As we write this blog we are celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary. Early in our relationship, we set some big intentions: We wanted to get free of the old patterns that had plagued us in past relationships, such as criticism, blame and secret-keeping. We wanted to create a relationship that ran on positive energy instead of up-and-down fluctuations of negative and positive. We’d found it taxing and tedious in earlier relationships to go through repetitive cycles of get close/get into conflict/get close/get into conflict. It took us quite a few years of diligent practice to make those intentions real, but gradually everything fell into place. For example, it’s been nearly 15 years now since either one of us has spoken a blameful or critical word to the other. To live in a household where nary a critical word is spoken is a delicious thing indeed. It not only contributes to peace and harmony, it also facilitates creativity.
If that kind of relationship magic appeals to you, here are the operating instructions, as clearly and simply as we can make them. We have taught these principles and practices to more than 20,000 people in our live seminars, as well as to larger audiences on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and other programs we’ve been on. If you take the time to practice as well as understand the principles, you can make remarkable gains in the amount of love and intimacy you enjoy.
Ready? Let the journey begin:
The First Principle
Relationships thrive when each partner commits to total union with the other person and total creative expression as an individual.
The First Practice
Make a heartfelt commitment to your partner that you’re willing to go beyond all your ego-defenses to full unity. At the same time, make a commitment to going all the way with your own individual creative expression. Then, observe the emergence of your defensive barriers every day. Communicate about them honestly, but don’t take them seriously. In fact, ego-defenses disappear quickly when you turn them into play.