Before last year, I had never heard the phrase “conscious relationship,” let alone the concept of a “conscious partner.” Instead, I had spent years in unhealthy relationships, including with myself, numb to the idea of accountability, self-growth, development, or healing.
Toxic relationships, miscommunication, self-abandonment, and codependency were the norm to me, so when I heard Elizabeth DeVaughn, LPC-MHSP, a Central Tennessee-based psychotherapist and life coach, discuss the path to more conscious relationships, I was immediately intrigued.
Filling Your Cup
A conscious relationship is composed of partners who are committed to personal growth and “doing their own work,” which in turn strengthens the relationship. The individual does his or her own “shadow work” and deals with their demons, while offering support and compassion for the other as they go through this process.
Open and honest communication between partners creates a safe container for vulnerability and healing, so growth can occur, without the partners trying to change each other. There’s no room for grudges or making a point just to be “right.” There is no power and control wheel. This is about equality, balance, duality, and harmony – with oneself and your partner. And this conscious growth is all done in your own time.
The concept of consciousness was further explored with me by a wise and beloved friend whom I consider one of my chosen family and who has reached a level of consciousness in his own life that is now graciously helping to guide my own.
He described the idea of someone’s individual need for love and support like a cup (or goblet, for you witchy friends). When you look to someone else – for instance, a partner – for love and support, you may need them to “fill your cup” by filling your needs.
If that person is unhealthy – such as someone with drug or alcohol addictions, mental health issues, or emotional challenges – they may only be able to offer you a “thimble” of love. In this case, they may be giving you everything they have, but it may not be enough to meet your needs. (And trust me, you deserve better!)
It Starts Within
So what do you do?
First, try your best to detach with love from toxic people and situations. Experiment by filling your own cup with self-love and self-care. Work on your healing and growth. You can also fill your cup with the rewards of healthy friendships, fulfilling hobbies, loving pets, soaking up nature, doing the things you enjoy, seeking counseling, or leaning on your higher power for support.
Accountability and acknowledgment for yourself is required as well, not perfection. By now, you know what your needs are, so find ways to fill them without facing the frustration of desperately seeking fulfillment from people who are unable to meet your needs, because they’re barely equipped to meet their own.
One way of raising your vibration and energy to a healthier, conscious level, is to work on yourself first. Do the work to improve your interpersonal relationship skills and repair the relationship you have with yourself. If you are healthy emotionally, you’ll attract more of that in others – thereby inviting into your world a similarly conscious partner who is equally as committed to accountability, self-growth, development, and healing.
And this is what you call a blessing. Go, you!
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