Being Happy Requires Self Awareness, Releasing Assumptions, and not Taking Things Personally
I have many people ask me what is the problem within their relationship with their partner. First, I have to say that there is never a “problem” but rather things to work on or let go of. Don Miguel Ruiz says to never take things personally, never make assumptions, and only be responsible for your half of a relationship. I am going to explain these in some detail here for you. Nothing that anyone you are choosing to have a relationship with ever does anything deliberately against you. That person is only acting and reacting because of her own life experiences as well as the ideas that she has agreed to believe throughout her experiences. SO, what happens then when someone starts snapping at us because they are feeling not so pleasant with the emotions that may creep up on them in the moment? Has this happened to you? How did you feel? What happens often in this scenario is that the other person starts taking the way that their lover is acting as personal and all these unpleasant thoughts are brought to their mind, which in turn creates unpleasant feelings, which can then create a defensive action. This defensive action most often than not creates another action on the part of the lover because now he feels a need to defend himself. This could go on and on, like ping pong, until one or both people stop it. How can you stop it? Very easily, however it requires you to be self aware, and other than communication being an important part of a healthy relationship, self awareness is the first step that aids within communication.
What does being self aware mean? Well, let’s go back to the above scenario and expound on it. Let me give you an exact example that you can consider. Your partner is washing dishes but he doesn’t enjoy the task and it can seem a lot like work for him. He starts snapping, not at you, just snapping in general. He says, “I hate washing dishes, maybe I’ll just get some dishwashing liquid to start using the dishwasher.” In the middle of washing, he just turns the water off, still in a state of frustration with the whole thing. Now, you have options on how you can choose to react (because your reactions and actions are always a choice). You can start taking his words personally in that he is accusing you of not washing the dishes enough and say, “why are you snapping at me? I wash the dishes too,” OR you could choose to let his emotions be released in the way he chooses, allowing him to be himself and feel what he will feel in the process (this is one of the highest forms of love – not trying to make someone else change to what you desire but rather allowing him to be who he is). You can respond if you choose to stating a truth back to him, “sure you could get some dishwashing liquid,” or not even respond at all. Being self aware requires you to notice the thoughts and feelings that come to you when you are in situations like these and then make a conscious choice to act or not act because of this awareness allowing you to see a clearer perspective.
Now how do you think he would respond if you started snapping back at him because you took his words as personal against you? Can you see how he would then become defensive back because then he could take what you are saying as personal against him. This can go back and forth continuously until one of you just releases the false belief that how another is acting or reacting is because of you in some way.
Never make any assumptions as to why your partner is choosing to act or not act in a particular way. The per son in the above example could have chosen to snap back because of the assumption that what was being said was against her, yet the truth more than likely was simply that he was just frustrated because he didn’t want to wash the dishes in that moment. Instead of assuming things, we can ask the person for more clarification. However, we may not want to choose that moment of frustration to bring about a question for more clarity, but rather release the need to take things personally and let your partner be in his chosen space. After the energy has become calmer, we may feel that clarification is not needed nor do we desire to have a discussion about it OR we can have a discussion. The simple act of releasing the need to change the person in that moment and by not taking his actions personally, you have created an unspoken respect and love between you. Communication is then very easy to facilitate.
You are only responsible for your half of the relationship. This means that you have a choice to react or act however you choose and so does the other person. If you understand this and follow this, and your partner does as well, then neither of you will put any judgment or expectations on the other. Can you see how beautiful this is, and how powerful it can be for you to always remain in a place of love with each other, freely communicating within that space? One of the things that we desire to experience within a relationship with another (as well as within the relationship with self), is to be ourselves. We want to be free to choose to experience whatever it is that we desire whenever we desire it, without being judged or told we cannot. When we allow our partner to be who he is while also allowing ourselves to be who we are, then we can always feel happiness. Don’t ever beat yourself up for acting or reacting however you chose to nor when you are feeling emotions that you may not particularly like. It is in feeling these emotions and taking a look at your past reactions, that allows you to heal. The healing process takes time but it will occur if you believe it will. Happiness can consistently be achieved within a relationship if you believe it can and if you take an active role in creating it.