These 11 gateways are essential to a healthy relationship:
1. Quality time – Creating time specifically for tending the relationship. Not watching TV together or doing practical tasks but time to simply BE together without everyday life distractions. Couples often say “but life is too busy for being” . It is like tending to our garden – without watering, the flowers will die and without regular weeding, they take over.
2. Self Love – Relating from our centre and caretaking our own inner young places of hurt . This is the foundation stone for optimum relating. When we connect with our partner from a place of loving kindness towards ourselves so much more love is possible together. For many reasons we might struggle in loving ourselves or feel hurt by our partner’s actions or words, and lose touch with ourselves.
3. Good communication – A lot of couples get stuck here, one seemingly speaking Italian and the other Japanese and getting lost in translation. The ability to truly hear each other and speak with an honest open heart that is in the service of love is soul food. Both for moving through conflict as well as for being able to express needs and for meeting our partner’s needs from love and choice rather than ‘shoulds’ or ‘deals’.
4. Gratitude – Expressing gratitude with each other on a regular basis, especially if there has been a drought. Expressing the little things day-to-day that we appreciate about our partner or ourselves is food for the heart. Remembering the good stuff and why we are in relationship rather than focusing on the ‘problems’ helps keep our hearts open – even with the hurts.
5. Emotional maturity and intelligence – Conscious mature emotional expression is healthy and natural and keeps the energy open and flowing in our bodies, hearts and minds. Pent up emotions are like damming up a river. Toxic emotions destroy intimacy. Learning to express our emotions beyond blaming our partner or ourselves keeps the relationship alive and brings a vulnerable open intimacy.
6. Vulnerability – Taking the risk to express to our partner our ‘undefended self’ creates trust and a deeper field of love. Choosing to show the parts of ourselves that we believe will be judged or rejected is profoundly healing both on a personal level as well as serving to deepen the heart connection together.
7. Non-sexual loving touch – Physical affection and tender loving touch that does not have a sexual agenda creates safety and trust and can sometimes speak louder than words.
8. Sacred sexuality – Expressing Love through the body and our sexual flow of energy goes beyond sex as obligation, or using it as a stress management tool, or avoidance of deeper intimacy. Sacred sexuality is a true meeting of Love and Freedom and when this is experienced between you it can transform the whole relationship.
9. Innocence – Remembering our playfulness and innocence is vital. To delight in the wonder and miracle of life through the eyes and heart of the magical child inside of us bring a softness and creative connection to the relationship.
10. Divine remembering – the relationship is something Sacred, a sense that you are held by something more than each of you at the level of your humanity and that reminds you of your essential state of Grace. This is specially helpful to remember in times of difficulty and hurt.
11. External support – Culturally we have been taught to keep quiet about our relationship struggles and pretend to the world that all is OK. We end up feeling shame and a sense of failure if things are not perfect. We tend to try to sort the problems out alone or ignore them and hope they go away. Rarely do either of these methods work. Having support either with someone professional or good honest friends you trust is a wise and mature act of care for the relationship. This also transforms the personal as well as collective shame that we carry about feelings of failure. It helps to transform not only our own relationship but ripples out to the collective field as we discover we are not the only ones to experience these struggles. So take a leap and see if any of the options below could meet your need for support