By herself she was mostly happy, competent and loving, then she would get in a relationship and fall apart. She would become angry, hurt and judgmental toward her partner very quickly!
So she dealt with this problem by staying out of relationships even though she knew that wasn’t completely satisfactory. She cut off that part of herself because she wasn’t prepared to embrace that level of exposure.
While it was certainly her right to make this choice, it is not the choice made by most of the people Pam and I work with.
One of the great joys of the work Pam and I do is that we get to spend time with people who really want to push their relationships to the limit. They are willing to tolerate some temporary discomfort in order to find a place of true intimacy and love with their partner.
They are committed to being happy together no matter what, not just staying together no matter what.
Couples like this are a rare and precious gift.
Most “traditional” couples are focussed on what they don’t want, what they think is broken or unfair in their relationship, and are ready to stop working as soon as the stress is resolved.
Couples that are committed to being happy together, don’t have to wait until their relationship is in trouble to look for help. These couples see their relationship as something precious and want to take responsibility for continually opening themselves up to love and intimacy with their partner.
These couples are living a Level 3 Relationship.
According to Sex and Relationship Guru, David Deida, a Level 3 Relationship is a new thing in our society. It is a form of relationship that never existed before and which is revolutionary.
Earlier stages of relationship developed as economic structures focussed largely on roles for work, survival and child rearing. As such they are largely concerned with power, responsibility and blame.
Level 3 relationships are only available to people who have transcended (or are close to transcending) these issues.
At its core a Level 3 relationship is a choice.
It is a choice to love no matter what, and to take personal responsibility for whatever arises that is not loving.
That is the revolutionary part: They take personal responsibility for whatever arises in their heart that is not loving.
Doesn’t that sound great? Well, here is the “be careful what you wish for” part. Taking responsibility for our own thoughts and feelings is really hard! It is not just hard to pay attention, but it is hard to allow ourselves to move into the pain and discomfort that lies at our core.
Earlier stages of relationship aim at managing intimacy so that neither partner feels too exposed or uncomfortable. Couples in level 3 relationships learn to embrace the discomfort almost like a spiritual discipline as a sign post for spiritual evolution.
David Deida describes Level 3 relationships (which he calls Intimate Communion) this way:
In the practice of Intimate Communion we learn that love is something you do, not something you fall into or out of. Love is something that you practice, like playing tennis or the violin, not something you happen to feel or not. Love is an action that you do–and when you do it, you feel it. When you are loving, others find you lovable. Love is an action you can practice.
Therefore, in Intimate Communion we learn to practice loving, even when we feel hurt, rejected, or resistant. First we practice love, and then our native sexual essence blooms, naturally, inevitably, because we are learning to give from our core, which includes the root of our sexuality.
Does this sound like the relationship that you have? Or the one that you want? If so, you have to be prepared to work for it.
Several years ago, Pete came to me for help after his marriage fell apart. He was devastated. According to him, he was working hard supporting his family, and not paying much attention to his relationship of 25 years. While he was not happy, he just thought that is how mature relationships were … boring.
Then all of a sudden his wife divorced him and he was devastated. In fact, he was considering suicide when he finally came to see me. Happily, with Energy Psychology techniques, the trauma and upset were quickly dealt with, but after that he was determined that this never happen to him again. He was not willing to cut love and relationship out of his life, but once he saw that it was possible to open up to even greater love and intimacy he jumped in with both feet.
We worked together for several months before a wonderful woman appeared in his life who felt the same way and they both worked together to remain open and loving toward one another as their new relationship ripened.
Both of them had failed relationships in their past. He had a tendency to burry his feelings and she had a tendency to imagine the worst, but because they were both committed to healing themselves and staying together, their relationship flowered into something marvelous.
For this man it took a painful divorce to wake him up to the realization that love isn’t something that just happens but requires action, responsibility and commitment, and of course Energy Psychology techniques.
Intimate Communion requires that we have already grasped that all important spiritual principle: “If you think it, feel it or do it, it is your responsibility.”
Once we are able to understand this (which already takes a high level of personal development), anything is possible and we become available to true and deep loving.
While I am sure there are couples that are able to find this level of communion on their own, it is very hard to do without help because our society is still mired in the blame and power based earlier stages of relationship.
If you are ready for Intimate Communion, or if you just want to discover if you might be, CLICK HERE and apply for a Complimentary Transform Your Relationship Discovery Session with Pam Altaffer, LCSW, Relationship Coach and find out what is possible!
|With Love and Gratitude,
Tom and Pam Altaffer