How do you express your love for your partner?  Are you proud of the ways in which you engage when things are both joyous and difficult?  Is there a part of you that knows you could do things more loving or more thoughtfully?  How do you hold a container, or space, for your partner?  Allow me to explain what I mean.

In a lot of modern psychology we speak of holding a container, or holding space for another.  Basically, what this really means is:  How much openness do you give your partner to be themselves before you bring your expectations and comforts into the equation. Before your emotions overpower your compassion and empathy for their actions.  Let me give an example:  Your partner is a high-stressed person.  To you, when they fall into these pits of anxiety, you often feel like they are disconnected from you because they are wrapped up in their mind’s thoughts.  How big of a space are you able to offer your partner, where you set aside your personal emotions and needs, to offer them your compassion and empathy for what has triggered them to have this anxiety?  Are you able to set aside your needs to lovingly listen to what it is that is causing them the anxiety, rather than expressing what it is you are lacking?  The more you can do this, the larger the container, or space, you are offering your partner of acceptance and, ultimately, genuine love.

Perhaps this is a new concept to you?  That’s alright, it was to me too before I started studying transformation.  I think we all have a level that we have been conscious of as far as setting aside our own needs, but we’ve never tethered the idea of coupling that with our acceptance and compassion for our partner.  It’s really quite beautiful, and dare I say, eye opening, when we are able to look at this from this new perspective.

I’d like to jump in here and say: this is also where the safety that this container creates is allowing for the vulnerability needed to share openly together what it is that is creating the responses in your partner that then stirs our compassion and empathy.  It’s a circular concept.  The more space we can offer our partner, the more open they feel they can safely be vulnerable, the more love and compassion we feel for them, and thus the more space we create within ourselves to set aside our own needs and emotions to hold a greater offering of our love.  It’s very powerful, and thus we can take this concept beyond just our intimate partner, but also that of our family, friends, and dare I say, even strangers.

Learning how to hold our emotions and needs at bay is truly a skill set, I believe.  It takes practice and genuine effort.  Garnering that sense of control for what fulfills us, and insisting what is “lacking” from another, we are willing to seek within ourselves, in order to offer a larger container to another.  It’s not always easy to do!  Some personal needs feel dire, and some emotions are excessively strong.  Let’s pause here for a second and reflect on this.  What is creating these strong needs and triggered emotions within us, as an individual, that we feel the need to “correct” those around us in order to have them fulfilled?  This is where our childhood beliefs come in to play.  Obviously, I share with you a great deal about the power of beliefs, but this is another key place where true emotional tools, as well as self-healing, can help us to align more to the life we want, and the person we desire to be when we look in the mirror.

What I would encourage is to start simple.  Notice when you start to feel like your needs are not being met, or when your partner’s actions stir in you uncomfortable emotions.  Notice what your initial reaction wants to be.  Do you want to lash out? Victimize yourself? Shame or blame your partner? What happens if you simply sit with those emotions? What happens when you lean into them to discover where they may be coming from within your body and mind? What can you uncover about yourself?  What can you hold within to offer more space outwardly to another?

I believe that this is what healthy love looks like.  I believe that when we trust in ourselves, and the source of life, to fulfill that which we sense is lacking, as opposed to asking for it, consciously or unconsciously, from another, that this is when we discover what it is to truly hold a container, or a space, of acceptance and love for another.

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