Recognizing that your partner is not a separate other, you can meet them in the deepest and purest point of contact. Otherizing is the ego’s way of looking to people as finite. With judgment and assessment, we otherize our partner and simultaneously we feel small and powerless. When we recognize that we are not separate, we stop otherizing our partner. We stop looking to them as the source of our pain and solution. We recognize they are a mirror. When we are in full contact with our Self, we can also be fully curious about another. We can be in our experience and see the people in our life as mysterious beings.
Being a clear mirror is made possible by your True Self consciousness. When we are born, we are the embodiment of the True Self, which is the spontaneous expression of life and the essence of all things. The True Self lives within all things, so there is no need to bypass or reject any aspect of ourselves from this place of infinite awareness. You can see clearly because you are embodying the truest place within yourself. The ego distorts and warps while the True Self encompasses all things.
The most common way I see couples leave alignment is by making their partner into “God.” This means that they see their partner as their source of safety, love, wholeness, enoughness, happiness, and so on. When we do this, we give our power away. When we are in alignment, we are connected to the true Source of our safety, love, wholeness, enoughness, happiness, and so on. Tracking the ways we leave these qualities within will support us in coming back into our seat of true power, where we are able to respond (not react) and stand in our sovereignty.
Remember that at any moment, you can turn on the light of consciousness and differentiate from your conditioned self, the self that developed in response to the experiences we had in early life. In fact, moments of activation are wonderful opportunities to see the wound with more clarity. The more clarified the wound, the more able you can differentiate it and be with yourself in a way that you need. Without blaming your partner, giving them your power, or allowing your life force to distort, you can deepen into alignment as you experience life. There is not an enlightened place to arrive to and maintain. The work is really about cultivating the skills to be with yourself in a loving way and meet your relationships from this place.
Exercise: Relational Meditation
- Sit across from one another.
- Set the timer for 10 min
- Connect to Self with eyes closed.
- Open eyes and find the midline. Meet at the middle.
- Take turns with the sentence stem “Being here right now, I notice….” or “Hearing that, I notice.”
- Only speak about yourself, and share something that is present moment.
- Stay away from narratives or stories.
- Note: It is not “Hearing that makes me feel…”
- This practice is in service of cultivating more ownership of your inner world.
- Even if you feel distant, name that and own that without narrative. What does distant feel like in your body?
Alderman, A. (2020). Luminous Awareness Institute. Lecture.
Kelly, L. (2015). Shift into Freedom: The Science and Practice of Open-Hearted Awareness. Sounds True.
Kwiker, H. (2022). Align: Living and Loving from the True Self. Mantra Books, UK.
Perls, Fritz. (1973). The Gestalt Approach and Eye Witness to Therapy. CA: Science and Behavior Books, Inc.
Resnick, S. (1975). Gestalt therapy as a meditative practice. In J. Stevens (Ed.), Gestalt Is (pp. 223-228). Moab: Real People Press. (week 2)