Believe it or not, we spend a lot of time living in darkness. By darkness, I mean unconscious behaviors and patterns. Unconscious energy often surfaces when we are triggered by something that causes an emotional disturbance inside us. It’s unconscious energy that fuels dysfunctional relationships, unhealthy dynamics, and emotional outbursts. I first became aware of how unconscious energy was running my life when I was in an incredibly unhealthy relationship. I felt lost, alone and powerless. It was as if there was someone else living my experience and I was unable to shift it. It took a number of painful moments to wake me up. Once awake, I was able to see clearly where I was, what was happening to perpetuate an unhealthy situation, and take action to shift it. This was an “Ah-ha” moment for me.
I share this with you not to take you (too far) down the rabbit hole of my experience, but to shed a bit of light on my process of becoming more aware of what helps and what hinders my ability to be in a healthy and sustainable relationship. It is with this awareness that I lead my clients to see for themselves what helps and what hinders their relationships and help them make positive shifts.
To give you an example of what this looks like in my current relationship and how you might relate, I’ll offer you an example:
As I have stated before, my current relationship is an open relationship based on 100% transparency. What this means is that my partner and I have an agreement to share everything with each other. Now before you say, “I could never do that,” let me explain what being transparent looks like for us and how I use this practice with my clients.
On the most fundamental level, my partner and I share our thoughts, feelings, and desires with each other. Granted, we don’t do this 24/7; however, we do make an effort to do this whenever possible and especially when we’re in the midst of emotional turbulence. When I am having a difficult moment, rather than dig myself in a hole and suffer, I reach out to my partner to let him know. It may look something like this, “Babe, I’m feeling a little off. I’m guessing it’s because you have a date tonight and I’m worried I might slip into jealousy mode. I know there’s no reason to feel jealous. And, I certainly don’t want you to change your plans. I just wish I felt better or at least felt supported in taking care of myself tonight. Would you be able to sit with me so I can feel more connected to you before you leave?”
In owning my experience and then using simple words to share my experience with my partner without asking him to shift his plans, he both has a better understanding of what it’s like to be me and he feels supported to follow through with his plans. It may seem a bit counterintuitive to share a sense of unease with your partner before they go on a date, and, time and time again, my partner tells me that he feels more connected to me because he hears how I’m feeling and knows where I’m at internally.
Let me clear, sharing my experience and any reaction he may have are two different things. His experience is just as valid as mine. By taking time to connect and share our experiences with each other in service of connection and understanding, an amazing shift happens. Simply put, unconscious energy is transmuted to conscious energy. In other words, we are able to see that when we step out of reaction mode (unconscious energy) and move into responsible action mode (conscious energy) we feel more accepted. This practice of allowing everything to “be okay” has been huge for me and my partner.
Taking this process out into the world and sharing it with my clients has been incredibly insightful as well. When people have permission to be who they often feel a sense of relief. When they allow their partner to have their experience without trying to control or fix it, there’s more space for a new experience to unfold. This experience is the essence of “Ah-ha” moments and using these insights to create positive change.
To learn more about how I use an open relationship counseling approach in my coaching and to see if working together is the best fit for you, contact me and schedule a Poly-Coach Session today!