?-?-? Before You Enter A Relationship

“Love does not obey our expectations; it obeys our intentions.” ~Lloyd Strom

Recently, I did something radical; I entered into a relationship with the intention of extending love. I consciously set the goal of peace.

It’s with the intention to experience more peace than ever before that the relationship began, and it’s with that same intention that we decided to end the relationship. In between it all, I felt deeply connected, heard, and loved.

What did I do differently this time that allowed me to experience a new level of peace and love? What about this relationship created the space for us to peacefully “break-up”?

Unlike other relationships I had that seemed to pull me deeper into fear, this relationship accomplished the complete opposite—helped to release me from it.

Whatever I did differently with this one, I wanted to bottle it up! As I took some time to reflect, I realized that what I did differently comes in the form of three simple miracle-minded questions that I asked myself before I even entered the relationship.

The three questions below helped me step away from fearful relationships based on getting and filling my perceived voids and instead, helped me step into a loved-based relationship built on extending the love and completeness I found within myself first.

And what a difference this shift made in my experience!

The next time you find yourself getting ready to join with someone in a relationship (or even a friendship) ask yourself these questions first:

1. What is it for?

In the past, I would just jump into relationships without any real intention set at the beginning. I wanted the attention and for someone to prove I was loveable. I wanted to get more than I wanted to extend. I was motivated by ego fears and desires to fill my perceived voids.

The way we move beyond these ego fears is by stopping and asking ourselves, what is this relationship for?

Without a clear goal set at the beginning, it’s easy to get lost and stuck in a fearful place. So with my last relationship, we decided that our goal would be peace, and that we wanted to help each other remember the truth about ourselves, instead of getting lost in the illusions about ourselves. What is this relationship for? To extend peace.

And this makes all the difference. When you do find yourself in a disagreement, you can remember that your goal is peace and then act accordingly.

The value of setting a goal in advance is that it will pull you through the tough times. Without the goal, it’s easy to get caught up in the ego’s drive to be right or justified. Having a common goal in mind allows you to move forward together instead of working against each other. In my last relationship I found that a shared goal connected us and gave us something to focus on.

2. What limiting beliefs are blocking me from authentically connecting?

A lot of times when we don’t experience something we say we want, it’s because we have some underling fear associated with getting it.

For example, if you say you want to experience a deeply loving relationship and it hasn’t shown up yet, it might be because deep down you’re scared of it. I know for me, I said I wanted to have a loving relationship, but when I got honest with myself, I realized I was actually scared of falling in love.

Somewhere along the line I decided that being in love would make me weak and vulnerable. When I went even deeper, I noticed that I had the belief that I wasn’t good enough yet to be loved. I didn’t think I was skinny enough, successful enough, or funny enough, and deep down I was scared that other people might find that out, too.

So what do you do when you realize you’re scared of what you want? What do you do with the belief that you’re not good enough? You simply become willing to move beyond the fears. Often times the awareness of our fearful patterns is enough for them to be released.

Sometimes I will even say to myself “I hear you fear, but I’m not going to let you determine my actions right now.” Instant personal power.

This opens the way for you to step beyond the limiting beliefs you carry about yourself. The truth is, you’re good enough right now in this very moment. There is nothing to prove. Become curious about your beliefs and behaviors. Invite them in, question them, and watch as they melt away.

3. Am I focusing on the content or the frame?

Fear-based relationships often start with a strong attraction to a body. I don’t know about you, but I’ve definitely been sucked into relationships because the frame was lookin’ good. I paid no attention to the content, aka the mind.

But at the end of the day, it’s important to remember that you’re always getting in a relationship with a mind. If the content is not engaging and exciting, circle back to the first question: what is this for?

When we put all our focus on the content and not the frame, we simultaneously release our expectations and allow ourselves to experience peace and love in ways that we might not have thought possible. The frame will shift and change, but lasting fulfilling connection starts and ends with the content, not the labels and clothes we place around it.

Ultimately, within others you can either lose yourself or remember yourself, because from a spiritual perspective, everyone is a reflection of you. And with that idea, relationships become a miraculous teaching device.

You decide if you want fear or love based on the intention you set at the beginning. I’ve both lost myself and remembered myself in relationships, but I prefer the latter.

The three questions above are how you open the doorway for a love-based relationship to enter your life.

By setting the goal of peace, becoming willing to move past our beliefs of not being good enough, and focusing on the content, not the frame, we can experience a deep connection and trust, which is perhaps one of the most miraculous things you can share with another human being.

via 3 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Enter A Relationship.

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Peas and hominy

Most of my life I’ve been a go-go-getter, racing along what I calculated to be the most efficient path to [fill in the blank with a venerable goal].  I think it might have started at about the age of 19 when Billy Graham convinced me that the End of the World was at hand.  That idea instilled in me a sense of urgency that sent me crashing headlong into a desperate crusade to find truth, happiness, and eventually to perfect the American Way and to enjoy as much apple pie as I could.

Lately I’ve concluded that some kinds of excitement a person can do without.  I’m also in a situation where I have time to reflect on past efforts and can afford to take my time in deciding where to point the bow of my boat next.  And I realized that the End of the World has been upon us for thousands of years, and with any luck it will be for thousands of years to come.

I also realize that for many things I’ve been-there-done-that; raised families, achieved financial success, found many versions of truth, visited many places and people in the world.  I’ve refined my perception of what is important to human life and what is not.

My dad often used the phrase “peas and hominy” as a sort of humorous and disarming way to refer to “peace and harmony”.  I’ve seen something similar on a bumper sticker:  “Imagine swirled peas”…

So lately I’ve been inclined to throw out the anchor, so to speak, and to see what it is to metaphorically go nowhere and do nothing.  Zen masters refer to that approach as hauling water and chopping wood.  To nurture peas and hominy in my garden space; to imagine swirled peas.