I read the following quote recently and cringed a little: "Show up as who you'd like to become, not as who you've been" ~ Unknown
Let's face it: plenty of people can show up as who they'd like to become, but are they showing up authentically?
Plenty could transform into that "ideal hero", falsely pleasing their partner, until ultimately they quit out of sheer exhaustion. Trying to be someone you are not is difficult to maintain.
When I think of "showing up as who you'd like to become, not as who you've been”, I wonder:
Will you show up as a true, veritable version of who you really want to be? Not a fantasy, not someone else's idea of a great partner, co-worker, friend or lover....I mean show up as the most expanded, evolved version of you!
Who You've Been
We've all made relationship mistakes in the past.
Maybe you chose partners who squelched your growth. Maybe you picked partners who were painfully similar to your parents or caregivers because that was most familiar. Maybe you even tolerated abuse, harsh criticism, or deceit.
Interestingly, the common denominator in the stories of our past is YOU, and who you have been.
In yoga, the Sanskrit word, samsara, means cycle, "the same flow", or repeating the same pattern (samskara) over and over again. In the context of relationships, this means that we go from one relationship to the next, never learning from the past or gleaning insight from our mistakes.
In some cases, samsara can mean that we understand where we went askew, but react by choosing the exact opposite as our relationship, yo-yo-ing from one extreme to the other, in a never-ending cycle. Sound familiar?
In the romantic realm, I've been more of a reactionary samsarist in my life up until recent years. A total yo-yo queen. After break ups, I would dive right back into a partnership instead of evolving and taking some time off…until a divorce became the wake-up call I needed.
If I could have advised my younger self, I would have definitely suggested some single time in between!
I knew I needed to finally step off the “samsaric hamster wheel”, go solo, and get clear. Thank God I did. And thank God for this breakup which, in time, ended up being one the best things that has ever happened to me. And that is why, as painful as they sometimes are…break-ups ROCK.
If you find yourself in any kind of samsaric relationship situation, here is the magic recipe for ensuring that your next connection be more conscious:
- Immerse yourself in a yoga or any practice involving self inquiry and contemplation (retreats/trainings/workshops, rather than weekly classes alone)
- Fly solo as a single for a while and enjoy it!
This recipe also helps give you the space to untangle the various patterns you may have had in the past. Being outside a relationship, it is easier to take responsibility for those habits so you know not to repeat them the next time.
Once you take ownership it is deeply empowering and actually kind of exciting.
Here are some classic examples of relationship samskaras (habits or patterns) we all have brought to the table at one time or another that are ripe for the lettin’ go!
- Pleasing your partner out of fear of letting them down, and then resenting it (passive aggressive anyone?)
- Being overly needy and/or incessantly insecure (so not sexy!)
- Not listening or helping your partner to feel heard (always bad news.)
- Giving too little attention to having a fantastic sex life (the road to ruin…)
- Hardened and bitter or “complainy” attitude (deeply unattractive!)
- Waiting too long or never talking about stuff that’s bothering you (so 2003!)
- Saying everything is OK, when it’s not (ick?)
- Being non-communicative out of fear of being vulnerable (boring!)
- Letting your self get unhealthy, out of shape or unkempt (neither sexy, nor empowering!)
- Becoming too insular with your partner (you’ve got to have a girlz or boyz night out!)
Show up NOW as you the person you want to become!
It’s important not to be too hard on yourself for the way you’ve been. As best you can, let go of the past behavior, get pumped up, and get busy recreating the YOU you wish to become.
When you’re content with the great being you are, you’ve cultivated the courage to be on your own, and you’ve taken ownership for your stuff, then when a relationship gets added to the picture, it will be like putting a cherry on top of an already delicious dessert!