Practice Gratitude in Your Relationship During the Lockdown.
Intimate relationship offers one of the most radical spiritual practices.
Why? Because it’s where we get to come home to our most authentic, divine full potential. The pathway lies through the sacred mirrors of our partner, and takes us to our deepest, and sometimes darkest, places. Our partner can simply show us where we have forgotten that we are love itself.
It’s soul medicine, and like all such medicines, offers us nothing less than the alchemy of personal transformation and deep healing. In any healthy relationship, there are difficult stretches and hard times walking alongside the beauty and magic. Yet, as long as the relationship is not abusive, it has the potential of an initiatory journey.
With the right tools and practices, we light each other’s way through the dark passages and emerge, blinking, into the light of a new landscape together.
The question we need to ask ourselves is “Am I growing more in this relationship than I would if I were single?” At all times in a relationship, we have the choice. We can turn and walk away, and sometimes that’s the most healthy choice we can make to protect ourselves or to live our fullest life.
Sometimes, choosing to stay is a threshold to reclaiming a lost or hurt part of ourselves and bring it back inside the circle of compassionate loving.
If the relationship holds an innate spark of beauty and love, we can turn towards it, towards the treasures it holds. We can gently blow on that spark, perhaps long buried, to rekindle the divine essence of a loving relationship.
We choose to turn, again and again, to ourselves and to each other with kindness, and with eyes that seek out the best of each other, rather than the myriad small annoyances, grievances and frustrations that are inevitable when sharing a life with someone.
Now more than ever, we are bereft of our distractions. We may miss nights out, parties, festivals, friends. We may not be able to shop for the things we fancy eating or wearing. Now, in this time of lockdown, we are naturally turned to ourselves and to the ones we live with.
This may or may not be easy. You may be cooped up together and getting under each other’s feet or equally having a second honeymoon! But if you are cohabiting, you will be with each other more, that’s for sure. Sharing bandwidth for important work calls. Leaving a mess in the kitchen. Getting frustrated and losing your temper with kids. Needing alone time. Needing reassurance from your partner.
I invite you to take a deep breath together, to know that along with the challenge these days bring, they also bring profound gifts.
I invite you to allow in the possibility that with a little tending, and the choice to walk together through this passage, you will arrive at the other side knowing and opening to each other more deeply, valuing what you bring to each other and finding yourselves more loved than you ever imagined.
Relationship-tending in these days is about the small things, the pause before a reaction, the daily practice of gratitude for your life, and for each other.
So much can get stirred up around communication styles. When this happens, misunderstanding and defensiveness builds. We get stuck in a rut when we ask our partner to do something or hear something. Or the way in which we choose to hear what he or she asks of us.
In my decades of working with couples, I’ve found over and over again that to turn our attention to the ways in which we communicate with each other is to tend the soil of our relationship garden. Whatever the issue is, when we look at communication, we often find a way to loosen up and resolve that issue.
One simple way of sparking the relationship again is to recall how you felt when you first fell in love and the times you shared together. And let the feelings become alive in your body and heart in this moment right now as you read this. This awakening is soul food for your connection — if you had this magic once, you can have it again and again.
Practicing gratitude is a gateway to feeling abundant rather than running on empty, even for small things. Your partner washed up their breakfast bowl? They sat with the kids while you worked? Focus on these moments, and feel gratitude as a way to empower yourself to open, rather than waiting for your partner to be different.
Putting your focus on gratitude is no spiritual bypass — it doesn’t sweep all the difficulties under the carpet, but brings rich compost to a depleted soil so the roots of goodness between you have ground to bed in. With a deeper foundation, looking at difficult areas of a relationship becomes more possible.
No matter how bad things are, there is always something to find gratitude for, and if you can’t find it for your partner, then find it for yourself.
Practicing gratitude doesn’t mean you can’t ask for what you want, or that your needs can’t be met. It means you shift your consciousness. A small tweak in where you choose to put your attention may mean a seismic shift in how you communicate with your partner when you need to ask something of him or clear a frustration.
It takes practice. But what better time than this to begin a new habit?
Jewels Wingfield is a soul activist who has been working with collective evolution for over 25 years. Through the depth of her lived experience and her intimate connection with the natural world, she offers workshops, trainings and online teachings for all people who are interested in living as their most empowered selves from fierce alive love and deep authentic truth. She works with women, couples and men who would like support to be all they can be at this time of thresholds on Planet Earth. You could contact her via her website or Facebook.