Four years ago my wife and I (then partners) went on our first retreat together as a couple. We dove deep into our patterns and projections and the things that were true about ourselves that we were trying to hide from the world. Were it not for this experience I am certain we would not be together today. We continue to explore our truths as a couple so that we can be the best and most true versions of ourselves with one another and out in the world.
Often the entrepreneurs I work with grapple with how to grow themselves and their own consciousness while being in relationship with someone who they met before they knew what consciousness meant (OR they think they will never meet someone who can meet them where they are). It’s one of the biggest challenges we can face because our environment (mainly the people in it) influences us so much more than any other factor.
OWN THE TRUTH OF WHO YOU ARE FIRST
You’ve got to start by owning the Truth of who you are and living that Truth for yourself as best you can right now. You cannot assess your relationship until you’ve gotten really clear and clean with yourself. Otherwise you’ll always be tempted to project what’s not working onto your partner.
When you do own your own personal Truth, then you must also be willing to see the truth of how who you have been being until now has created the dynamic in your relationship today. For example, if you’ve felt unlovable you have almost certainly made it impossible for your partner to show you love. You must clean it up.
THEY MAY OR MAY NOT COME WITH YOU
As you clean it up, your partner may or may not be willing to change and grow with you. If they don’t want to grow, then their ego mind will resist your changing. The partner who does not want to grow into their own Truth will resist your Truth and make you think you are wrong for finding it in order for their ego to stay safe.
Initial resistance to your change will be natural, and you must persevere in your commitment to yourself in the face of no agreement. If you give up on yourself at the first sign of resistance, your partner will never come along… in fact they may not have even consciously noticed the change. Their resistance is NORMAL. Because we think resistance is not normal or shouldn’t be, we see it as a bigger problem than it is. Often we want to run when we could communicate through it.
DO NOT ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE SHAMED
That said, having a partner who shames you for your Truth, actively attempting to have you doubt yourself, is not natural or acceptable and should not be tolerated. If this is the case you need to have the courage to leave.
Since our first retreat 4 years ago Kimmi and I have had a handful of ‘hard truth’ conversations that have caused us both to grow.
THE RISKY CONVERSATION
In fact not long ago we both admitted to one another that weren’t fully happy. We actually hadn’t even realized we weren’t happy. The conversation was sparked by each of us feeling an attraction to someone outside of our marriage.
I personally was surprised by the draw I felt to this other person. It was incredibly powerful. I knew when I felt it that I needed to tell Kimmi about it. But I wasn’t sure when or how! I hadn’t acted on the desire, and it was dissipating, but I knew it was important. (I had no idea that she had also had a similar experience).
One day I noticed her energy was a little different than normal. It was actually really intriguing! We talked quite a bit that day about life and vision and goals. I decided to take the risk and share with her about having had the urge to be physical with someone else.
It opened up a flood of conversation, including her sharing her similar experience. (I knew I’d felt something different about her that day!)
At the end of the day the conversation built us. But the initial response was NOT comfortable. We were shocked, we were scared, we were resentful, we even talked about splitting up. Those moments of fear and sadness were the exact reason why I was tempted to keep it all to myself.
MOST PEOPLE DON’T RISK
We could have each decided to keep our experiences to ourselves, overwhelmed with shame and secrecy. We could have played it safe, and suppressed the thoughts and feelings which would eventually come out in unhealthy ways.
Day after day around the world couples suppress their Truth to keep the other person comfortable, and sacrifice their own joyful self-expression. I refuse to be that couple.
I absolutely had to take a risk to say what was true for me. She could have stayed mad. She could have punished me. I may have hurt her or made her insecure. Except I can’t actually MAKE her be anything, and how she chooses to react is totally within her power.
By being authentic and true to myself I instead opened up a deeper level of connection between us. And I trusted her to meet me there.
MAKE THE RIGHT SELECTION
I cannot imagine partnering with someone who doesn’t do their own work…. can… not… imagine. If she weren’t able to meet me in Truth, she would not be the right partner for me. It would simply be unworkable.
In the beginning of my journey I did not think it was possible to have this. I thought I had to settle for someone who ‘didn’t get it.’ I didn’t and neither do you.
Since this conversation, we have continued to explore our desires and needs even further. We have created a commitment to absolutely cheer for the other person’s full self-expression, even if it makes us feel uncomfortable. And to choose to be fully in our own authentic self-expression, regardless of how we think the other person will react.
PUT YOUR SELF-EXPRESSION FIRST
“Never suppress yourself in order to hold, win, or influence another. When we are unreal, so are our rewards.” – Vernon Howard
When we suppress our Truth we become unhealthy, period. It’s why so many people hate jobs that they think they should love, or why so many relationships simply become habitual living side-by-side that isn’t really living.
We do it so naturally we hardly notice it. In fact, we are conditioned to do it.
And SO MANY passionate entrepreneurs lose themselves and their passion in the face of relationships that quite simply don’t work. If you cannot be fully self-expressed in your business your business will struggle. And it is an energetic incompatibility to attempt to be all-you in your business and suppress yourself at home. It’s a rollercoaster that simply can’t be sustained long-term.
COMMIT TO CHOOSING
If you are an entrepreneur in the place of living with a partner (or parent!) who doesn’t get it, you first must get clear on your Truth. Then give your partner a solid chance to come along with you (really) by being fully you no matter what, regardless of how he or she responds.
If you continue to be you and be met with resistance over time, or he or she shames you at all, do not be afraid to step away. Just like with a client, if your partner doesn’t want to go where you want to go, it’s not service to them for you to stay either. Set each other free!