Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The book

My Story and How to Use this Book
Day 1: The Ultimate Intention 
Day 2: Forgiveness and Apologizing
Day 3: Expectations and Demands
Day 4: Needs, Desires and Giving in the Wrong Spirit
Day 5: Learning to Love Fear and Insecurity
Day 6: Self Defeating Behaviors, Blame and Judgment
Day 7: Challenges and Problems
Day 8: Addiction and Avoidance
Day 9: Clearing the Path, Breaking the Pattern and Spiraling Up
Day 10: Responsibility and Choice
Day 11: Moods and Emotions
Day 12: Beliefs
Day 13: Questions and the Awareness Process
Day 14: Desperation Versus Radiance and Grace
Day 15: Trading Versus Giving and Being Love
Day 16: Play, Fun and Boredom
Day 17: Freedom, Acceptance and Equality
Day 18: It's Not All About You, It's About Trust
Day 19: Vulnerability, Transparency and Authenticity
Day 20: Change and Evolution
Day 21: Active Creation and Acting As If
Day 22: Getting Lost In It Versus Wholeness
Day 23: Subconscious Mind and Intuition
Day 24: Self Love and Healthy Boundaries
Day 25: As Is Appreciation
Day 26: Intention and Putting Energy Out
Day 27: Attraction
Day 28: Positive Communication and Understanding
Day 29: Support, Encouragement, Building Self Esteem and Positive Reinforcement
Day 30: Positive Emotional Override and Remaining Love Centered
Day 31: Building a Best Friendship From The Start
Day 32: Intimacy, Deep Connection and Presence 
Day 33: Love Rituals, Habits and Visualization
Day 34: Admiration and Respect
Day 35: Commitment
Day 36 Sex
Day 37: Unconditional Love


My Story

          As a young girl, having a romantic relationship with a man (or boy at the time) was something that I fantasized about often. My perfect partner would surely just appear one day and make all of my dreams would come true. Of course we would fall in love, get married and live happily ever after. At some point in my childhood I developed a belief that being married meant lasting happiness. All this love and joy I was sure marriage would bring me would just come naturally and wouldn't require much effort.
          This fairy tale view of marriage was so incredibly appealing to me that I longed for it even in my earliest relationships with the opposite sex. It followed me into adulthood, and I married a man that I knew wasn't right for me. At first it was exciting to be someone’s wife and to have a husband, but my high expectations quickly created tremendous disappointment for me. We both demanded that the other change and the relationship quickly became one filled with resentment and contempt. After struggling to “work on” our relationship and seeing no improvement, we divorced.
          Devastated and bitter, I blamed him for the divorce. He was the “bad guy” and I was the innocent victim. I lacked the awareness necessary to examine my own actions and as a result learned nothing from it except to fear entering into another relationship. The only thing that I knew for sure was that I never wanted to go through such a painful experience again. However, I had no idea that I had any power to prevent it. 
          The world of men and relationships felt very scary and I was apprehensive when I re-entered the dating world. In what I now understand was an attempt to protect myself, I made terrible judgments about relationships and men as a whole. My reality reflected these hateful thoughts and in the year following my divorce, I dated men who were perfect examples of the stereotypes I adopted. Even though I had left my marriage, nothing had truly changed and in fact, through my own fear had grown worse.
          Still, having a relationship with a man still remained my strong desire. I certainly didn't want to repeat the past and I refused to settle for just any romantic relationship. With absolute resolve, I vowed that I would have a healthy and loving relationship. This became my goal and I became passionately committed to learning and doing whatever I could to get me there.
          For over a year I studied the ways in which a relationship between a man and woman could be improved, but was discouraged and frustrated by most of what I read. It seemed that most of what I learned required the effort of both partners. This meant that I would have to ask a man to do certain things and make changes and this simply didn't feel right for me. It felt uncomfortable to expect this of anyone. I knew that while this approach may work well for others, it wasn't the one that I felt would work best for meSo, I asked myself a new question: “What can and I alone do to create a close, happy and loving relationship?” 
          From this new focus, I shifted to learning what could do to maintain a close, loving relationship without asking for anyone else’s participation. As I studied and put into practice what I learned I became more and more aware that truly am empowered to create loving relationships. In fact, I learned that I always have been and always will be creating my entire life, in every moment, for better and for worse.
          This was a brand new way of looking at things and a brand new way of being that was incredibly exciting for me . I was no longer concerned with trying to fix relationship problems or change anyone else. The focus was now completely on my self and what I could do to create the changes within me that would inspire change in my relationships. With a sense of certainty and purpose, I enthusiastically put what I was learning into consistent practice, not only with men, but with everyone
          It’s been a fascinating and enlightening journey that I am still and forever will be on. The wisdom I have gained has been invaluable for creating positive change not only in my relationship, but in my entire life. Through extensive study, experiments, observations and experiences, I compiled the information into what you are reading now.
         If I had the information and wisdom when I was married that I have now, I could have taken responsibility and created an entirely different relationship. My marriage would have thrived as a result of the way that I chose to think and behave. He wouldn't have had to change a single thing about himself or his behavior and I wouldn't have felt it necessary to ask him to ad still our interactions would have changed for the better. 
          However, I have absolutely no regrets. My failed marriage has been one of the biggest blessings in my life so far. I feel so thankful that it happened exactly the way that it did. It led me to where I am now: in a close, happy and loving relationship and helping others to have that as well.
          My original intention in studying relationships was only to improve my own chances of having a loving relationship. It certainly has worked  in my own life better than I ever suspected it would. At some point along the way I fell in love with the ways individuals could create close and loving relationships in their lives. The notes I took evolved into the program you are now reading. I am thrilled to be able to share with you what I have learned and it's my sincerest hope that this information will inspire you to take action to create the relationship you desire.
          There is nothing in this program that you "should" do. There are many ways to do things and the only thing that you ever "should" do, is what feels best for you. I have presented information for you to consider and suggestions for you to try out that I have found invaluable in my own relationships and that my clients have used with equal success. Use what feels right for you and disregard what doesn't. If you blindly agree and follow every suggestion without considering whether it is right for you or not, you won't absorb the lesson and you won't truly learn anything.
          This book is meant to help everyone, regardless of whether or not they are single or in a relationship. If you are in a relationship, this program can help you in creating some real, positive changes within yourself that will help you to improve every area of your relationship. It can help you to remove your blocks to love and become more capable of giving love in ways that feel good for your mate and open you to receiving more love. For those of you who are single, this program contains information that can help you to prepare for love and attract a partner that is right for you.  
          If you choose to apply the information presented consistently, it will help any woman to create the relationship that she desires. It is my hope that you allow this to be a step by step, day by day guide for your evolution toward “love enlightenment” not only for now, but used in combination with other good information throughout your life. In summary: this book will help you to have the best relationship by assisting you in becoming the best partner you can be.
          This program encourages self centered empowerment as a way of increasing love and closeness in your relationship. Self centered in the context of this book is focus on the self as the creatorPower means “the ability to act”, to empower means to give power to.  The purpose of this program is to inspire you to take action to apply the skills that you inherently possess within you to create your reality (in your relationship) the way you want it to be, regardless of where you are nowNo matter how good it is, it could be better and no matter how bad it is, nothing is hopeless or impossible. 
          As a deserving,capable and wise woman, use this as a guide to empower yourself to act in ways that will emphasize your own good qualities and naturally improve your relationship. This “self centeredness” can be applied to any area of your life you wish to take charge of and improve, but for the purpose of this book, will be centered around creating a healthy, happy, loving relationship and becoming the best partner you can be.



