I am no expert in relationships, like most of us, I am still learning and fumbling along learning as I go.
But what I have learnt along the way is that Vulnerability & Honesty are the greatest assets to any relationship.
You know that feeling, of tension, things are festering, lurking in the shadows. Something is not being said that needs to be said. You snap at one another about ridiculous things, the sex is not flowing, the harmony is not there, the energy is anxious & unpleasant.
Subconsciously ... we know something is up.
Consciously ... it needs to be brought up.
One of us is usually withholding for some reason, fear of hurting / offending the partner by sharing our truth, fear their partner will leave them/love them less by sharing our truth & opening up to showing our weakest moments, our least favorable aspects of who we are.
When in actual fact, by withholding something that needs to be shared, or not showing a vulnerable part of ourselves, we are actually doing more harm than good, and creating more separation than love. The more this happens, the more the relationship gap separates and eventually we separate completely. Or stay together in misery & resentment, the relationship dies and stagnates.
But what I have learnt is that every single time I share my truth, even if it is absolutely ridiculous and potentially "break up worthy", or when my partner or I share a part of ourselves that is non 'attractive' by normal standards (insecurities, inadequacies, fears). etc.. We actually become even more attracted and fallen deeper into love.
By opening up that space to feel fully heard, felt and seen by our partner; no matter what is going on in our own individual being, we feel safe; to just be ourselves. We feel safe that we can remain a sovereign being, not subjecting ourselves to a situation of control or conditional love. For example 'I need to be a certain way , behave a certain way , accomplish this or that in order for my partner to stay with me'. We can then soften into the feeling of just being who we are, where we are, in our sovereign truth, and if our partner isn't okay with that, they have free will to leave. When we feel we are doing things out of fear (to keep someone), this puts an unwanted pressure on the other to then fulfill some reciprocal expectation to keep you happy as they have 'sacrificed' so much for you.
What if we all just were our selves, we fell in love not for what someone was, or accomplished or 'could be'. But just who they are? Essentially we must be fully committed to accepting ourselves exactly where we are right now, just as we are. The more we do this the more real we are with what we are feeling moment to moment, and can express authentically moment to moment from that place. We aren't trying to 'get somewhere' or be the potential we think our partner wants us to be. We can chill out and take a deep breathe and sink into just being who we are.
From this place, great transformation can occur.
We cannot transform ourselves, and we definitely cannot transform any one else, including our partner. All we can do is create space for transformation to occur.
By this it means a safe and sacred space that is a growth playground for the two individuals relating to transform in and evolve from. This is my interpretation of what a relationship is all about. Growing and evolving along our soul path (the reason we are here) with love as the catalyst to shine upon all that is not in alignment with that powerful force.
Some tips to create more vulnerability & honesty in relationship:
Communication is the #1 issue with relationships. Disjoint or misunderstanding is what usually causes the other to shut down. If we feel we are not being heard, we retreat. Practice conscious communication. Simply start a conversation about anything and one person listen, fully listen. And the other speak, truly speak from the heart. This is simple training for when conflict arises, to keep conscious communication, not to drop into unconscious fear based over emotional chaos.
Holding space for the man
So often, men don't ever share their emotions apart from when they are in a relationship with a woman. So this can be extremely foreign and vulnerable for men. As women, we need to be gentle with a mans emotions, and vulnerabilities, and hold space for when his emotions arise or when he needs to share his truth, as this can be extremely hard for him.
Having agreements when triggers arise
Instead of suppressing things when we get triggered, which eventually results in multiple trigger after trigger and then eventually a volcano fight. It is good to nip them in the bud. For example, my partner and I have an agreement we try stick to that when a trigger arises, to share two options: 1. "I am triggered about something, do you have space to hold for me?" Or 2. "I am triggered I need space to sit with this on my own, and I will come back when I am good". This gives your partner the option to either listen if they feel they are open to that / have the capacity, so if your partner says no, then that leads you to option 2 to sit with yourself.
Have a daily practice (separate)
It is so important for couples to not emesh together and become co dependent, so personal daily practice like yoga, meditation helps you personally connect in to self & spirit first before each day starts, so then you are connecting from a clear space, and are clear on what is actually going on for you internally.
Get out of fixing mode
Remember it is not either of your jobs to fix/heal/please/grow the other person. That is their responsibility as a sovereign whole being. We are simply here to experience love together. Having that as your mantra, and mission.... will allow for authenticity and vulnerability to arise naturally.
What are your thoughts on this topic? What has/hasn't worked for you in relationship?