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Title: Safe Relationship Spaces Author: Margaret Paul, Ph.D. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright: © 2003 by Margaret Paul Web Address: http://www.innerbonding.com Word Count: 1529 Category: Relationships
SAFE RELATIONSHIP SPACES By Margaret Paul Ph.D.
I have been counseling individuals, couples, families and business partners for past 35 years and have numerous published books on subject of relationships and relationship communication. Most of couples I work with, even those in deep trouble when starting counseling with me, resolve their difficulties because they learn to create safe relationship spaces through a process called Inner Bonding (see how to download a free Inner Bonding course at end of this article).
In depths of our souls we all yearn for love and connection with others. That yearning reflects a basic, even biological, human need. Infants, for example, thrive physically only when they feel deeply loved and cherished. As adults, we experience wrenching, soul-level loneliness when we don't have love and meaningful connection in our lives, yet all too frequently we don't have these things. Not with our parents or siblings, not with a mate, not even with a best friend.
We all intuitively know that highest experience in life is sharing of love. However, we often confuse idea of sharing love with idea of getting love. We try to get love when we feel empty inside and can share love only when we learn to first fill ourselves with love. We cannot share that which we do not have within. The wounded part of us seeks constantly to get love and avoid pain, resulting in an inability to share love. Until we each accept full responsibility of becoming strong enough to love, we will not be able to share love. This means creating inner safety by learning how to love ourselves and take responsibility for our own feelings, so that we are not constantly trying to get love.
Most people have deep fears of rejection and abandonment, as well as of domination and engulfment. These fears stem from childhood experiences and from defining our worth externally through others' approval, rather than internally through spiritual eyes of truth. We will be unable to share our love to fullest extent until we heal these fears of loss of other and of loss of self. We will be unable to create safe relationship space in which to share love, and a safe world in which to live, until we learn how to create safety within.
Inner Bonding, which is a six step spiritual healing process, is a profound process for healing our fears, creating safety within, and for creating safe relationship spaces, spaces where each person feels free to be fully themselves, to speak their truth and grow into their full potential.
It is possible in all relationships to create loving connection. Family, friends, co-workers, employers and employees, who are willing to learn skills necessary to heal blocks to connection can all create safe relationship spaces.
A relationship space is environment in which relationship is occurring. It is energy created by two people involved. I think of this environment, this relationship space, as an actual entity that both people are responsible for creating. It can be a safe relationship space, which is open, warm, light, and inviting, or it can be an unsafe relationship space, which is hard, dark, unforgiving, and full of fear. The kind of environment in which our relationship takes place is crucial to its success--or failure.
At heart of all relationship issues is our intent. We are always choosing our intent, but most people are unconscious of fact that they are making a choice each moment. At any given moment there are only two possible intents to choose from:
o The intent to avoid painful feelings and responsibility for them, through some form of controlling behavior.
o The intent to learn about loving ourselves and others and take full responsibility for our own feelings and behavior.
Every relationship has a system. The system may be open and loving, or controlling and unloving. Relationship systems start surprisingly early, sometimes within first minutes or days of meeting.
A safe relationship space exists when two or more people intend to learn and are willing to take full personal responsibility for their own feelings, while accepting that their energy and behavior affects others. When both individuals fully accept that they are a part of an energy system, i.e., they recognize that each person's energy affects other, and they are willing to take responsibility both for their own controlling behavior and for their responses to controlling behavior of others, they create a safe relationship space. Such a space is a circle of loving energy that results from each person's deep desire to learn what is most loving to themselves and others. To create a safe relationship space, all persons involved need to be deeply committed to learning about their own controlling behavior, rather than focusing on what another is doing. Rather than giving themselves up to avoid rejection or attempting to get others to give themselves up to feel safe, each person is devoted to their own and other's highest good, supporting themselves and each other in becoming all they can be.