How To Use This Program

This program is designed to be used to help you to reach new levels of love and closeness in your relationship over the course of 37 days. Each section is meant to be "used" in one day, however, if you feel so inspired, do two or three sections at a time, or do one a week if you have very little time. There is no right or wrong way, and anything that you do is better than nothing. 
          If you want consistent results, you must put in energy consistently. If you do this this program everyday for the first week and then don't touch it for three weeks, you won't get good results. It's much better to do something small each day then to do something big each week. Relationships are dynamic, they are always moving and changing, they don't stand still. They are either moving forward and becoming more close and more loving or they are moving backward and becoming more distant and unfeeling or hurtful. Keep the forward momentum by taking little steps each day. 
          The only person that can create change in your life is you. The energy that you put into this will be the energy that you get out of it. Don't be afraid to try new things and come out of your comfort zone. You will continue to get the same results if you continue to do the same things. Break the pattern, do the exercises even if they feel a little weird. 
          At the end of each section there are exercises or assignments. These can be played with and changed as long as the basic structure is the same. Do at least one of the exercises. I've listed several exercises to give options and so that you can do this program over and over and change it up a little bit. 
          Also at the end of each section there are ways of charting your progress. This is important because you need to know where you are. An honest assessment of where you are can help you to feel more clear about where you want to be and what you need to do to get there. The instructions are straightforward, the thing that I would like to keep you in mind is that this is meant to be approached with an attitude of exploration. Try out the exercises, just to have fun and see what happens. Don't expect anything to happen, don't do anything to get an outcome or in the hopes that things will be different. This is not to say that they won't be. It is simply that if you have expectations you're cutting off other possibilities. 
         You want to be as open as you can be. Do the exercises in this program for yourself and your own personal growth, not with the intention of causing anything to happen. The entire purpose of this program is not so much to create the relationship you desire, but to become the kind of partner that naturally has the relationship you desire. This "becoming" only requires a shift in your thinking, your words and your actions. You can make this shift in spite of the conditions in your life and regardless of how others are behaving or how they react. 
          Do what you know starting right now to be a partner that loves and connects deeply and creates good feelings in any relationship. This will help you to evolve as a person and will have the perk of giving you the greatest possible chance of having the relationship you desire. Don't wait until you read more, you don't have to. Start right now.
          You can't control what the other person in the relationship does, but you can behave in new ways that could inspire new behaviors in him. Although that would be wonderful, and I hope that is what happens for you, it's not really the goal. The goal is to evolve toward "love enlightenment" to be the best possible lover for your lover.  


