Today was all about knowing what I want in relationship to the people around me, and in intimate relationship with my partner. What do I want? Now, in the self-development, law of attraction, magic and corporate, business worlds, knowing what you want is a top priority. Of course, it’s not just in those arenas that knowing what you want is necessary, but it really is important for being in any kind of relationship. Why? Because chances are, what you want and what the people or person you are in relationship with wants, is different.
I can already hear you say, ‘No, no, my husband (wife/partner) and I want the same things’. Well, you might say that to each other, and there will certainly be common elements to what you want, but I can tell you now, what you truly want will likely have a different look, feel, thinking and basis to it than what your partner wants.
What makes me assume so? Well, we are all unique beings with unique sets of circumstances in which we have grown, lived and had our being. Popular culture, Hollywood and dominant media can portray us as homogenous beings, with singular experience – and therefore expectation – but in reality, our experience and expectations are as different as our skin colour. We all have skin, and there are commonalities among skin tones, but no two sets of bodies and skin are the same. You get my drift?
For example: my partner and I can agree we both love each other and want to spend the rest of our lives together. Beautiful. We have a commonality there – a goal even.
What we also bring to that desire is a multitude of other ‘wants’, needs and experiences that impact how we think, feel and act based on our very different life experiences – and most assuredly, influenced by what Bob Proctor calls our Paradigm – those thoughts, feelings, beliefs and perceptions that perpetuate limiting habits (usually derived from childhood influences; and I would add past life patterning).
So today was a lesson in 1) knowing what I want 2) hearing what my partner wants 3) fleshing out all the bits and bobs that are associated with our wants – learning that they are quite different, and 4) understanding more about those differences, delving into the background of them, the energy behind them, the fears, impetus, motivations and significance of them to each other, and 5) realising that their differences need not be a threat but an invitation to understand more fully my relationship and my partner 6) upon listening to the fullness of our differing wants/needs we more clearly see that they do not detract from what the other wants – because they are different 7) and in this understanding we can negotiate and move forward in our ultimate, shared commonality – that we love each other and want to spend our lives together.
So under the common umbrella of we love each other, there are other elements of difference. We both go in thinking they are deal breakers and that the other person is not going to agree because we both think: ‘what I want, my partner doesn’t want’. In actual fact, we’re thinking and talking about different wants.
For example – You both love each other, but you really want to move to Spain. You sense your partner doesn’t want to go, so perceived discord leads to emotional distance, a feeling of disconnect, confusion, anger, hurt and before you know it, what is our relationship really about.
Your partner is really concerned about the wellbeing of your children who are well settled into school. Instead of communicating this, your partner simple says, ‘No, I don’t think moving to Spain is a good idea’ or ‘I don’t want to go’ or ‘It wouldn’t’ be fair on the kids’.
Remember, this is just an example. Well, sitting down and listening to the silence within for yourself, asking ‘what do I really want’, may reveal that it’s not the move to Spain you actually want – it’s relief from family pressure, strain, the weather or because the fantasy of another place seems to offer respite, hope or similar.
Partner sits down in the silence and asks ‘what do I really want’ and realises he or she wouldn’t really mind moving to Spain, suddenly sure the kids would manage; what partner really want is for you to hear and consider his needs and feelings too.
See what I’m getting at? What we think we want is often not what we really want. And even further away from what we think our partner wants.
Getting to really know yourself – what’s driving what you think you want or what does it feel like to be in the moving force that is causing discord – this is usually the ‘stuff’ of old that needs looking at, healing and at the least, communicating to those we love and are in relationship with.
It seems to me that it’s only from this point of self-enquiry and openness to exploration – and staying with the process - that we can come to appreciate our common desires and in truth, be able to hear and understand the needs and concerns of our loved one in order to come to mutual resolution.
Self-awareness, honest, deep, self-enquiry is, I came to appreciate today, so important to peeling away the layers of thoughts, feelings, perceptions in relationships. And then having the courage to stay in the stickiness, the revealing, the nakedness of meeting each other in the space between commonality – on the bridge of truth.