He says something that drives you crazy. He’s said it many times before.
She does something that you can’t stand and it looks like she’ll never change, because she’s been doing it like that ever since you met.
You have been triggered by something and it sets off a little storm inside your head. You react – probably you know you shouldn’t react that way, but you do anyway. He or she reacts back and before you know where you are, an argument is in full swing.
You have probably had almost exactly the same argument before, many times over, with little variations. You know it’s not going to go anywhere, but you can’t find any other way to respond. The two of you are locked in a pattern that repeats over and over again.
Sometimes it lasts for days, weeks or even years. You get used to it but there is a deep inner feeling of slight disappointment, as if you have lost something. You wish it could all be fresher, more inspiring – a little more magic and a little less predictability.
What you probably don’t realize is that this is your golden opportunity to find that little bit more magic, that inspiration and freshness that has been so lacking.
If this is new to you, it may be a bit challenging to understand at first, but I encourage you to persevere. This knowledge has turned relationships around in both short-term dramatic and longer-term more profound ways.
Here’s how to look at it.
You are made of energy, as we all are. So you are, in essence, a set of vibrations. If you’re not sure about this, check out the science. It’s pretty established knowledge these days.
And the life you experience is a reflection of your energy, or your consciousness. So your whole life is a kind of extension of your energy.
If you experience love and tenderness from another person, it is a reflection of an aspect of your energy or vibration. Similarly, if you experience anger from someone, that is also a reflection of part of your energy.
At a simple level, this is why you receive more love as you become more loving yourself. It is also why you will find people getting angry with you a lot more if you get angry with people yourself.
So to get back to the argument, suppose your partner just made you feel very small and worthless. They may not have intended it, and they may not have even done anything to cause it, but that’s what you feel. You feel put down, humiliated and undervalued.
However you can only experience these feelings if you have that particular energy inside you. So if you have the energy of being worthless in your consciousness, someone else can trigger you to feel it.
You can usually find it very easily if you look at the way you treat yourself. For example, suppose someone is very critical of you. If you look inside your head you will find that you tend to be very critical of yourself. What is happening inside is a direct match to what is happening on the outside and that is no mistake.
That worthless feeling is an energy that vibrates out from you. You are treating yourself as worthless in some area of your life. That is the reason why you experience it coming back towards you from other people. They are a reflection of your energy or consciousness.
The good thing about this is that it is much easier to change you than the other person.
If you can stand back from an argument and see how it makes you feel, you can see which part of your energy you are experiencing. Is it critical, intolerant, aggressive, dismissive, belittling, condescending…the list could be long!
Once you have identified the energy you are experiencing from the other person, ask yourself where you are doing that to yourself. You will find an area of your life where you treat yourself in exactly the same way as you are experiencing from the other person – so you are being critical, intolerant, aggressive, dismissive…but towards yourself.
I hope you will quickly see that treating yourself this way is totally lacking in self-love, kindness, forgiveness and compassion.
In my experience it is no better to treat yourself badly than to treat someone else that way. If you wouldn’t dream of treating your partner unkindly, why on earth would you want to be unkind to yourself?
And yet that is exactly what we do.
If you recognize that this is not a good way to treat yourself, or anyone else, you will start to change. You will catch those little unkind thoughts you send towards yourself, the little darts of self-hatred, guilt, meanness and bitterness. You will stop them from growing because you will realize that treating anyone – including yourself – unkindly or with hatred is simply not the kind of person you are choosing to be.
Now you can make a different choice.
And the beautiful thing is that when you do this your heart starts to open and life feels a little less hard. You will feel more love and forgiveness of the other person, instead of hardness and rejection, and you will even start to love yourself more.
Love is also an energy, a vibration. The more you grow it in yourself, the more you will experience it all around you. So the more you love yourself, the more other people will love you.
It’s strange, but extraordinarily powerful.
If you want to learn how to apply this my online course, Open Your Heart, teaches you a step by step process to turn any negative experience in any relationship into an opportunity to open your heart and feel more connected. It usually changes the other person too, even if they do not know you are doing the course. Find out more here.