Day One: The Ultimate Intention

          It may seem that intention has no place in the world of relationships. It's a common (and dangerous) misconception that when you meet the right person everything will fall into place effortlessly. However, effortlessness requires repetitive effort at first. Repeating a clear intention over and over until it becomes embedded in your mind will guide you where you want to be. 
          Without having a clear idea of the direction you'd like to head in, your relationship will be moody. Most relationships are very moody. One day the couple is happy and loving toward one another and then the next day they feel distant and rejected.  
          The reason that relationships experience moods like this is because human beings themselves are moody and their relationships reflect that. The other reason that this happens is because in general people don't have a clear idea of what they want the relationship to be like. Very few people know clearly what they want it to feel like. 
          Notice that I didn't say, "They don't know what they want out of a relationship". In truth, you don't want to get anything tangible out of a relationship. Many times people thing that they have needs and desires that can only be met through a partner. This simply isn't true. It is why some people move from relationship to relationship. They are searching for someone who will be everything that they think they want a partner to be, someone who will give them all of the things that they think they want. The truth is, you want the relationship to feel a certain way.  
          Everything else is simply details. You believe that when you have the stuff you think you want you will feel a certain way.  You may think that you want to get married, but in truth what you want is the feelings that you think that getting married will bring you. You may think that you want your partner to be older/younger/blond/brunette/tall/short etc, but you really don't. You want what you think you would feel if he were younger/brunette/tall. 
          I challenge you now to think of anything that you want in life and ask yourself why you want it. It will eventually come down to: "I want it because having it will make me feel good". What you really want are the good feelings, the it is just the conduit. This is true in all areas of life, relationships are no exception. We all want to feel loved and special. We all want to connect to another in a meaningful way. We all want to feel good and we are deceived into believing that having certain things or having specific circumstances met will bring us these good feelings. In actuality all feelings are within us and ever at our disposal.
         In our culture, we believe that having a relationship will help us to feel: loved, special, connected, included, passionate, excited, admired, cherished, adored etc. The feeling of connection with the other is especially important. Human beings were born with the need to connect, it's absolutely essential for our survival. When we say that we want a relationship, what we are really saying is that we want these feelings. 
          Consider that connection can also be negative. When someone is being abusive, they are connecting with you. You don't want to feel abused. A "loving connection" can be established between you and the grocery clerk when you exchange pleasantries and laugh and smile. Is that what you want, connection with an abuser? Do you want pleasant interactions with the local grocery clerk? No, you don't want connection with an abuser or small talk with someone whose first name you know only because they wear a name tag. 
          Why don't you want these things? Because they don't feel the same as what you meant by connection. You want depth and meaning that makes you feel nice and warm. You want positive, loving connection. You want to feel good.
          Many people say that they want to enjoy the time that they spend with the other. In a relationship, you may believe that you want to spend a lot of time physically with that other person. That is not true either. What you want is for the time that you spend with that other person to be positive. You want to feel good when you are with them. 
          Of course, you can't feel good about someone in the past, it's already done, you aren't in the past anymore. You can't feel good about someone in the future, the future hasn't happened yet, it's a figment of your imagination until it does happen and then it won't be the future it will be the present. You can only feel good about someone in the present moment. The other thing that you truly want then, is to feel good about the other person and your relationship with them, in the present moment that you are in. You don't want to feel good about them "someday" you want to feel good about them right now.
          


You also want them to feel good. It's difficult to feel good about the relationship if you feel good but the other person feels bad. You want to share good feelings. They must be real, because we are so incredibly intelligent and really pick up on anything that is even slightly inauthentic. You want to genuinely share good feelings. 
It is also true that every human likes to feel significant. We all like to feel important, wanted and special. However, we want to feel important because we want to feel like we matter to that other person and we want this because we want a deeper connection. 
It all really boils down to those two things: deep, meaningful, loving connection and genuinely sharing good feelings in the moment. Those are really the two true desires or the "ultimate intention" that everyone has at their core when they are in a relationship.
All things are step by step. In general, people don't go from having an okay relationship to being deeply,  meaningfully, lovingly connected and genuinely sharing good feelings with them over night. The goal can instead be to become more deeply, meaningfully, lovingly connected and genuinely share the best feelings with him. The best is your best at that time and will change as time goes on. This allows you and your way of interacting to change and evolve.
It's easier to turn these desires into an intention statement so that you can state it to yourself often as a reminder and as a north star to guide you in the right direction. The statement could be: "In this moment, I choose to connect more deeply, meaningfully and lovingly to (insert name here) and genuinely share the best feelings with him."
Change the wording if you like, but keep the meaning the same. You might feel better about the words, "In this moment I intend to be the best partner I can be and think, speak and act more lovingly to create more warm closeness with (insert name here)". Make it yours, but remember what the ultimate intention is: loving closeness and good feelings in the present moment. Everything else is just details.
To use this ultimate intention statement, say it to yourself as often as you need to. Remind yourself of it whenever possible. In the minutes before your partner comes home from work, say the intention to yourself several times. Close your eyes and really feel what it is to deeply, lovingly connect and share good feelings. Feeling it makes all the difference in the world and will really set you in the right direction.
This is the basic foundation that everything else is laid upon. Everything you learn about having a better relationship is either to deepen the connection or feel good. Therefor, everyday, no matter what else you are putting your energy into, make sure that you are putting your energy into meeting that intention. Make sure that you are doing what you know to do to more deeply and lovingly connect and share good feelings more often. This is possible in any context. You can be laying in bed, watching a movie and lovingly connect and share good feelings. You could be grocery shopping together and lovingly connect and share good feelings. It's even possible to connect lovingly and share good feelings when you are sending text messages or talking on the phone. 
Make this your mantra and your mind and body will direct you to making it a reality.

