Relationships can be our greatest teachers. We can find learning opportunities in all our relationships—whether family, friends or lovers. Rather than stress over challenging relationships, we can shift our perspective. Intimate connections offer us a glimpse into the darker sides of our personality that we may not always want to see. For instance, if you constantly feel let down by others there’s a strong chance you’re letting yourself down in some way. Or if you feel judged by people close to you, you probably have some deep-rooted judgment that you’ve placed upon yourself. When we are open to seeing our relationships as assignments for personal growth, then we can begin to appreciate even the toughest times.
Navigating tumultuous relationships can be tough without a road map. To help you out, I’ve outlined three powerful relationship tools from my newest book Miracles Now. These three tools help you see your part, learn from your mistakes and release negative attachments.
Step 1: Take care of your side of the street.
The first step to healing a difficult relationship is to see your part in the chaos. Make a list of all the ways you’ve participated in the drama. Be specific and honest when writing them down.
Then once you’ve clarified your part, it’s very helpful to share it with the other person. Whether you send a letter, call them or meet face-to-face, take the time to acknowledge how you’ve been participating in the problems. This step is not an exercise in making yourself a punching bag. Rather, it’s an opportunity to make amends for whatever you’ve done wrong.
Step 2: Talk it out.
There is nothing more powerful than speaking your truth. This tool was taught to me by my friend Elena Brower, a world-renowned coach and yoga teacher. This exercise is designed to give each party the opportunity to say how they feel without interruption. Here’s how it works: Each person has three minutes to speak without interruption. You can say everything that is on your mind regardless of how bad it may sound. The other person cannot interrupt. When the three minutes are up the other person says, “You have been heard.” Then they get a chance to speak their mind. Once the second person is finished, the partner responds, “You have been heard.”
So often in conversations we interrupt each other to “correct” the other person’s story or defend ourselves. This exercise offers each person the opportunity to share their side of the story and fully own it. Most importantly, it gives each person the chance to be heard.
Step 3: Release.
The final step is crucial. The only way to move forward happily in a relationship is to release the past. This release comes through forgiveness. Now that you’ve owned your part and expressed your true feelings, the next step is to release the other person fully. This doesn’t mean you’re cutting the person out of your life; it means you release the energetic grip the relationship has had on you. To do this you can begin each day with the mantra, “I forgive you and I release you.” Whenever you are in a fight or stuck in an old pattern of negativity toward each other, repeat the mantra.
If your intimate relationships are tumultuous or feel stuck in an unhappy rut, apply these three tools. Trust that the best way to heal a relationship is to see your part, get honest and forgive. Be willing to open up to the root cause of the issue so that it can be brought to the surface and mended. Take responsibility for your happiness and actively choose to enjoy your relationships today.
For more guidance on how to create more flow in your relationships order a copy of my new book, Miracles Now, and get two free lectures from me. These resources will support your inner relationship to yourself thereby strengthening your connection to others. Get your free resources here www.gabbyb.tv/miracles.
Gabrielle Bernstein is a New York Times bestselling author, speaker and Kundalini meditation teacher. Her newest book is, Miracles Now, 108 Life-changing tools for less stress, more flow and finding your true purpose.