Everyone is always talking about ‘sacrifice’ in order to make a relationship work. Sacrifice, love and commitment are the key elements for a healthy relationship, right? What if it isn’t about sacrifice at all, but instead about being ‘selfish?’ Could thinking about yourself actually benefit the relationship instead of tear it apart? Maybe if the word ‘selfish’ could mean -seeing the relationship as a constant reflection of the self…so that everything that happened therein was somehow self-revelatory. With a new perspective it could be easy to see how being ‘selfish’ in relationship can actually make both partners thrive.
We spend so much time trying to figure out how to make the ‘other person’ tick, what if instead of analyzing them, we took a big step back to see what the relationship was saying about the self? Does it seem like you can go from one person to another, to another and still find yourself with a similar issue? Have you ever stopped to think that the problem isn’t with the partner? Who is the common denominator?
Here are several ways that being ‘selfish’ can make a relationship thrive more and keep partners together – growing.
When something comes up that rubs the wrong way, instead of feeling like the ‘other’ is being inconsiderate, try looking at it as a gift, a clue even, into a major trigger for self – something that could use healing or at the very least, looking at. Say the boyfriend seems to be flirting with another woman and causes that ‘ruffled’ response. Rather than blaming him for his inconsiderate actions, what if instead this act inspired a look at what might make one respond in a jealous, insecure way? Could it be there needs to be a moment of acknowledge – remembering how awesome you are? A chance to breathe into the fact that he is with you and not anyone else? Maybe take a step back and send some love into the heart, flood the awareness with all the reasons why you are amazing and deserving of love and then let it all go. Goodness is- when it is allowed in.
Expectations will get us every time, no matter if they seem healthy to both our friends and society. Having the belief that another person is going to live up to our ideals and ‘social standards’ is just asking for disappointment and trouble. Instead, allow each moment to unfold with loving openness, expressing the best version of the self – since we are the only one we can control. If temptations come to place expectations or judgments on the other person, just remember that they are their own person and will only display – to you – an appropriately ‘equal’ expression of what is being given. They say ‘you get what you give’ – this is so true in relationship. If you want to see more coming your way – give more. In this case, giving doesn’t mean sacrificing all for the sake of another, but rather being more of the authentic self, true to the heart and strong in resolve. By being yourself fully, you give the other person silent permission to step into who they are more fully. This is not always easy – for anyone.
Seeing the other person as a reflection of the self is a great way to watch positive change happen fast. How would you like to be treated? What if people treated their partner like they were the self? This doesn’t mean that he would enjoy the same types of affection as she would, or that she would appreciate time watching a sports game like he would – but if they were the self, what type of energy would be given? When one acts as if they interacting with another version of the self, perspective changes. One would not necessarily fight about past or future actions with another projection of the self, would one? Instead of taking the relationship into the fictitious ‘past’ or ‘future’, what if we tried being completely present with the ‘other?’
Relationships are deep and often intense realities that many of us flounder in and some of us thrive within. It all depends on the perspective and combined belief resonance of those engaged in the partnership. Perhaps it will remain a mystery to some of us how to get along with another in such intimate circumstances, though one thing is certain – most of us will never stop trying. So the thought goes out, if you have tried everything else and it doesn’t seem to be working – how about being a little ‘selfish’ in your relationship- seeing the other as youself – approach things from the angle of ‘full responsibility’ for what is coming up and perhaps both partners can start thriving. Who knows? It’s worth a try.
Written by: Stasia Bliss