My parents are celebrating their 59th wedding anniversary this month! As I sit in their living room and listen to their familiar banter, I wonder what it is that has kept them together so long? What is it that allows love to grow within relationship and more importantly, within us individually?
A warm and loving relationship can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life; embracing a long-term commitment, even more so. To get to know and accept our partner’s strengths and weaknesses in a most intimate way, can be challenging and fulfilling at the same time. It can be where the deepest learning of ourselves takes place and where our creativity may flourish. Creativity sits in the heart of love and enables us to persevere the difficult times that inevitably happen; creativity works within the relationship to keep it alive and gratifying; creativity dances within the framework of relationship to help us remain whole and true to ourselves.
The love that often receives the least notice is Self-love. Spending time reflecting on the inner parts of ourselves that take away from living fully in love, and releasing from the source, takes commitment. The Self-awareness required to know when the unconscious voices of unlove take over and how to replace them with kindness and compassion can be arduous at times. Without creativity this process may become overwhelming or at worst, not happen at all.
One of the ways I uncover unconscious thoughts is when I have judgment for those around me. When I hear the voices in my head being critical, angry, discriminating, self-righteous, or feeling judged by another, I spend time noticing how I may change my outlook. Often the deeper meaning of what I am feeling is where, in my life, I am critical of myself. By identifying where the source of my harsh criticism lies within, I begin to see a situation differently. This is where creativity allows expansion beyond the old voices, perceptions and patterns. Creativity engages new parts of my being to move out of the critical and into compassion.
Healing our internal relationships is essential to becoming more Self-aware. When accessing creativity in the Self-awareness process, the outcome of love is inevitable. Creativity holds curiosity, inventiveness and inspiration, all key elements in realizing and maintaining love. Love provides safety for creativity which inspires more creativity which inspires more love. As we heal our internal relationships and nurture our inner love and creativity, more love and compassion flows in our external relationships.
Amy Hanson is a bodywork therapist in Shawnigan Lake.