Put it into practice: 
* Memorize your ultimate intention and say it to yourself often, like a mantra. Feel it deeply. What would it feel like to be living your ultimate intention? Think those thoughts, feel those feelings.


Day One:
Write down your "ultimate intention", something comparable to "In this moment I intend to be the best partner I can be and think, speak and act more lovingly to create more warm closeness with (insert name here)".  Reword it however you like but remember that the ultimate intention is: loving closeness and good feelings in the present moment. Then, place the paper where you will see it and read it often. I use mine as a bookmark because I read all the time.  

Day 2: Forgiving and Apologizing

In order to move forward into love and closeness you must first let go of what keeps you stuck in a negative feeling place. If we want our cup to be filled with love, it must first be emptied of all the poison it contains. This poison will put a damper on the good feelings because even if you are able to pour love in, there will be bits of poison throughout. Your love cup will be tainted unless it's emptied of the poison. This poison could be called resentment, bitterness, hostility, defensiveness, or distrust. It could be called a lot of things, but the bottom line: this poison is negative feelings that keep you chained to the past. For our purposes we will call it resentment.  
Resentment is really only thoughts that you have about the ways that your partner has done you wrong in the past. Think about the times when you've felt resentful. What were you thinking of? It could be one of many things, but what I know for sure that it wasn't loving. You weren't having warm thoughts of how wonderful he is that caused you to feel resentment. You may have been thinking of how unfairly you were treated, what a jerk your partner was or the toll that his actions had on the relationship. You may have been asking yourself questions like: "How could he do that to me?" or "Does he know how lucky he is to have me? How could he be so stupid?" You may be telling yourself all sorts of things like how you deserve better, why do you always put up with his crap or that someone else might love you better. The thoughts of his past wrongdoings may range from slight annoyance all the way to wishing death upon him. These are some of the many resentful thoughts that are necessary to forgive. What you can be sure of is if you are thinking resentful thoughts, you can't be thinking the loving thoughts that create a loving relationship. 
Whatever it is that you're thinking and feeling, if it's negative, it's harming you and it's harming your relationship. Good feelings are the foundation of a good relationship and negative feelings are the root cause of the dissolution of relationships. When you feel resentful it is invariably because you have attached yourself to a past event with the anchor of pain. Until you can forgive, moving on to higher levels of love and closeness is just not possible. Letting go and allowing the past to die is needed to experience deeper connection. What keeps us stuck and unable to surrender to loving and being loved fully, is thoughts about how we've been wronged by our partner in the past. This is a wall between you and your partner that is constructed of painful memories. 
The wall needs to be torn down, the memories have to be re-seen with fresh eyes. To see with fresh eyes an understanding of real and unreal is needed. The past and the future exist only as mental constructs. Right now is the closest thing to real that we can experience. The past is whatever has happened that is not right now and therefor isn't real, no matter how recently it has happened. Memories from five years ago are all in the past and so is the conversation that too place five minutes ago.One is not more real than the other just because it feels like you experienced it more recently. They are both equally illusory. 
You make a choice when you hold on to the past with the hooks of pain. You choose to not allow the space for love to be. Painful, fearful thoughts and feelings and forgiveness and love can't exist in the same space. This must be burned into your awareness. If you are feeling love, you can't be feeling pain or fear at the same time. If you are feeling pain and fear, you can't be thinking and feeling love. You may vacillate between the two and this may cause you to feel that love is painful. It is not. If it's painful or feels frightening, it isn't love. When you forgive, you empty the space where the pain and the fear used to occupy and you create room for love. The more you can empty, the more fully and the more often, the more pure love will be in you. This is how forgiveness heals completely.
Often, people are reluctant to forgive because they have an inaccurate view of what forgiveness is. Forgiveness is not a way to put yourself above anyone or "be the bigger person". You don't forgive to pardon sins from a position of righteousness, that's judgment in disguise. Forgiveness isn't giving another person permission to treat you poorly; that's victimization. This is the one that people usually get stuck on, arguing that the other person doesn't deserve their forgiveness. To truly forgive isn't to measure if someone is deserving or not. It is done to set yourself and the other free from pain, this has no requirements except that you let go. 
Forgiveness is letting go of your attachment to your painful thoughts and feelings about the past in order to make space for the now. When you forgive another, you are not allowing what they have done to effect you in a negative way. You empower yourself to be in the present and experience life fully through forgiveness. You forgive to feel and be love more fully within yourself. You let go and you are free and the other is free as well.    
Your relationships, especially the one with your partner requires of you a daily, conscious choice to forgive. You always have a choice. You can choose to hold on to whatever he has done that has caused you pain. You can make a list if you want. You can keep score. Or, you can choose to forgive all of his "wrongdoings" right now in this moment. You can choose love. You can choose your love for him and your relationship with him over your thoughts and feelings about his past actions.
The actions that require your forgiveness, or your "moving forward into love in the present moment", are not always big. Sometimes they are minuscule. Nothing is to small to bother forgiving and nothing is too big. I understand that there have been people in the world that have done horrible things. This isn't permission for them to continue to do these horrible things, it's permission you give yourself to unhook your past pain and be here now. It's permission you give yourself to be alive. There may be some people that you feel don't deserve your forgiveness. It doesn't matter, you are worthy of the freedom you will feel when you forgive. Resentment and bitterness are heavy.  
