Often when we’re in relationship, we’re in it for ourselves. We see our partner as someone whose job it is to fulfill our every need. And when things aren’t working out the way we would like them to, we expect the other person to change, to come more into alignment with what we imagine the perfect partner to be like. We create expectations and obligations. We seek to control and manipulate. We build boundaries and set restrictions. We don’t consider the humanity of the other person. We only consider how they are there to serve us.
But here’s a thought. What if instead, you consider what you might offer to your partner? And what if the greatest gift you can give is to simply hold space for them to open up and be the most authentic version of who they are?
What if, instead of requiring them to change, you accept them for who they are? You accept the differences, the uniqueness, the imperfections, the shortcomings, the flaws and the mistakes. You accept every little detail, regardless of what it is, and you love that person deeply and unconditionally.
Instead of judging and chastising, what if you showed compassion, forgiveness and understanding? Instead of tying them down, you acknowledged their freedom? Instead of trying to change their perspective, you tried to better understand it?
In a world where everyone is judging us, condemning us, trying to shape and mold us, what each of us needs is someone who we can confide in; someone who will listen to us deeply without judgment or condemnation; someone with whom we can share our innermost dreams and desires, our fears and failures; someone who will support and encourage us to pursue our passion and inspiration; someone who will console us whenever we fall, and who will help to lift us up again. But most of all, what we need is someone who can acknowledge and accept us just as we are, without expectation, without transformation, without disapproval or discouragement.
In regard to our partners, can we be such a person? What would happen if we loved in such a way?
If we loved in such a way as to reassure our partner that they are wonderful and worthy just as they are, would they not open up more fully? Would they not become a truer, richer and more authentic version of who they are?
When a flower is left in darkness, it withers. But when the sun shines upon it, it opens itself and reaches up toward the heavens. In like manner, when a person is not fully accepted, essentially they are rejected in some way, and this causes a person to shut down and close themselves off. But when they are shown love, the way in which the sun shines upon a flower, they open up more fully, and are able to bloom into the radiant being that they are meant to be.
The journey of awakening for each and every one of us is not about transformation. It’s not about becoming anything. It’s about removing all of the obstacles and blockages that are preventing us from being who we genuinely are. And for many of us, these blockages have much to do with the judgments and expectations of others.
Creating a safe space for our partner, free of judgment and expectation, allows them the greater possibility of removing these obstacles, expressing themselves authentically, and opening more fully into who they are at the deepest level of their being.