Couple's work is such a sweet component of my practice. I often share a few pieces of writing to illuminate my views on being in relationship.
The first is an excerpt from the work of author Paul Ferrini:
The Real Purpose of Relationship
So what is the purpose of relationship? It is not, as some suggest, to meet the soul mate and live happily ever after. It is not a romp in the flowery fields of nuptial bliss designed to help us forget our selves and all our problems. The purpose of our relationship is to help us become conscious of who we are, to help us learn to face our fears and move through them.
Do you think you can be in an intimate relationship without getting to meet your wounded child and theirs? If you do, you may be in for a few surprises!
The purpose of a relationship is not to love and be loved because we do not know how to do either. The purpose is to learn how to love and to learn how to be loved. And how do we learn? By making mistakes. By learning how to take responsibility instead of blaming another.
Relationship is about discovering who we are by looking into the mirror provided by our partner. Now, that sounds rather lofty and dignified. But when our partner is screaming at us or blaming us for something when we were just trying to be helpful, it does not seem so lofty.
One thing I can assure you is that if you are not in touch with your shadow when you go into a relationship, your partner will show it to you quickly enough.
Of course, your shadow is not your real self. But you cannot find your real self as long as you are acting like a hurt kid or a victim. So you have come face to face with your shadow. You have to see the bags of fears, anger, insecurities and lack of worthiness that hold you back.
And you know what? Your partner – and I don’t care who he or she is – is always uniquely skilled at showing you all your weaknesses.
- Paul Ferrini
The next piece of writing that resonates deeply with me is a combination of two quotes brought together by Choose Again in one of their daily emails to subscribers (I recommend!).
Only love that continues to flow in the face of anger, blame and indifference can be called love. All else is simply a transaction.
- Vironika Tugaleva
If I heard blame, I did not hear correctly. If I heard attack I was mistaken. If I felt your indifference I was feeling an echo of an old story I have told myself for decades. Love is the gentle recognition that You and I are One. When you speak and all I hear is Love regardless of what you are actually saying, then I will know that Love is the essence of Who You and I are.
- Diederick Wolsak
Allison Rice is a Registered Clinical Counsellor, with over 20 years of experience, who works with clients in offices in Vancouver and Courtenay, BC. Splitting her time between the city of Vancouver, where she grew up and where her family resides, and the beauty of the Comox Valley is a dream she’s worked towards for a number of years.
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In the spirit of reconciliation, Allison Rice Therapy & Associates acknowledges and respects the Indigenous people upon whose traditional territories we work and live throughout the province.