I've heard people say that they "forgive but they'll never forget", but to truly forgive is to forget. The memories are the reason why you feel resentment. Not forgetting is remembering the pain and that is anchoring you to the past. It is wiping the slate completely clean. 
Forgiving and forgetting can be an enormous challenge, but it's worth it. I'm not suggesting perfection. None of us can claim anything near perfection. This is a process, not something to be done all at once. 
You'll know when you've forgiven someone. If you feel that you want the other to suffer in any way, even if it's just to feel sorry or guilty for what they've done, that's a sure sign that you haven't forgiven. When you can sincerely say that you want that person to be happy and well, then you know you have forgiven them completely. This comes in stages though, and you won't be able to forgive as quickly when you are in a negative state as you can when you're in a more positive, loving state. The state of mind and emotion that you are in has everything to do with how quickly and completely you are able to let go. Even in a very positive state however, very rarely are you able to completely forgive someone who you feel has done you wrong to you immediately. It takes some time, and a kind of moving up the ladder until you get to the top. It's step by step. 
Coming from the right place in your mind and in your heart is crucial. You must know the outcome that forgiveness will bring you. You will free yourself and release the past so that you can experience the fullness of love and life in the present. You will release the chains that bind you to the painful memories of the past. You can expect to feel lighter. 
Why do you want to forgive? How will it benefit you and your relationship in a way that you can see in the outside world? Cleaning the slate sets you free and also sets the other person free to just be with one another, without the painful feelings. Even if the other keeps the painful feelings after you've forgiven, that's alright, you can only be responsible for your own actions. You will be feeling new and loving and that will make such an enormous difference in the feeling tone of the relationship. This makes it much more likely that your mate will also forgive and forget than he would be if you were still holding a grudge too. That is the why, or the practical way that it benefits you and the relationship.
Coming from that state, the state of knowing what the outcome will be and why it's a benefit for you and the relationship will help you to follow through. It's hard to will yourself to do something if you can't even see any results. Don't take my word for it, try it. Next time you feel yourself brooding about something that you're mate did, notice the level of closeness that you feel and have with him before you forgive him and compare it with the level of closeness that you feel and have with him after you consciously choose to forgive him.
How do you consciously forgive him? In order to truly forgive, you need to be in the right heart space. First, let your heart go out to the other person. The truth is, all that we humans do is directed by what we think will bring up pleasure or away from pain. When someone "misbehaves" they are never doing so because they want to hurt you. They are either doing what they do because they want to avoid losing your love. Or they are doing what they do because they think they will get love from you. They are either afraid of losing love, or trying to get love. Either way, they are asking for your love. 
When I say this I will almost always get a couple of questions. Someone will usually ask how it's a request for love if he has asked for more time by himself. That request is a request for freedom and freedom is something that makes someone well and feel good. This would still be a request for love, but not in the form that you would like to give it.The other question is about infidelity. Infidelity is actually the biggest request for love and also comes from a place of fear. When someone is unfaithful, they are seeking love and would have preferred to have it from you, but they don't know how to ask. Yes, there are some people who enjoy the thrill of affairs and have them for that reason. That, is actually, still a request for love to be given to them in a thrilling, adventurous form. An affair is always when someone feels that something is missing from the relationship and doesn't know how to ask for it, or they have asked and were denied. Sometimes it's more sex, sometimes it's more attention, or even a change in routine, but it is always a request for love.  
It makes it easier to forgive when you know that this person has only done whatever they have done because they wanted love from you but didn't know how to ask.You have to remember the ultimate intention, to have a happy, intimate and loving relationship. If you feel a desire to get to an even higher level of love and connection and know that you can get there, that will replace the resentment and hurt. The goal is to feel that you are already at a higher level of happiness, love and connection in your relationship, or at least a sense of certainty that you will get there. That is where you want to be.
Then once you can get yourself in that mindset, regardless of what the other is doing and in the heart space of deep connection and good feelings, 99% of the work is done. Then you can state out loud or to yourself that you forgive this person. This solidifies forgiveness in your mind. 
The next step in forgiveness is to ask the other person to forgive you. You don't have to verbally ask for their forgiveness, although, it's something that really clears the slate. Whatever is going on in the world outside of you is a direct reflection of what is going on in your inner world of thoughts, feelings, beliefs etc. When you ask for forgiveness, even if you feel that the other person was the one who was wrong and you did nothing wrong, this does two things. First, whatever it is that is going on inside of you that is causing your partner to behave in ways that upset you are healed. This doesn't mean that they will go away permanently, they could come up again, but for the time being you've asked for the other person to let that go. Second, I'm sure you've heard the question "Would you rather be right or would you rather have love?" If you haven't now you have. If you are asking for forgiveness you are now putting yourself on the same level as your partner. The slate can now be completely wiped clean because there is no righteousness, but instead a new level of understanding and equality. 

