Some relationships are beyond saving. They are best let go. Others that are teetering on the edge of breakdown can be saved if the relationship can be re-negotiated on better terms. I have explained how to renegotiate a relationship in my book, Expanding Into Love. The assumption, as I explained is last week’s blog, is that you have come to realize the divine purpose of the problems of the past: They were there in to help you both have the experience of separation until it was time to awaken and become whole again. No need to do that any more, then.
Trying to renegotiate a relationship without first doing the clean-up work yourself after the awakening will not bear fruit. It will likely reinforce old habits of holding expectations, making demands, wanting control, and being co-dependent. No. The task now is to re-negotiate the relationship on terms that reinforce mutual respect, freedom from control and unrealistic expectations, respected boundaries and a love that does not demand anything back.
It is also important that this work is not one-sided. Your partner needs to be engaged and committed to working on the relationship with you. Forgiveness is done by the forgiver alone and requires no reciprocity; renegotiation and reconciliation require the cooperation of both parties.
That said, if your partner is not engaged in the process, you can still do some of the work yourself through Radical Forgiveness and Radical Self-Empowerment. It may or may not rub off on your partner. If it does, you may well find your partner’s energy becomes more open and willing to participate. If not, and he/she still wants to play according to the old paradigm, you can either accept this or not. If you do stay in the relationship, it then becomes your spiritual practice to accept him/her just the way he or she is. You simply continue on your own path, refusing to be drawn back into the old energy.
When you see him/her projecting onto you, you won’t take it personally, and you will react with Love. By practicing expanding in Love, perhaps he/she will come around to your way of thinking, even if it is unconscious. Remember, though, that it will still be necessary for you to establish rules for the relationship and set strong boundaries for yourself. This is explained in depth in Expanding into Love.
One useful way to have a discussion without it degenerating into an argument is to follow a specific set of rules, taking turns saying what is true for each of you while the other person simply listens and does not speak. Then you reflect back about was said: “What I think I heard you say was…” Modify the reflection until your partner agrees that you have heard and understand him/her.
There is much more information about this in Expanding into Love, and of course lots of healing work is described in great detail in Moving Forward: A 21 Day Program for Forgiving Your Partner.
Of course, sometimes renegotiation and reconciliation ends with the agreement that the relationship really is over. This offers another opportunity to expand in Love by making the parting loving, respectful, generous and supportive.
In order to achieve this, long before any legal proceedings begin, do the work to let go of any blame you are holding towards yourself, your partner, and any other person who might be involved in the breakup. Write up as many Radical Forgiveness Worksheets as necessary until the pain subsides. Don’t forget to do some Radical Self-Forgiveness Worksheets to work through the blame you’ve assigned yourself.
Remember that, whether renegotiating or releasing your relationship, you can keep your vibration high and expand into Love.