No one has the perfect relationship. It’s not always a bed of roses. You are definitely guaranteed a roller coaster ride. Each of us comes together with baggage, wounds, stuff, whatever you want to call it. We come together at different times of our lives. Unbeknownst to ourselves, our unconscious pairs us perfectly; though, it may not seem that way at times. I want to open up and share that even though I have all this relationship and life coaching knowledge and have participated in many a workshop and seminar, I by no means have the most perfect relationship. For me, it’s not about having the perfect relationship but finding the perfection within the relationship as it is: accepting each other for who we are and who we are not. The perfection in my relationship lies within our commitment to face and move through conflict; open doors of healing and growth; and transform our wounded child to conscious adult.
For me and Mickey, the first 24 hours were AMAZING. I was in town for a high school reunion of sorts and he had just moved back to our hometown and once I arrived to the party, that was it, we were both drawn to each other and knew there was something very strong between us. We’ve known each other our entire lives, never dated in school, and here it was 25 years later and there was no question we were meant to be. At the end of our 19 hour date, at the same time, in the same breath, we both spoke the same words, “I found you”. I flew back to Atlanta and immediately flew back to see him the next weekend. Because we were long distance (and still are), we didn’t get much time together as you would normally during dating or should I say the Romantic Stage of our relationship. There was no pretending or putting on a mask, we got real, real quick, and the baggage was quickly unpacked, well, most of it. His baggage contained wounds that oozed with fear, pain, guilt, shame, grief, anger, abandonment, and deep sadness. Mine overflowed with resentment, anger, fear, insecurity, and a multicolor arrangement of distrust. I secretly packed away all of my “stuff”; except for what I let him see – an array of strength, love, and independence. I immediately stowed my baggage and hurried to help my new love put the pieces back together and bandage his ailing wounds. I soon began guiding him and opening his eyes and heart to new ways of thinking, being, and regaining his power. However, it was NOT a bed of roses and through “saving” him, I began to lose myself in a big big way and my secret compartment filled with all my childhood wounds began to seep out of my luggage. We endured many a break up, all on my end, and many a re-commitment. But one thing stayed constant, we couldn’t get past the “Power Struggle”. We were two wounded children triggering each other’s childhood wounds. And those wounds kept us guarded and on lock down. We weren’t going to let each other in. It was not pretty at all.
We’re both not perfect. He has demons, I have demons. He’s done things he’s not proud of (he’s never been unfaithful) and I don’t trust anyone. Some of his actions were based on fear and others were based on the fact that his motto “failure is not an option” had been challenged and he found himself in what seemed to be a sinking ship with no life boat in sight. My distrust comes from not being able to count on the men in my life leaving me feeling like I wasn’t worthy, I was undeserving of love, I wasn’t good enough, and that I had to do everything myself. Through our work with the Imago Getting the Love You Want workshops (www.gettingtheloveyouwant.com) and Landmark Education seminars (www.landmarkeducation.com), as well as reading relationship books together and listening to CDs by Alison Armstrong (www.understandmen.com), we are fully committed to the love we have for each other. We know we are complete opposites and we know that we also have lots in common. In our polar oppositeness, we are the same. There is no more throwing in the towel or running away. Now don’t get me wrong, we still do things that really aggravate and frustrate each other, but we commit everyday to bring a conscious partnership to light and when our unconscious joins the party, we acknowledge it and it no longer has power over us. Our love is too strong. Mickey and I have been criticized both individually and as a couple as well as lovingly supported. Many people have their own opinions about him, about me, and about us. Until they have walked in our shoes, delved into our hearts and souls, have knowledge of the inner workings of what’s stored in our brains from the past, they cannot judge, for they too have their own demons, their own journey. What matters now is that we are taking responsibility for ourselves, our lives, and for our relationship, as well as honoring each others individual journey while forging new worlds together hand in hand. At this point in our relationship, Mickey is standing strong in his power and is ready to step up to the plate, commit to getting back to what he left behind, and get his career back on track. I support him 100%. Once a career opportunity arises, we will make our move together and we will never be long distance again!
My passion for making a difference in the lives of couples came to light one day while I reviewing the Advance Course at Landmark Education. It was during the “Being With” exercise. In this exercise people stand toe to toe and eye and eye. There is no talking only two people being. This exercise changed my life when I first did it in 1996. I, being a professional dancer and able to engage an audience, could not look at anyone in the eye off the stage. I’d look up, down, and all around as to not let anyone look at me. To know I could not just “be” with another human being frightened me so and I never cried so hard in my entire life. I courageously stepped through that fear and since then truly connect with all those I am in contact with. I share me, my heart, my soul, my vulnerability, my strength, my weakness. Now back to the day I reviewed the course in 2009. I truly got present to a passion and purpose to make a profound difference in the lives of couples. The epidemic of disconnect is rampant: People are so addicted to the chemical high of the Romantic Stage of a relationship that they break up and divorce at the first signs of a Power Struggle; Couples live within their relationship as wounded children held prisoner by the wounds of their past; Partners become adversaries instead of allies. In my search for how I wanted to bring my passion to fruition, I remembered reading Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix about 6 years ago and searched the Imago Relationships International website and found the Certified Imago Relationship Educator program and I knew … just like I knew with Mickey … I knew that this was to be my first step in pursuing my calling: To shed light on the possibility of connected, safe, and passionate partnerships where couples are eager to cross the bridge into each other’s world and commit to nurture the space that lies between them.
Just like the song, “It takes 2 to make a thing go right”! Commit to your relationship and do whatever it takes to nurture it. Yes, it takes work, and in doing the work, you both will reap the benefits as individuals, as a couple, and as a family. When the work is done from a space of an open heart, love and gratitude, it will no longer feel like a chore or something you have to do. It will become a natural expression of your relationship. AND how PERFECT is that?!?!