18 Dec What do I Want?
As we enter into or participate in any relationship, it’s good to spend some conscious energy getting clear on our reasons for engaging in that particular relationship. If we’re really honest, maintaining a quality lasting relationship requires presence and attention from each participant. That means we must consciously choose to spend our time and energy with this person (or group of people) and not spend it elsewhere.
(Some of us get afraid of having to put any “work” into a relationship and let’s save that discussion for another time… In this moment, let’s just agree that being in any kind of a relationship requires us to expend energy if we want the relationship to last.)
One of the first questions we might ask ourselves about any relationship, and especially when contemplating building a new relationship is “what is my purpose or reason” for being in this relationship. This question is as important for a romantic relationship as for a friend relationship or a business relationship. Sometimes our purpose in building a relationship can have a short term and long term perspective.
Suggestion: For the two relationships in your life that you spend the most time and energy participating in (whether you deem that time as great or not-so-great time), ask yourself “What is my reason or purpose for being in this relationship?”
Once you become consciously aware of your purpose or intention in each relationship, notice if your purpose or reason feels valuable to you. Do you feel in integrity with your purpose? Do you feel like you’ve been authentic with the other person about why you are in the relationship?
Once you’ve looked at your intentions or reasons for being in a relationship the next thing to consider is the giving and receiving aspect of every relationship. When a relationship is healthy both people are giving and receiving. If you aren’t sure about that, notice how much you enjoy being in a relationship where you feel like you’re doing all of the giving? How motivated are you to continue giving in that relationship?
Now this is not to say that our giving or receiving needs to look similar or equal or that we in any way need to keep track of it, we just need to feel like there is a continuous flow of energy between us. Giving in a romantic relationship might be a women smiling at and embracing her boyfriend with her soft feminine body when he comes to her door after work. She has given the gift of her beauty and radiance. Later her boyfriend might hold her and listen while she talks through a challenge she’s having. He has given the gift of his presence. There is no need to track our giving and receiving. We just need to feel like it is in flow or in balance.
We all have gifts we would like to give to others and we all have gifts we would like to receive. When we begin to be honest about what we would like to bring to a relationship and what we would like to receive from a relationship we can empower ourselves and our partner (or friend or colleague) as well.
Ask yourself, “What would I like to offer this person?”
Then ask, “Am I giving what I say I want to offer?” If you are great! If you aren’t, notice why. Have you over committed yourself? Are you resentful? Are you not honoring your own joys or desires? If you discover something interesting in your contemplation, you might consider sharing the information with the other person in the relationship.
Next ask yourself, “What would I like to receive from this person?”
Then ask, “Am I receiving what I am wanting?” If you are great! If not, ask yourself “Why?” Notice… Am I open to receive? (Many of us aren’t.) Do I make space and time for this person to give to me? Do I feel guilty if someone gives me something or does something for me?
If we are not receiving what we’d like to receive in relationship, it might be because they are not offering it or it might be because we have pushed the offers away in the past, we don’t allow ourselves to receive, or our lives are so full that there’s no space or time to receive. If you are not receiving, notice which of these is true for you.
Explore this week how you show up in your most important relationships. And, if you are just starting a new relationship, ask yourself these questions:
- Why would I create this relationship? What is my purpose, reason or intention?
- What do I have to offer this relationship? How am I willing to give to this person?
- What do I want to receive from this relationship? Am I willing to receive from this person?
Enjoy your explorations!