
The 1st secret to a successful relationship begins with you. If your relationship with yourself is out of whack, it is difficult to bring the presence of mind and heart, along with unconditional love into the fold.
During uncertainty, our hurts, wounds and insecurities from the past may be awoken, become magnified, and get projected onto the people we love the most. Stop, feel, and be, before you react. Recognize where you may be reacting from old subconscious programs and beliefs that have nothing to do with the current situation.
Your own insecure inner child needs love. Sometimes this inner child is fearful and uncertain. Bring this part of you into the light of your awareness and just as you would soothe a child who was crying….be nurturing and loving to yourself.
You Cannot Share From a Glass That is Empty....Fill Yourself First.
A healthy, loving relationship with yourself is the MOST important thing, you bring to all of your relationships. You cannot share from a glass that is empty…so fill yourself first.
Number 3. After you get into your heart center and are able to love yourself, hold presence for your partner, bring them into your awareness in your peaceful heart state. Realize they too have old wounds, belief systems from their upbringing and fears during these times of change. When they are expressing frustration and fear, breathe deeply, observe them and allow them to experience their emotions without your judgment or reaction.
In this way, you will not add to the tension, but instead, you will create a safe space to give your partner a chance to figure things out and calm down.
Don't Take Anything Personally
The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz, advises: Don’t Take Anything Personally. This is great advice, in all our interactions but particularly effective when it comes to our partners. When we take things personally, it becomes our responsibility to be aware of the wound within ourselves that has been opened. That wound is for us to heal. Observe that sometimes your partner is a mirror for you.
Number 4. Be willing to come from a position of vulnerability when you need to communicate your truth and re-establish boundaries or seek understanding. That’s right. Although, it’s probably best not to engage and become defensive during a strained moment, if your partner is crossing boundaries that are unacceptable for you, it will be important to communicate that from a position of unconditional love.
Try not to make assumptions, which is the 3rd Agreement of the 4 Agreements, but if you find that you do, assume your partner loves you and is doing the best they can at that moment, which is truly all any of us can do.
Number 5. Release the hurts of the past. Look at your partner with fresh, new eyes every day. We are all evolving, nothing stays the same. The biggest gift you can give both of you is to allow each other to start anew each day. Let go of any grudges, forgive, and move on. A great exercise I found in the book: the Seven Secrets to Healthy, Happy Relationships, by Don Miguel Ruiz Jr. and Heatherash Amara is to end each day, perhaps when going to bed, to tell each other 3 or 4 things you’re grateful to them for in that day.
Number 6. Always Do Your Best! Since I’ve been sharing some of the lessons in the book The Four Agreements, I am going to conclude this message by inserting the last agreement and that is: Always Do Your Best. That’s all we can ever do. Be gentle and kind with yourself and your partner as well.
“Under any circumstances, always do your best, no more and no less. But keep in mind that your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next. Everything is alive and changing all the time, so your best will sometimes be high quality, and other times it will not be as good.” Pg.75-76
There’s been a saying going around, “We’re in this together.” We are truly in this together. We are all passengers on Planet Earth, Perfect Spiritual Beings having a human experience.
It doesn't matter what color, gender, financial situation you are in. It does not matter where you came from, etc. We all have challenges, I don't care who you are. We all have joys, triumphs, and reasons to celebrate. I look forward to the celebrations of perseverance every day! Let's celebrate our differences and our things in common!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help or share your feelings with a close friend. Stay positive and know you are much stronger than you even know. I'm here to help. Feel free to give me a call. Happy to have you come in and talk or jump on a phone call.
With Love, Colleen