"How do you work on this relationship stuff without a relationship, or at least without someone else to point stuff out, call you out, or just challenge you. I know the answer is work on myself, but sometimes I am not aware until someone shows me.
Plus, the "Gentleman Jacks" of the world seem to be a rare breed. The men that I come across are more comfortable with the non-growth."
Well, I'm no relationship expert. I only go by what I know from my own experience.
Mandy's comment right above that seemed to point to the answer. She is not in a relationship but said "In the meantime, I'm practicing with my kids."
I do believe that growth comes from seeing ourselves through others. And the best "others" are our significant others. In those relationships, we will hide away parts of ourselves AND expose parts of ourselves that we don't show to friends or family. However it's those friends and family that are our biggest teachers as well!
Practice makes perfect, doesn't it? I try to remember to practice The Four Agreements in every relationship in my life. Trust me - these 4 little rules alone will challenge anyone in every encounter!
Click here to read about the Four Agreements in more detail:
1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
2. Don't Take Anything Personally
3. Don't Make Assumptions
4. Always Do Your Best
The author of The Four Agreements says: "In these agreements we tell ourselves who we are, how to behave, what is possible, what is impossible."
Relating back to yesterday's post, how do you handle conflict in relationships?
Do you take it personally when conflict arises in an encounter with a family member, stranger or friend?
Do you just assume what someone in your family means when they say something to you? Or do you let them finish their thought and ask questions for clarity?
Are you gentle on yourself when you make mistakes or don't feel that you're good enough? (Yeah, I'm still working on all of these but this one even more recently.)
Do you speak with kindness, honesty and love? Do you listen to others when they speak with an open mind and open heart?
All of these can be done in any and every relationship and encounter.
To finish Danielle's last thought that the men that she comes across aren't interested in growth: As you become more self-aware, you will no longer attract or accept less.
When you feel better about yourself, when you challenge yourself to truly listen and not accept what you think is happening, when you have a better idea of "who (you) are, how to behave, what is possible, what is impossible", you will attract that sameness to yourself!
At least that's what I keep telling myself.... Gentleman Jack and I are not alike in many, MANY surface aspects however, he processes feeling and emotion so similar to me. He amazes me that I can barely say 3 words about something and he instinctively knows how I feel. Its very weird. My guess is our "sameness" on that level is what attracted us to each other.
Well, and I definitely think he's a hottie too.
Every relationship, past, present and future, challenges us to grow. "Every encounter is a holy encounter," according to A Course in Miracles. That thought alone brings so much more awareness of the people in my life. It is through them that I see my own misgivings, lack of self-worth and negative thoughts about myself. And it is through them that I learn to forgive myself.
Learn from what is currently in your life. Find love there. Feel that warmth in your life.
Thank YOU for teaching me.
"Take the ingredients you already have and make the best meal you can."