The One Question to Ask When You Feel Stuck in Relationship

The thing that gets me into sticky spots in relationships is often in regards to freedom. I crave it, I grow from it, and I structure my life around it. I’ve gone through many positive experiences with partners and freedom… and I’ve also gone through all the negative patterns that cause relationships to fail—withholding, projecting, concealing, controlling, etc. What I’ve been working with most is figuring out how to heal the threat I feel when I fear someone wants to limit my freedom, particularly the freedom to express myself fully.

Perhaps though, if we find we’re constantly coming up against the challenge of needing the same thing again and again from others (for me, permission to be free and express myself) and feeling frustrated that we’re not getting it—maybe we need to live that aspect of ourselves more. We need to give ourselves the freedom to be first, before we can expect full acceptance from others.

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The question we need to ask ourselves is this:

What am I demanding from others that I’m not giving to myself?

For example:

You worry your partner isn’t being honest with you. You’re feeling suspicious, ungrounded. You want to be able to trust him, and you want him to stand in his integrity.

Ask yourself if you are standing in your own integrity, if you’re being completely honest and showing up authentically. You’ll likely feel an immediate hit in your chest or stomach if this rings true for you: whether it’s an “aha” opening, or a tightening in defense to it. Pay attention to either reaction—they merit gentle investigation.

Maybe you’ve been demanding acknowledgement. Or appreciation, or recognition. Maybe you (and your ego) are upset because someone hasn’t said “thank you” for something.

But, flip things over: Have you truly given yourself appreciation recently? Have you taken the time to feel gratitude for your own accomplishments?

Maybe you’ve gone a few steps further and noticed that in your past relationships there has been a similar theme, and you already know that it means there’s something in you attracting this. But you see the threads of it starting to form again in your current relationship, and you want to stop it. Ask yourself the question first—What am I demanding from others that I’m not giving to myself?—before blaming your partner.

When we give to ourselves, when we choose to value our time, our energy, our success—others can see and feel that. And they’ll reflect it back to us.

There are so many stories that play out in our heads—what does the world think of me, what is really me, am I really being and doing and thinking what I ought to be/do/think. Just take a deep breath and think about you. Not in relation or comparison to anyone else.

And yes, it could be perfectly true that your partner is lying to you. But you need to start with you first. Focus on what you can shift, on what is yours to examine and change first. Everything you are receiving is what you are committed to getting, so start first with your own commitments to yourself.

You are the person who decides what you are worthy of.

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