A Daily Forgiveness Practice
I've come to understand that there are many little things that I feel during the day that I don't even acknowledge because they seemed so small. Little ways that I feel that my partner has done me wrong or treated me unfairly. There are other people I have relationships with in my life that I sometimes feel hurt by in little ways. Forgiveness is healing and it took me years before I understood that I can forgive even the tiniest acts as well as the bigger stuff. I decided to start a practice of forgiving every single day. 
I bought 6 small white storm candles for $1.00. In the morning I light one and think of the people in my life that are important to me. I see their faces clearly, one by one. I go through each of them, one at a time and say, "I forgive you completely, please forgive me. I send you love." I see and feel that I have forgiven them and that they have forgiven me, even if I don't feel that I have anything to forgive them for. I see and feel the love that I send to them. I feel love and then I beam it out to them. I know that they receive it. "Our relationship is completely healed." I see myself and them standing together and a white light envelops us completely and I know that it is healing both of us and the relationship, I feel it deeply. Then I say, "I'm so thankful that you are in my life". I feel the feelings of gratitude as strongly as possible. I do this with each person in my life one by one. At first it took a while because I was getting used to the process, but now it takes me a matter of 3-5 minutes and it truly does feel like the slate has been wiped clean.

Apologizing

If you feel that you have actually hurt your partner in any way, no matter how small, an apology can be offered as a way to hopefully clean the slate.

Key points to remember:
* Negative feelings must be released through forgiveness, otherwise they become a chain that attaches you to the past.
* Resentment is just a thought that can be let go of and replaced with love.
* Forgiving is something that you do to release yourself from the feelings that harm you and harm your relationship. 
* You can choose to forgive daily.
* Truly forgiving is forgetting.
* Coming from the right place in your heart and in your mind when forgiving and apologizing is the most important thing. 
* The right place is seeking to clean the slate and see the relationship as brand new if you'd like to forgive.
* The right place is seeking to understand your partner fully, taking full responsibility for your actions and any damage they've caused and quickly return to love and good feelings if apologizing.      
* Nothing is a personal attack, just people doing what they feel they need to do to avoid pain or get love or good feelings. 
* Forgiving and apologizing is not just for the big stuff, but for the very small stuff as well.
* Don't leave the scene of an accepted apology without demonstrating love and appreciation for the other.
* Return to love and closeness immediately after you feel that you've forgiven the other, or after the apology has been accepted and don't bring up whatever it is that necessitated the forgiveness or apology unless your partner wants to talk about it further. Let it die.

