The overriding message that I want to communicate in this series on the relationship fundamentals is that you have the power to create the relationship your heart most desires. It is not dependent on your partner. This is where most of us get tripped up. We believe that if our partner were more present, a better listener, a better lover, a better communicator, in better shape, better with money or somehow different than they are now, our love lives would be great. We don’t want to face the mind blowing truth that we create our partner and the relationship we have with them. If our relationship is not what we want, it is because we are not consistently practicing the relationship fundamentals. We are not victims. We create our reality by our choices and commitments.
One of the best ways to view your love life is to see yourself as a chef and the fundamentals as your ingredients. You have the opportunity to create an amazingly delicious love life. Seeking our own personal development was the first (and most important) fundamental/ingredient and we addressed that last month. We are the primary ingredient in our recipe! If we are not “fresh,” our dish won’t be very tasty.
The second fundamental was refusing to be a blamer, and instead becoming curious about how we, ourselves, might be responsible for what’s occurring in our lives. And frankly, if we only “cooked” with these two ingredients, our love lives would rival anything Emeril could create! For if we are evolving and not blaming, we’re just more fun to be around!
Now we turn our attention to this month’s fundamental and I’ll be the first to admit that it can be frightening. This month’s commitment is to be someone who reveals rather than conceals.
In a great relationship, partners tell each other the truth—the microscopic truth. They live out loud with each other. Feelings, wants, decisions, thoughts, emotions, and questions are not concealed, they are revealed. Intimacy is transparency. If you conceal, hide and withhold from your partner, you are not in a healthy relationship. In a healthy relationship, partners don’t protect each other from the truth, they respect and value each other (and themselves!) enough to reveal it. The saying, “What he (or she) doesn’t know, won’t hurt them,” is a blatant lie. For in my personal experience, and I do have some in this area, living incongruently and being out of integrity, erodes your soul, saps your aliveness and often leads to physical and/or financial disaster.
Now, if you reveal rather than conceal, it might get a little dicey between you and your partner for a time. But what’s the alternative? Living a lie just to keep the peace? Is that a love life worth celebrating? Remember there are only two paths in a relationship. The first is love, which means you reveal in order to relate; and the second is fear, which means you conceal in order to control. Those are the only two paths open to you. One leads to heaven, the other to hell.
Commit to the path of love. Refuse to withhold, hide or conceal. Reveal your feelings, fears, mistakes, beliefs, needs, actions, dreams and decisions. If your partner can’t accept and love the real you, so be it. Remember, unless you are a relationship addict (the subject of my book), you don’t fear being alone. Your absolute primary and highest commitment in life is to be you and to hold nothing back. If your partner (or anyone for that matter) can’t handle who you are, then why would you want to be with them anyway? You deserve to loved for who you are, not for who your partner, or anyone else, wants you to be.
Live out loud. Tell the microscopic truth. Make your inner conversation public. Be transparent and open. Don’t control your partner but love them enough to tell them the truth. And especially reveal those things you wish your partner would not find out about. For example, you don’t have to tell your partner about every conversation you had at work, but you do have to tell them about the ones that became flirtatious. Reveal what you have the urge to hide. In my experience, though it might get ugly for a time, a commitment to this fundamental leads intimacy, trust and bliss.