In both these scenarios, if the relationship as a ‘living entity’ is not strong, the focus of energy will be drawn inwards and devoured by the seemingly overpowering negative feelings and emotions of each partner rather than the being directed more positively towards nurturing the relationship.
All these problems and issues can be resolved so that the relationship energy can begin to thrive and grow but it takes lots of love, determination and on-going open communication from both partners to do so. Before each partner can begin to address their own issues as individuals, the healing must always involve stabilising and harmonising the energy of the relationship, and this requires the willingness and commitment from both partners to participate in this process.
The third teaching that I would like to offer relates to emotional misunderstandings in the form of personal expectations within a relationship…
Phrases I commonly hear when working with clients are: “She’s not the woman I’m married” or “He’s changed such a lot since we’ve been married“. These types of statements immediately tell me that the individual does not fully grasp the wonderfully dynamic and sometimes volatile nature of the energy that makes up a relationship. If you can relate to these types of statements and feelings you must understand that as human beings we can never stop changing and transforming, and similarly, the energy of your relationship will always continue to evolve.
This idea of change and movement of energy is one of the most fundamental teachings of Taoism yet our human centred mind can sometimes find this process somewhat scary or frightening – it will look back into the past longingly thinking that things were better as they used to be, or else it projects into the future is unable to see things in positive light.
Remember, you cannot hold onto any moment or phase within a relationship. Attempting to do this creates a stagnation that results in either or both of you having to force or artificially manipulate the energy of the relationship. This is when conflict within the relationship can arise and feelings of dissatisfaction and resentment grow, creating an opportunity for the relationship to be strangled with Ego thoughts such as “this is too much hard work“, “I can’t be bothered” or “it’s just not worth the effort.”
There will of course be good and bad times; initial feelings of excitement and thrill may transform into a deeper and stronger and more lasting feelings of mutual respect and intimacy within your relationship; there may be periods when the relationship is extremely close and interdependent and times when this is not the case.
The solution always lies in accepting, embracing and celebrating the evolving nature of yourself, your partner and your relationship. Instead of trying to work against this natural flow of all things why not work with it? The energy of your relationship should be flexible and expansive so that both you and your partner can feel happy to freely express yourself, to learn, to grow, to reach your true potential, all without having to deal with any negative feedback or repercussions. As the lines of the Tao Te Ching state:
Then you can truly love all people without harming yourself,
allowing others to rise to their fullest height, whilst not diminishing your own stature.
Encouraging your partner to grow to their fullest height should not in any way diminish your expectations or potential of yourself. View yourself and your partner as independent spirits following their dreams; support each other to be the best that you can be as individuals without stifling your own potential. When you achieve this your relationship becomes the best that it can be and you’ll both benefit from the process!
In conclusion, I hope my teachings here have offered you a fresh perspective or reconnected you to your authentic thinking on the subjects of love and relationships.
First and foremost always apply the principle of Ch’ang and self-nurturing in all that you do.
Then extend this nurturing and love outwards by embracing the importance of making an equal and shared commitment to the three energies involved in your relationship: you, your partner and the relationship itself. Take time to work through and agree a mutual understanding about how you will both nurture and promote the relationship.
Finally, regularly affirm and embrace the dynamic, ever changing and flowing nature of your relationship and your mutually supportive life journey together. This will allow you to maintain vibrancy and interest within the relationship in the long term. From a Taoist perspective this means you’re maintaining the harmonious flow of Wu Wei, which then attracts unlimited positive energy into your life and your relationship.
Yi Tao Qi Tao
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About the Author
David James Lees is a spirituality and wellness author, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner, counsellor, hypnotherapist, NLP Master, and a Member of the British Acupuncture Council. David has a lifelong interest in Taoism, Taoist philosophy and Qigong, and was first taught meditation by Chinese Tibetan Buddhist monks when he was 16 years old, which helped him tackle a profound stutter. After qualifying as a TCM practitioner in the UK, David trained for a number of years as a Qigong instructor with Doctor Shen in London and Master Wan Su Jain in Beijing, and was later ordained as a Taoist Master in the sacred Wudang Mountains in China. Today, David is a trusted advisor and broadcaster on emotional health issues and alternative therapies in the UK. You can follow David on his blog: www.WuWeiWisdom.com, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Soundcloud. For the latest information on David’s therapies, classes, workshops and special events visit Peak House Practice.
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