Apologies are healing and really can help create new perspective for both partners if done with sincere intentions from the right frame of heart and mind. When done in the wrong frame of heart and mind, an apology can come across more like: "I don't want you to be angry at me anymore, so I'm saying these words so that we can forget that I ever did anything wrong". This will get you nowhere and can actually make things worse. 
How does one apologize in a way that clears out the negative feelings? While I can't guarantee that your partner will always forgive you, I can tell you that an apology is only truly effective if you share the truth of how you feel, rather than choosing words to get your partner to "like" you again.
You must be in the right state of mind and heart before you apologize. Sometimes the apology is more of an accusation, defense or an excuse. The words "but", "if" "you're" when added accuse, defend and excuse. If you use any of those words when you apologize, it's very likely that it's not an apology but actually an accusation, defense or excuse. It's usually something like: "I'm sorry, but I was late because you didn't remind me yesterday to be here at that time", or "I'm sorry if you didn't like what I had to say", or "I'm sorry that you're so sensitive about that". Those are not apologies.
None of this will make your partner feel any better. It will likely add even more anger and this will cause negative feelings and distance. When you apologize as an accusation, defense or an excuse, you are shutting down and closing up and you are causing your partner to shut down and close up as well. This is the opposite direction of where you want to go. Remember the ultimate intention is always to increase good feelings, closeness and love. Instead of arguing your side, asking the other apologize, accuse, defend, or make up an excuse, open up to them. This is a kind of moving toward your partner to understand their point of view, take responsibility for your actions and any damage they caused and hopefully help him to feel good again as quickly as possible. 
You start the apology by really softening yourself. This is an attitude and a state of mind and heart that makes all the difference in the world. Allow your heart to go out to your partner. If you are sincere in this, then you don't have to get the words perfect. If you are not in the right state, the most perfectly crafted words won't make any difference. You must desire to hear them, to understand completely and then to help them heal, help them to feel good and be well in any way that you can. Ask them to sit so the two of you can talk or if they are too upset, stand with them. 
You know what it is to feel pain, and regardless of whether or not you feel he is justified in feeling whatever it is that he is feeling, it is what he is feeling and in truth needs no justification from anyone. You also know what it is to feel pain and have someone tell you in whatever words they used, that you have no right to feel the way that you do. You know how that feels as well, to be dismissed, and you don't want your partner to feel that way. For many people, being dismissed actually feels worse than the action you're apologizing for. Regardless of why he feels the way that he does, even if you think it is completely unnecessary, part of being the kind of partner that has a close and loving relationship is helping your partner to feel good.  
Allow the other person to say what they need to say while you just listen with your full attention to every word. Your first job is to do the opposite of dismiss. You want to acknowledge that the other person is hurting and that they are perfectly justified in feeling the way that they do. Even if for no other reason than feelings are never right or wrong, they simply are and people feel what they feel. If they are speaking, let them speak and be there to listen without interrupting. 
When they are completely done, you can still seek to understand even more. You don't have to parrot everything they say back to them, but you want to make sure that you truly heard what they had to say and any messages behind it. Tell them what you heard them say in your own words so that you can truly "get it". If they let you know that you don't "get it" keep asking questions and trying to figure out until you do. If you want intimacy and love, part of that is true understanding. You only can understand another if you seek understanding. 
For example if he says: "I wanted to hit you when you were an hour late. I told you a hundred times to please be here by five o'clock so you could help me get dinner ready for my parents"". Even if to you it was more like a half hour and you think he told you more like twice and now he's just being ridiculous, your intention right now is to see things from his side. You want to understand as fully as you can not only his view of things, but how he was and is feeling and why your actions caused it. 
You might start this seeking to understand by saying, "When I was late that really hurt you. You needed my help and I wasn't here". You don't want to sound like a robot, so use your own sincere words. This is a way of clarifying things, letting the other know the way that you are understanding them, they can have a chance to correct you, but also they will just know that they are being heard, not ignored or dismissed. Avoid saying "I know how you feel". The person will likely get offended by this, because in fact, you don't know how they feel. Saying that you know how they feel is trying to take the easy way out. 
An alternative to saying "When I did (blank) that must have (hurt, bothered, angered, confused etc) you" is saying "You must feel so (blank) and (blank)".
They will probably still be feeling aggravated, so don't be shocked if you get a short answer, or even a hurtful comment. All of this is coming out of the feeling of being hurt; let it go, don't indulge it. Your purpose is to be his teammate and find out what's going on for him so it can be healed. Stating what you think you understand about the situation will give you an even better opportunity to understand better. They can correct you or clarify if it isn't accurate. If you still don't feel like you "get it" if you still feel like you're not understanding where they're coming from, ask for more clarification until you figure it out. Get to the bottom of the truth of why they are hurting. Work with them to clarify it, because sometimes they won't even know at first. Say something like, "I want to know exactly what is bothering you. Is it just that I was late, or is there more?" 
You are their friend and their partner and people who are friends and partners help each other to feel good and to grow. You may have friends who always want you to feel good, and that's good and needed. However, discovery and uncovering truths to help one another to grow and evolve is part of growing and evolving into new levels of closeness and love that can only come from this kind of deep understanding. 
This deep delving transcends the ideas that our culture has about avoiding intimacy out of fear of being hurt. The fact is: you will be hurt in every important relationship that you have in life, that is a given. Open yourself up to the truth, dig until you reach it and then accept it without blame and you have reached a new level of closeness with your partner. You want to be able to talk with your partner in this way. You want him to be able to tell you the whole truth no matter what. This makes the truest friends and strongest allies. The only way that he can do that is if you allow him to by simply receiving it without defense, criticism or judgment. More accurately, seek to receive all of it by leaning in, closer and closer to his truth. Reward the truth by accepting it, being there to listen, thanking him for sharing with you and telling him that you're glad that you're able to talk honestly.
