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*Editor’s Note: This piece is part of a series—lucky you! Follow Galina to get notified when the next article is available to read. And read Harsh Truth #3 here.
Seeing my husband as human was a serious blow to my capacity to love him.
Starved of the attention and protection I never felt from my father, I needed my husband to be my savior—not a person with fears, triggers, and a wounded inner child of his own.
I adored him and put him on a pedestal, ignoring all signs of him being a regular mortal.
I held him responsible for my sense of security.
Security which evaporated when I realized that he faced the same limitations as me.
His inability to save me from the inevitable vicissitudes of life invoked at first paralyzing fear, then anger.
I was in my late 40s by the time I started learning how to be a grown-up.
It was not an easy process.
Taking ownership of my needs and well-being, realizing that I was my own responsibility, was painfully sobering.
For a while, I resisted.
Eventually, I began giving myself permissions I would never have dared to give before, when single-mindedly focused on my husband as the source of my potential fulfillment.
Years later, having traversed the spectrum from codependence to independence, I am inching closer to the center of interdependence.
Codependence = I try to make you happy so that you can do the same for me.
Independence = I’m fully self-sufficient. I don’t need you!
Interdependence = We are sovereign individuals facing life as a team.
From this new perch, I am finally able to see relationships as containers that serve our evolutionary process.
Old Paradigm: committed relationships—particularly marriage—served as instruments of tradition, perpetuating conservative family and societal values.
New Paradigm: as we begin to reevaluate our values, individually and collectively, our relationships are coming under pressure to evolve. Where we once sought completion from the other, we are now invited to find our “missing piece” within.
The responsibility to heal is ours and ours alone.
As we grow into wholeness, we also send out ripples of change to those around us. Some are able to hear the call, others are not yet open to receiving.
This is how relationships become laboratories for change.
My personal journey toward emotional adulthood disrupted the obsolete patterns on which my relationship was built.
As I began stretching and growing, I inadvertently invited my husband to do the same, by changing the rhythm of our mutual dance.
This is where the future of relationships lies.
As we heal trauma through embodiment, learn to separate karmic stories from physical sensations, decondition our expectations, and drop our agendas, we become receptive to relating, open to feeling others by welcoming them in, as they are, moment by moment.
(This is the journey I’ll be guiding 15 new participants on in my upcoming six-month program, Safe to Be Me. I invite you to be one of them! Find out more.)
Relationships aren’t for feeling good or making us happy. (Although these are byproducts of healthy relating.)
Relationships are for growth. (And growth always comes with a degree of discomfort.)
This isn’t what most relationship coaches will tell you, because it goes against everything we’ve been taught.
Discomfort and difficulty are not necessarily signs that a relationship is not working.
Longevity and stability are not always signs that a relationship is successful.
Learning to love one another while supporting each other’s sovereignty is the greatest challenge and measure of evolution, especially in long-term relationships.
For that to be possible, we need to evolve from parent-substitution to partnership.
From wounded inner children, repeating the same old steps, out of fear or need…
We need to become self-responsible adults. Grown-ups who dance freely together, out of choice.
Safe to Be Me is a one-of-a-kind course. Organized and codified from my own diamond-mine of awakening, it’s a six-month-long map that leads to the treasure of:
>> Rediscovering yourself (as you truly are!)
>> Showing up authentically, in love and in life.
>> Building more fulfilling, honest, meaningful relationships, and
>> Uncovering a deep sense of inner safety, love, and freedom.
(The first step is a free 30-minute video chat with me, which you can book right here.)
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