How to Do Self-Discovery Work When You're in a Relationship
When you’re doing the deep soul work it can make you want to cut and run from everything in your life. The humans in our lives are mirrors - they reflect what we need to learn and heal within ourselves. When you’re dealing with childhood wounds or come from a dysfunctional family, this means that your closest relationships often mimic the ones that were most harmful when you were younger, or reflect the parent you had the most struggles with.
Knowing that, it can be tempting to just leave. If the issue is that your partner is like someone who left you with issues, obvs it’s the partner that needs to change & you need to find a new one that will treat you better, right? Nope. Not that simple. Until you heal those wounds within yourself, you’ll just keep attracting people who force you to face them.*
I want to make it clear that it is possible to do this work with your current partner. But, there’s a few things I’ve learned are necessary for that co-healing to be possible.
First up, this will only work it’s a deep, sincere love ON BOTH SIDES. I don’t mean attachment, codependence or lust. I mean true, unconditional, soul level love for both parties involved.
Both sides need to be willing to do the work on themselves so that they can show up more fully and authentically in their lives as a whole, including within the relationship.
You both need to communicate A LOT. At first, it might seem like over communicating. It WILL be uncomfortable. But it’s the only way this will work. You’ll have a lot of emotions and thoughts to sort out, you will be triggered, and you won’t always be rational. No one can read your mind so you need to communicate wtf is going on up there.
Humbleness and Honesty
You both need to be humble and own up to when something is a trigger, isn’t rational, or isn’t about them. Also, you need to be able to call your partner out when they’re treating you as someone from their past and not the human you are today.
You both need to be vulnerable. This is what builds intimacy, trust, love and understanding. Vulnerability is the only thing that counteracts shame and is where the healing happens
You need to be patient with each other and yourselves. You’re undoing a lifetime of fucked up thought patterns and experiences. You’re basically a baby trying to learn how to do this thing called life, but instead of a blank slate you have to manually erase an entire book, printed in black ink on white paper. Good luck.
Don’t forget to play together! Make a list of things that bring you sheer joy, get you into flow state, and fill you up. Write them down. When things get to be too much, pick something from the list and do it together. Part of this work is remember what it is to feel joy, because that gets lost under all the trauma. If all you’re focusing on is the hard stuff, you forget how good life can be and what you’re doing this all for.
I am speaking from experience that this is possible. I’ve been through a lot with my family, particularly my father, so that brought up a lot of shadow within myself and my relationship. For me, it was immensely rewarding to be doing this work with the loving support of my partner Isaac. And the more I came back to my true self, releasing and healing those wounds, the more space I opened up for Isaac to be able to do the same. It’s been a beautiful, mind boggling, confusing journey, but it’s exactly what my soul needed. And it’s been worth it. I would not be who or where I am today without it. I would not have a relationship that is so beautiful it takes my breath away every single day - with myself or with Isaac.