Imagine a life where all your relationships felt fulfilling - romantic or otherwise. The connections with your spouse, children, parents, friends and acquaintances left you feeling joyful. Moreover, you wouldn’t feel the need to change anything about any of them.
What if I told you this was not only possible, but completely within your power?
Well, it is. And it starts with approaching relationships from a combination of our Physical, Spiritual, Emotional, Mental and Intuitive selves.
Taking this holistic approach will enable you to build lasting, satisfying connections with everyone in your life. It will empower you to use empathy instead of sympathy. You’ll learn how to stop falling into the trap of fulfilling a role of victim, rescuer or punisher with others. And, ultimately, you’ll experience life with more passion and compassion than ever.
In today’s article, I’m going to give you three strategies for integrating ego with an internal intimacy, which - in turn - gives us the opportunity to deepen our intimacy with those around us.
Value Respect More Than Loyalty
The words respect and loyalty are often used interchangeably. However, when you analyze it a bit deeper, you’ll find loyalty often comes from a place of ego. Its goal is to place a sense of obligation on another person.
It says, “Because I sacrificed X for you, you must stay with me forever. You must choose me, love me, stand by me.” But that’s the thing about expectations – they’re exhausting.
This programming starts in childhood with our parents. Behaviors of compliance or defiance to their expectations lead to reward or punishment. But just because you were parented this way, doesn’t mean it was correct.
In contrast, respect for another holds no expectations which lead to reward or punishment. Instead, it values the perspectives of others without attributing a classification or right or wrong. It simply seeks understanding in sincerity.
Invest in Regular Self-Care
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball
I really love this quote by Lucille because it speaks a simple truth: you cannot give water to the thirsty if you haven’t dug the well. Your life is the well. Many spend their lives giving water from a cistern, only to feel surprised when we feel empty.
In order to live life from a well-spring, you must invest in regular self-care. It’s not easy sometimes, but it’s always necessary. Some ideas include:
- Meditate or Pray
- Use to Energy Healing
- Seek Financial Freedom
- Eat Healthy Foods
- Spend Time Outside
- Join a Community
- Invest in Self-Development
These are just a few of the countless ways you can incorporate self-care into your daily life. The key is to do what’s best for you. After all, you can’t give of yourself if you’ve not first dug a well to draw from.
Learn How to Fight Fair
Another way to start building holistic relationships is to fight fair. Life isn’t fair, and we often use childish behavior in response to this frustrating fact.
Things like deflecting, withdrawing, proving, pouting, punishing, yelling and intimidating are all manifestations of this. We’re drawn to the maneuvers because it gives opportunity to pass judgements or right or wrong, good or bad. And, as a result, we feel entitled to shame and blame the other person.
One of my favorite tactics for fighting fair is something I call Repeated Perspective. All you do is repeat your perspective of what the other person said.
When we do this, it opens the door to calmly discuss misunderstandings, while also making the other person feel heard and valuable. And, most importantly, when they confirm you’ve repeated it correctly, respect their viewpoint even when you don’t agree.
Ultimately, holistic relationships come down to setting aside ego in exchange for intimacy with yourself and others. It’s not always easy, but it is always worth it.