Archive for September, 2017

Improving our Relationships

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

Hello Everyone,

The fall always feels like a new year and with it, a doorway to many new possibilities. The days before I sit down to write my musings, there are always a multitude of topics vying for expression. I have learned to trust the process of creation, allowing whatever feels most compelling to emerge. The topic of relationships is always a popular one and probably one of the main reasons that many consult a therapist for. We have many different kinds of relationships, from our spouses, our children, family members, colleagues, our friends, the relationship we have with the divine and the relationship we have with ourselves.

Many years ago, I did a training in Hawaii on relationship communication and while I came away with many pearls from that workshop, one of the main ones was the importance of finding ways to let go of “blame” when seeking ways to improve our relationships.  Blame keeps us in stuck in a conflict. After all, while we are blaming ourselves or another there is no way to search for peaceful or constructive ways of resolving the situation. When we are blaming, it is as if we are at war. We become defensive and our hearts are closed for fear of attack.  Sometimes it is useful to consider what created the situation in the first place and if each person is taking responsibility for their part, then this can be a fruitful exercise. This is more likely to happen if you are involved in relationships where each person values love and connection over “being right”. You will know if someone is intent on being right if they continue to blame and have a hard time letting go of that dialogue.

We only need to consider all the wars around the world to recognize that blame and attack are still very much part of our culture. It is not our fault, as we have been programmed that way from early civilizations. To create more peaceful and cooperative ways to be with another, it takes all of us to realize that these old ways of operating are not working. It is time to find new ways that can foster growth, connection, and collaboration.

This month I invite you to take a relationship or situation in your life where you might be blaming yourself or another for something that happened. See if rather than blaming, you can just gently connect with any feelings or energy that arise as you bring the situation to mind. You might want to write down what is there with no judgment of doing it right or wrong. Often our tendency to blame covers up a deeper truth. Notice how your body feels in recalling the event gently embracing the sensations that may arise.

Maybe we might need to come to a place of acceptance and forgiveness.

Maybe we need to acknowledge the ways in which we do in fact tend to want to punish another or ourselves. These patterns are deep rooted so be gentle with yourself.

Choosing not to blame is a practice. It is a choice to look for peaceful and creative solutions that foster connection in our relationships rather than alienation. Try it with yourself first. If we just stop criticizing or attacking ourselves and make different choices from a more loving place, our energy will ultimately impact those around us.

Have a great week, everyone.

Much love,