Ugh. That feeling after you and your partner have a fight. Maybe it wasn't even a fight. Maybe it was a disagreement, or just a weird energy vibe that you couldn't explain. Either way, it left you feeling like shit. Maybe anxious, maybe angry, maybe frustrated, confused. Things can feel like a mess. Things can feel in shambles.
First of all, I understand it hurts. No one is denying that, and no one will take that away from you. It sucks! It's painful!
But no matter what happened, remember that:
Challenges (which in relationships often result in disagreements) are inevitable and not inherently bad.
In fact, oftentimes they're good.
You're not unique by having problems, so don't take it as a sign that your relationship is doomed.
Many times disagreements arise on the surface which have deeper-rooted frustrations. How many times have you argued, only to uncover a deeper rooted insecurity in yourself or your partner, which completely explained why there was an argument in the first place?
However, in our day to day lives, we don't remember or pay much attention to these deep-seated issues. Because they're not at top of mind, when challenges arise we are quick to react without knowing why. Now put two people who bring entirely different life experiences under one roof, and you can't expect to harmonize all of the time.
When we practice calm, conscious communication, we uncover these deeper issues, and can move past them quicker. We can be more empathetic next time problems arise.
Of course there will be disagreements, challenges, tensions, and mood swings. Just remember these are not bad! In fact, they become an important way to bond. I recently wrote about why the obstacles in our lives are the path to happiness. This is why.
Not only are challenges inevitable, but they are opportunities for growth.
Your challenges are wonderful opportunities to practice communication, learn things about your partner, and become closer on a deeper level.
When you look back on something you did in your own life, something you're proud of, was there ever a time when you struggled with it? When you felt like you couldn't do it, or like you were against all odds?
Isn't it true that the reason you're proud, the reason you feel joy thinking about that moment, was because you got through it, and you grew because of it?
It's the same with your relationship.
When we experience difficulty in the form of arguments, tension, or weird energy with our partners, those are wonderful opportunities to work on ourselves, and on our relationship.
I know it hurts in the moment. I know it's uncomfortable. But while you're centered now, reading this, remember it the next time you and your significant other get heated.
Remember to breathe, relax, and just notice how your mind and your body react to the situation. If you're like me, your heart starts racing, your chest tenses up, your temperature rises, and your voice gets shaky.
Whatever happens to you, just let it happen. Just notice it. Just breathe. Your body will go through its natural perturbations, but you can be behind it all, watching it the tension instead of being the tension.
Once you've established yourself in your seat of awareness, listen. Listen to your partner.
You're both in pain, you're both hurting. But this is because two minds and hearts are coming together, bringing an entire life's worth of experiences, past pains, traumas, and conditioning into one heated situation. The chances that they are going to disturb one another at some point in time are 100%.
But you who's in there, watching, don't have to get disturbed. You can just watch, be compassionate, and listen.
In the end, love (and commitment) always wins.
Ultimately, if you and your partner are committed to bettering yourselves, as well as your relationship, then obstacles become tremendous opportunities to let go of your past and enter the never-ending present moment.
The next time you feel an argument coming, notice it immediately and don't get dragged down. Don't try to fight the feeling, or your partner. Just notice that it's bubbling up, take a few deep breaths, and relax. Your mind will go crazy. Your heart might start racing. But you - you can always relax back there.
Then listen. Oftentimes it takes a few minutes, or maybe even hours of communication to get to the real root problem, which often has nothing to do with you.
Remember that the sun is always shining. Even when there's clouds. Even when it's stormy. Even when it's the middle of the night. The sun is always there, pure, radiating light. You, like the sun, are always shining, always there, always pure.
Live with substance!