Detox Your Relationships
Detox your relationships to feel more connected and improve your health in all ways.
Do you dream of a relationship where you feel unconditionally loved, supported and cared for?
When we first fall in love, our bodies produce chemicals like dopamine, which stimulates an exquisite rush of pleasure. It causes us to notice all the good things about this person, and we can even feel good just thinking about them. But as time passes, the body naturally slows this divine chemical response, and each of us are left with the reality that having this relationship isn’t as easy as we had imagined or fantasized. In fact, it can be the hardest work you’ll ever do.
You have to be willing to feel the fear and do it anyway because deep, meaningful relationships are developed over time. You’ll have challenges; it’s how you respond to those challenges that matters most. Within each challenge lies an opportunity to love more fully.
When we’re willing to take the steps to transcend our relationships, we can tap into something far deeper, more meaningful, and vastly more joyful than the initial physical-chemical reaction. If you’re the only person in your relationship willing to do the work, you can transcend your reactions and become calmer in difficult situations and feel more peaceful and more loving. If you keep waiting or hoping that your partner will change, you may never get what you want, because…
What shows up in our relationships is a direct reflection of what’s going on inside of us; therefore, our primary relationship is with ourselves. We get into relationships with people who push our buttons because that’s how we’re shown what our buttons are, so we can transcend them. If you have a particular issue that keeps coming up for you with your significant other, instead of blaming your partner, realize that this is an opportunity for you.
Affirmation: I will use my relationships as a mirror to show me where I need to place my attention to transcend my life.
When we take control of our thoughts, behaviors, and consciousness, we are operating from a more whole perspective. We need to take the time to step back into ourselves instead of getting lost in the situation. Therefore, our degree of presence is what matters most. It sets the stage, stops the habitual reactions (what I call toxins), and creates space to enable us to choose new thoughts and behaviors. The way to detox anything is to first stop the toxins. You cannot control what your partner does, but you can stop the negative reactions you add to the situation.
Emotions are energy that arise from within. If you notice how your heart, stomach, or solar plexus area feels when you feel an emotional hit, you’ll see that there can be a sharp pain, a dull ache, or a tightness. Since we are pleasure-seeking/pain avoiding beings we usually try to avoid pain. As a result, most of us are walking around with a screen of unprocessed past pain veiling our perception of the world.
If you want a meaningful and joyful relationship, you’re going to have to lift the veil. When we allow ourselves to feel uncomfortable emotions and let them move through the body, we expand our tolerance for ourselves and therefore the other. If we haven’t found the capacity to feel our pain, then we’re more likely to project it onto others, and it gets mirrored back to us. Being present with our pain is a compassionate act, like being present with a child when he or she has been hurt.
“Nothing goes away until it teaches you what you need to know.”
– Pema Chodrin
So, If you want to break the chains that bind you, use challenging situations as alarms to bring your awareness into your body and feel the power of the emotion. This is the first step to detoxing your relationship because you’ve stopped the toxins. It may be hard at first, but well worth it. Notice where you feel it most, and then relax into it. Offer no resistance to the emotion, allow it to flow through you and imagine it leaving the body. When you use your relationships as a source for conscious expansion, you give your partner space while you stay present, relaxed, and self-reflective. The space enables you to be compassionate about their pain (or at least not resist it), which gives them freedom. As you become the observer, you free yourself of habitual patterns that keep you a prisoner of your current situation.
Of course, If you’re not being honored by your partner, if he or she is abusive or untrustworthy, It’s time to leave the relationship. You need to have enough compassion for yourself to take care of yourself. If you’re the one doing those things, it’s time to stop and make amends.
“One can only be to others what one can be to themselves.”
-Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
When we dishonor ourselves by not taking proper care or following through on commitments to ourselves, we sabotage our relationships by feeding the fear that we’re not good enough. This leads us to attract a partner who will give us the opportunity to love ourselves more fully. Whatever your button is that causes you to feel unloveable, your partner will push it until you transmute it. If you fail to transmute it, you’ll be battling the same issues again and again. Once you’ve transmuted it, the issue will cease to exist or the relationship will dissolve.
Keep your promises to yourself and practice self-care regularly. When you keep your promises to yourself, you become more confident and feel more worthy. Eat a healthy diet of organic whole foods. Incorporate self-care rituals like bubble baths and leisure time. Exercise regularly in whatever way you prefer. Practice gratitude for your body. Spend time writing in your journal about the wins you had today and all that you’re grateful for. Take a hike in the mountains or get a massage.
Where your attention goes, energy flows. Create an intention for what you want your relationship(s) to feel like each day, how you will respond to potentially challenging situations, and how you would respond if today is all there is.
Remember to fully appreciate the positive experiences you have together: the touch of your lover, sharing a meal, holding hands. Sharing a life with another is a treasured gift. Make it a priority to spend time together enjoying each other, laughing, sharing, talking; care for your relationship as though it were sacred, because it is. Tell him or her how much they mean to you. After all, connection is why we’re here. It’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.
We are all on a journey of expansion; whether it looks like it or not, each of us wants to feel loved, seen, and connected. Try to see your partner as an extension of yourself.
In the end, love is all that matters.