The Healing Power of Relationship
In this column, we want to emphasize the enormous potential for healing that every relationship contains. True, two people are guided together by Divine Presence (as becomes very clear to anyone reading our latest book, Meant To Be), and that same spiritual power blesses each moment of the joining process. Yet we are just as much human beings having a spiritual experience as divine beings having a human experience. We cannot deny or suppress our human condition, which often cries out for acceptance.
More and more throughout the years, in our workshops and counseling sessions, we see the pain, grief and even hopelessness in so many people because of childhood issues or unhealed wounds from the past. So many people carry the pain of abuse or neglect, whether physical or emotional. So many grieve over having had to grow up too soon, or not being accepted or understood as children. We don’t know anyone who has received enough unconditional love as a child. And the process of relationship often brings these wounds to the surface, and magnifies them (as we show in depth in Light in the Mirror, now The Heart’s Wisdom).
The good news is this: these wounds can be healed within the relationship. There’s no need to leave your partner in order to heal your past, as so many people have felt. Relationship can be a powerful and dynamic tool for healing the past. We want everyone to know this truth, and to know how to do this. So, here’s our favorite method to help each other to heal more deeply (regardless of the type of relationship-lovers, good friends, close siblings, or even parent-child):
1. Remember, you are a child as well as an adult. As a child, you want to play, but you also need comforting for your fear or pain. Practice seeing your friend or partner as a loving and capable parent/nurturer.
2. Notice clearly the child needing love in each person with whom you are in relationship. Don’t ever be fooled by the grownup body of your partner, or their competence or seeming independence.
3. Take time (every day if you need to) to hold your partner just like you would a child. Conveying the safety of a loving parent, let this “child” know that he or she is precious, is important, and is worthy of love no matter what mistakes they made.
4. Take an equal amount of time to allow yourself to be held as a child. Realize that you can feel safe in the arms of your partner. In this safety, feel and express the pain or fear from earlier in your life, and allow your partner to comfort you.
As you take to heart (and practice) the above four steps, you will see a deeper, more fulfilling love and respect grow in all of your relationships.