How To Heal a Relationship
By Mark Lersch
June 22, 2013
I have often seen couples getting painfully stuck in relationships because they are looking for answers where they cannot be found.
How to heal a relationship
By Mark G. Lersch, MA, LPC
I have often seen couples getting painfully stuck in relationships because they are looking for answers where they cannot be found. Furthermore, the very way in which they are trying to get resolution is what created the problem in the first place. It is as if they keep asking "what is the square root of 5,789" and the actual answer is "blue". The mind can simply not understand what healing really means...it is only grasped by the heart.
For healing to happen, the heart needs to open and be allowed to extend love. That's it. It really is that simple. And that cannot be done by thinking, figuring out, judging, analyzing, getting the other person to change/see/understand and other variations of trying control. The wounded self (ego) wants to make it a difficult math problem to be understood, solved and fixed "out there". But that is not where the problem is and it is not complicated! The problem is in here: the unloving thoughts I am holding deep in my own mind (consciously or not) are causing my heart to contract in fear and prompting me to withhold my natural and inherent lovingness. The result is that we experience a world, and a relationship, that is flat, scary and frustrating.
It will not be our partner finally hearing our pain/anger and feeling remorseful that will heal us. It will not be the other person changing how they treat us or how they take care of themselves that will bring us peace. It will not be our spouse doing Inner Bonding or becoming spiritual that will bring us joy. It will not even necessarily be me "taking better care of myself" in the face of my partner's dysfunction that will bring back that loving feeling.
What alone can heal us is acknowledging the barbs in our own hearts, taking responsibility for how we have been withholding love and realizing that we no longer wish to do so because we would rather be truly happy than experience the suffering caused by trying to control. And, interestingly, it is not so much that we need to get love, it is more about allowing ourselves to love. Trying to get love is a control strategy of the wounded self which comes from a belief in lack--that there is some emptiness in me that needs to be filled by someone or something else. The heart is naturally full when we yield to our innate desire to give love.
It is in letting go and allowing the heart to freely love again that miracles happen in all of our relationships. We choose to allow our hearts to express love not because we are supposed to or because we believe that this new strategy will fix the problem, but rather because it feels so good to do so--in those moments we are expressing our true nature. And when we allow ourselves to yield to this core impulse, instead of defending and protecting, we find that that very act also opens us to the internal wellspring of true safety, joy and peace. It also invites others to open their hearts as well.
Sometimes it is in having our partner really hear us that we finally give ourselves permission to let go and love again. Sometimes it is when we are on the other end, deeply listening to our partner's pain, that we yield to our loving. Or it might be through doing an Inner Bonding process that we relax the contracted heart and allow love to flow.
But make no mistake, it is the very act of opening our own heart and extending love that invites divine healing, clears out the cobwebs of judgment and negative beliefs and brings with it a fresh aliveness and vibrant peace. In truth, our partner is not really needed for this opening, but how wonderful to have someone to love and what a gift relationship becomes when we view it from this perspective.
The thinking mind does not understand any of this! How did this wonderful thing happen? How did my partner suddenly become so adorable? Why do I feel so connected? Why does my "honey" no longer feel like the enemy or another thing to take care of? How can I make this happen again? How can I get my partner to be this nice all of the time? What did I eat? Better yet, what did my partner eat?
The head can't make sense of the reality shift that happens when the heart opens. The miracle occurred because, for a moment, we permitted ourselves to relax out of the thinking mind and simply allow ourselves to do what we naturally long to do--drop down into our core and extend love. Whenever true healing ocurrs in a relationship, at some level, we invited Spirit to release the unloving thoughts that prevented us from opening our hearts.
So my invitation to you in your relationship is to yield to your own lovingness. Extend love to both of these imperfect, and yet completely lovable, human beings that sometimes become trapped in their wounded selves. Then enjoy watching the relationship unfold into the potential you always dreamed was possible. Yes, it really is that simple.
The thinking mind asks, "now how do I do that?" The heart replies, "relax and let me show you".