My husband and I have shared 16 years of intense, passionate and challenging marriage. Things had been the same way between us for a long time. Then just in the last few months our relationship has changed dramatically. The change is so wonderful I can hardly believe it. The intermittent episodes of strain and disharmony have fallen away. Painful patterns have dissolved. There is more intimacy, deep connection and fun than we have ever experienced before. It’s like a whole new relationship with someone deeply familiar.
What brought about this transformation?
I can only tell my side of the story. It’s a story very much connected to my spiritual awakening. I have experienced five shifts in myself that are now being reflected in my marriage. It still feels a bit weird and I want to pin it down for myself. Somehow writing stuff down makes it seem more real. And maybe something of my experience will resonate with you and help you to find more trust, delight and joy in your relationship too.
(1) KNOWING MY OWN WORTHINESS
In the last few months I have experienced a major internal upgrade. I shifted a big part of my lifelong belief that I’m not good enough. I became more keenly aware of my willingness to take the blame when my husband got angry or dissatisfied about something. I noticed how often I had accepted blame and tried harder to avoid upsetting or disappointing him. I realized how deeply I had taken on the belief that whenever someone gets angry there must be SOMEONE to blame. I have finally decided, once and for all, to stop blaming myself. Ever.
I now consider myself worthy of self-respect and I don’t buy into any negative vibes that come my way. If my husband is upset or angry I know it’s his issue, not mine. I know I am worthy of self-care and I make it a priority to get out of the way of negative energy. If he has a genuine request to make of me I consider it when the negativity has passed and we can discuss it in a space of warmth and clarity.
(2) QUESTIONING MY BELIEF THAT I NEED LOVE
My search for love outside of myself has been a cause of great emotional torment for much of my life. Shifting my focus inwards to search for self-love is a commitment that I made with myself a long time ago but the shift has been gradual. I felt I was blocked in some way.
The change came in April this year when I put self-love into action. I went to my first ever spiritual retreat. For the first time in 16 years I went away on my own for a week to do something that really mattered to me. I put aside my concerns about the cost and the inconvenience to my family and I put myself first.
The important thing was putting self-love into action. This shift could have happened anywhere. But it certainly it helped that the retreat was in a glorious tropical location and with the most inspiring teacher that I know, Bentinho Massaro.
Maui is considered the heart chakra of the Earth by many and it felt that way to me. As soon as the retreat began I felt an amazing opening in my own heart energy. I felt cracked open by a desire to love freely without any restraint. I opened myself to universal, divine love in a whole new way and I felt it surge up within me. I allowed myself to relax and bask in the knowing that I don’t need love because I AM LOVE. I found I could relate to others without expectations, neediness or strings attached. It was a life-changing experience and one that shook my marriage to the core.
My neediness and emotional dependence on my husband had been a strong undercurrent in our marriage. Neediness was such a familiar state of being for me that I felt quite strange without it. As my need for love dissolved there were a lot of energetic shifts in our relationship. Old buttons no longer responded to be pushed. Old ways of being together had to make way for something new. This wasn’t a comfortable or easy transition. There was drama and tears. The tears washed away the old patterns and left a clear, vibrant space in which love could flow much more freely.
(3) EMBRACING THE LIFE-LESSONS I PLANNED FOR MYSELF
I have such a lot to thank my husband for. I have only recently realized that his most precious gifts to me were those that I least wanted to receive. These were the times that he withdrew his love, got angry at me and blamed me for things I had said or done. From the perspective of my personality/mind these episodes were all about him causing disharmony in our relationship. From the perspective of my Higher Self this was a carefully measured dose of catalyst designed to further my spiritual awakening.
This perspective became much clearer to me after reading the books by Robert Schwartz, “Your Soul’s Plan” and “Your Soul’s Gift”. In these books he gives a clear picture of how we plan life challenges before birth for our own personal growth and expansion. We create agreements with other souls and plan to bring experiences into each others’ lives. He often plan to experience what we don’t want in order that we may choose what we really do want. Without the suffering that these soul agreements bring we would not be motivated to search within to rediscover our true selves.
I needed to experience feeling alone, unloved and blamed at times in order to experience my own emotional independence, self-love and spiritual awakening. I now see my husband as a true soulmate who loves me dearly enough to share this gift of spiritual catalyst. He chose these gifts with my agreement and purely out of service and love for me. When I recognized this and thanked my husband for his contribution to my growth and awakening it was a turning point in our relationship. I took full responsibility for my own past emotional reactions and promised that I would never complain about his moods again.
(4) CONNECTING AT A SOUL LEVEL
My identity has shifted from the personality/mind/body that is Freya to a knowing of myself as love-light energy and an aspect of Oneness. This self-realization has changed the way I see my husband. I can see who he really is at the Higher Self or soul level. As a soul he is free from the suffering that he experiences in this physical incarnation. I glimpse his true power, magnificence, wisdom and profound love.
I now choose to focus on my husband’s soul qualities rather than on the beliefs and patterns of the personality that have been learned in this lifetime. I feel more playfulness, aliveness, wisdom and gentleness within him. I imagine us being with each other as souls, free of our learned fears, limiting beliefs and old ways of communicating. Such bliss! I focus less on what is said between us and more on the flow of energy. I feel the way our different energies balance each other out.
Connecting to my husband at the soul level has dissolved my old pattern of trying to fix his problems and give him advice. I am able to honour his inner wisdom and respect his free will to a much greater extent. I trust that he has the capacity to sort out his own problems and that he will ask for my perspective if he wants it.
I have also opened up to the expression and sharing of my own soul qualities. I have relaxed and shared my inner world with him more freely. Our intimacy and emotional independence have flourished.
(5) FOLLOWING MY BLISS AND URGING MY HUSBAND TO FOLLOW HIS
I made a strong commitment to myself to follow my bliss. I was inspired by Bentinho Massaro’s empowerment teachings to focus on what most excites me moment-to-moment. I have enjoyed more time on my own; meditating, walking, reading and writing. I am much better at ignoring my own old stories about what a good, responsible wife and mother should do. This focus on self-nurturing has made my life more relaxed and easy. I also find that I’m enjoying the time I do spend with my husband and children more.
I strongly encouraged my husband to do more of what really excites him too. This has had the most amazing results! After decades focused on the responsibilities of a professional career he has turned his focus to doing new things that give him pleasure. He is learning to fly and plans to get his private pilot’s license. He also left the family behind and went on an overseas holiday to a destination entirely of his own choosing. He is planning his retirement and dreaming of planes, travel, relaxation and fun. This new focus on his own empowerment has lifted a great burden from him and seems to have reversed the ageing process. He is so much happier and full of vitality and so much more fun to be around.
With all these profound shifts our marriage has been revitalized and we are excited for the future. We both know that challenges will continue. Each new upgrade in our relationship brings to the surface another layer of old limiting beliefs. I feel waves of stress from time to time as my mind digs up old fears about financial and emotional security. There are many ties that wish to pull us back and revive old patterns. And yet, I know we have made a leap into a new way of being together that will not disappear.
Our souls are dancing together and celebrating how well we are doing. Our physical bodies just have to join in.