By Quiana LaRae. Photography By Deun Ivory.
Standing in line waiting for coffee, you find yourself engaged in small talk with another beautiful human being. The conversation is light and refreshing; laughter, compliments, and some flirting are exchanged. You both move through the line – no phone numbers, business cards, or emails are given; however, you do leave feeling a bit more confident, beautiful, and energized. You carry that energy throughout your day, smiling and waving hello to everyone you see. One of those smiles leads you to meeting someone who sparks a conversation with you about your work because your energy was so infectious. In that moment you meet a new client. And to think it all began with a short, casual encounter at the coffee shop.
Or maybe you meet someone you connect with and fall deeply for. Things are totally great at first but then you begin to trigger each other. Your stuff comes up, their stuff comes up, and you find yourselves arguing all the time and disconnected. Thinking that the “honeymoon” is now over, you pick one another apart and determine he/she is just not making you happy so you leave. You abandon this once meaningful relationship only to find yourself in relationship after relationship with the same lessons presenting themselves over and over again.
Or maybe you meet someone you have a connection with on a spiritual level. You may trigger something in the other person and the other person may trigger something in you but you both process and learn lessons in the safety of your relationship throughout your whole lives – together.
A Course in Miracles says, all relationships are assignments; some are short and casual, some are long and intense, and some are for a lifetime – each serving as the fastest route to our soul growth. Our romantic relationships are no different. I would dare to say that our romantic relationships are sometimes a more intense version of learning.
No matter the form of your romantic relationship – casual and short, extended and intense, or a lifetime, there are three things that are important to remember.
Get clear and honest on what you want and need in your romantic relationships. As you change and grow and transform, so will the things you want and need. If you desire monogamy, a life partner, or to be married, be clear and honest about those things with your partner or potential partner. Many times we are clear that we want romance but not clear on what we want our romance to look and feel like. Understanding this will also help you to know if and when a relationship is to be a casual and short, extended and intense, or a lifetime.
2. Care for yourself first and well. When you care for yourself first and really well and can clearly communicate it, your partner will know how to care for you. Many times we expect our partners to be mind-readers and believe they should just know; or we expect our partners to care for us better than we care for ourselves. But that is only setting ourselves, our partners, and our relationships up for an impossible situation. In addition, caring for yourself first and well, also helps us to release our partners of unrealistic expectations. Out of the overflow of us caring for ourselves really well, it gives those around us, namely our partners, permission to do the same. In return, you both begin to give to one another out of overflow rather than as a chore.
Neuroscientist, John Cacioppo, in a TED talk stated that ‘selfishness is caring for yourself to the detriment of others, while self-care is caring for yourself in order to help yourself and others’. So, if selfishness just flashed across your mind, thank your ego for sharing and check in with your intentions.
3. Drop into your heart space. Each of us have both masculine and feminine energies, regardless of gender identification or sexual preference. Some of us lean on our masculine energy, which is linear and driven by our thoughts; while some of us lean on our feminine energy which is creative, cyclical and driven by our feelings. We can get stuck in our thoughts or our feelings, which our ego tends to thrive in. It is not until we drop into our heart space that we gain clarity. It is in our heart space that we can see, hear, and really know others and it is when others drop into their heart space that we are seen, heard, and known.
You may be asking how you do that. Well, one of the simplest ways is to first ask yourself where you default to, your masculine or feminine. Are you typically in your head leaning on logic or in your feelings? Ask yourself what you think and/or feel about a thing and write it down. Once you’re clear about that, close your eyes, take a deep breath in through your nose and out through your mouth and draw your intention to your heart. Once you are in your heart space, focus your attention there for at least one minute. Then, ask your heart what it wants and needs – without judging or editing and write down what comes up for you.
When we are able to quiet our ego and move from our heart space in our romantic relationships, we are able to love ourselves and others well; and we are able to do so because that’s where Spirit lives, in our hearts.
Quiana LaRae is a writer, speaker, spiritual teacher and certified life coach living in Houston, TX with her two daughters, Anna and Abigail. Quiana creates sacred spaces for women to process, breathe and heal. Quiana’s life’s work and intention is to walk alongside women as a guide on their journey of personal transformation and healing. Quiana is also a certified reiki master. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter @quianalarae. Her website can be found here.