First of all, what is stress?
It’s not something external to ourselves, it’s not a situation or an experience; it’s our response to it. It’s a mental assessment of the situation (i.e. does this require me to worry?) and a physical response to that answer. The hormone that is triggered through our initial mental assessment of the situation actually causes our attention to stay focused on the cause of the discomfort. A-ha. That is a really important factor.
The physical response involves a number of bodily systems all kicking into high gear, which lead to a variety of symptoms. It’s possible to be living with stress for long periods of time without being aware of it, because we so easily shift our normals to accommodate our circumstances that stress becomes the new normal. Easy peasy.
Secondly, I’d like to be sure that in looking at the idea of a relationship we’re starting from the same place. Relationships are the best mirrors I know of. For instance, if we’re seeing something in someone else we dislike, our most authentic, although often most difficult option, is to look at ourselves and see what it is in us that is causing us the discomfort.
Relationships, hopefully, begin with Love. You see in one another the potential for that shared Love to grow and fill every available space and spread through the world like a warm fuzzy blanket. At the time of the initial attraction, Love is there, waiting to be explored, developed and celebrated. You discover with joy all the things about each other, and maybe the not so joyful things, too. You find peace in the arms of the one who accepts you with their heart, knowing that your fears are as safe as your happiness.
The root is Love. You come together from a place of Self-love and strength, and join that together to form an even greater force, one that cannot be brought down by external forces.
The passion you feel in your life comes from the joy of being authentic and seen for who you are, safe to express the innermost yearnings and joys of your soul in the knowledge of that Love. As you feel passion for life, you reflect it to your partner, who feels that as a reflection of themselves.
Enter Stress, Stage Left.
The situations that cause stress come in so many guises. Money is a huge one; illness in the family; a child with challenges; potential work problems; you name it, we humans can pick a whole lot of situations to worry about. When one of these situations enters a relationship, and the individuals turn their thoughts to worry, think about how that might play out.
On a physical level, the stress hormone kicks in, causing us to focus intently on the source of the discomfort. On a spiritual level, if you consider the laws of universal resonance, the focus of the relationship has now shifted from Love to something else.
Once that focus has shifted, the relationship begins to mirror new truths to each of the individuals. While each individual stood in their calm and centred place of Self-love and Self-care, they could share the joys of Love from a perspective that reflected their own worth to each other.
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