When he is telling you what hurt him and you are trying to get to the bottom of it, hurt feelings or even anger might get triggered in you. This is okay, this is to be expected, this is sharing. This is not the time to get defensive or to tell him that you're upset. Allow him to say whatever is on his mind, knowing that he's upset and has his reasons for being upset that could be coming from past relationships or old beliefs. Wherever they are coming from, in spite of any appearances to the contrary, whatever he says is not a personal attack against you. He may be upset, and he may even say some things that hurt you that you didn't know he was wounded by. Sometimes he'll discover things he didn't even know. Listen from his side, as if you were him. Get in his shoes, feel what he is feeling, want what he wants the best that you can. It is always the time to open up to him as his partner. Never is it a good time to close down and get defensive. Why do you think that hurt him so badly? What is the core of this issue? 
If you ask enough and listen enough, there will come a point where a little mini light bulb will go on in your head. You will truly understand where he is coming from. The truth about the reason why he was hurt will be obvious and when you say it out loud to him, he'll be able to validate this, but much more importantly, he'll feel such relief in being understood. You want to get to the point of really truly getting it. If you're pretending to get it to appease him, the apology is fake and a waste of time. In general, people can spot this insincerity from a mile away. The real kind of understanding that you were seeking and found will feel amazing for both of you. This is deeply connecting. 
Still using the same example of being late, let's say that after listening to him say that he's told you so many times and you still weren't there and that he told you why it was important, it suddenly dawns on you that he is upset because he feels that he wasn't being listened to. You have the "aha"moment. Say it out loud to him, "I think I just figured something out. Do you feel that I don't listen to you?" You will know it when you get to the truth of it, and so will he. That moment of validation connects the two of you.
What if you can't get to the bottom of it? What if you keep going in circles and you can't figure it out? I find that it's helpful to tell them that you want to understand where they're coming from, but you're having trouble. Ask for their help. Ask, "What do you think is the main reason why you are really upset right now?" or "Can you tell me when you started getting upset?" 
If you still haven't figured out that he doesn't feel listened to, when you ask him what he thinks is the main reason he's upset, he may not be able to tell you. Tell him that it's super important to you that you figure this out, you want to understand where he's coming from completely. Hopefully he'll say, "I just feel like everything that I say gets ignored" or "I just feel like giving up and not saying anything at all anymore". Feel it out until you get to a point where you feel like you've done all the digging you can do before you give up. 
It's likely that this digging will eventually come to a point of a statement of how the person either wants to feel or wants to avoid feeling. At this point you will know that you are pretty much done digging because when we are upset it is always because we are trying to get a feeling and failing or we have a feeling that we don't want. He'll say, "I just want to know that you're listening when I talk". 
At this point you can ask him if there's anything else that you need to know or anything else he's upset about. Why? It's very likely that you're both in a much better place emotionally and you are open to one another. This is a great time to find out if there's anything more that he's been avoiding telling you. He'll tell you more, or he'll say there is nothing more. If his answer is yes, listen without interrupting until he has said whatever he needs to say and once again seek to reach this deep understanding.
If you can remember that you are doing this to become closer, to become more intimate and a more truly loving partner, then you will be more successful. Instead of viewing the two of you as separate or as two people trying to get each other to listen, recognize that the two of you create a relationship and that relationship is what is important. You are taking responsibility for the well being of the relationship, who did what to who is a completely inconsequential detail. No score is kept in a happy relationship.  
Once you've reached the deep understanding, although it's likely that both of you are feeling much better, you must now acknowledge that your actions were what caused him to be upset. 
There is not a right or a wrong here, you aren't blaming yourself. You are taking responsibility and that is an entirely different animal. Blaming is making someone wrong and there is no judgment here. Taking responsibility is saying that you acknowledge that what you have done caused him to feel hurt and that you were the only one in control of your actions then,now and in the future.
Very basically you are saying that you messed up and acknowledging that it hurt him and caused issues between the two of you. The key is, you absolutely can't expect anything at all in return. To expect an apology in return or an "I love you" or anything at all, is not to apologize, but an attempt to trade to get something. You simply acknowledge that you did something that hurt him, that he is upset and it's valid and that you caused any issues that the action caused. That is all. Use the words "I'm sorry". 
If you are feeling sincerely upset in any way about the damage that your actions caused, let him know that too. Put yourself in his shoes, and I mean 100% in his position, seeing through his eyes as best as you can. "I know that what I did really hurt you. It bothers me that when I was late you felt like I wasn't listening to you. That would bother me so much if I thought that you weren't listening to me".
It's a rule that I have never to leave the scene of an apology without a sincere demonstration of love and appreciation. You'll know if your partner is open to this, you'll sense it. If he's not, tell him verbally that you love him, but don't ask for his forgiveness. He may need space, he may need to talk more. If you don't know, ask him. "What do you need from me right now? Do you want me to leave you alone for a while or do you need to talk more?" Use your own words obviously. If he is open to it, do something that you know will make him feel loved. Hug him, kiss him, hold his hand etc. Tell him that you're so glad that you were able to talk. In truth, you are glad. This way of talking and relating opens the two of you up to greater love and closeness.
If he won't accept your apology, it won't help to force it. The only thing that can heal that is time and love-giving. You've done the best that you can do and now the wound may just need some time and soothing balm to heal. Be as patient as you can, don't ask for forgiveness, simply focus on the good as much as you can.
Whether or not he forgives you, return your focus to love, happiness and closeness in the present moment as quickly as possible. As soon as the apology is done, find any good feelings between the two of you that you can and help them to grow. As long as what you've done wasn't devastating to him, find something to laugh about as soon as you can after you are done talking. Play is a great way to get into a great state again. The more that you dwell on the past, the greater the chances are that you'll create negative feelings or even cause yourself to repeat it. 


Day 2: 
Remember your ultimate intention. State it to yourself right now.
Do the forgiveness ritual.
Forgive your partner for anything that they've ever done that has hurt you or bothered you in any way, even the very small things. Forgive them by saying to yourself that you forgive them and imagine the situation as being healed. Then, for extra measure, just say to yourself "I forgive you completely". Ask that they forgive you as well. You'll know that you've truly forgiven them because you will have a feeling of well being and wanting them to feel good and be happy. If you feel inspired to do so, do the forgiveness ritual. I do this ritual every day and it helps me to truly let go of all infractions that could be damaging if I held on to them. Practice forgiveness regularly, daily if possible. Forgive every time you feel even the slightest annoyance and it will become a habit that will change all of your relationships and your life. 
If there is anything, even if it's small, that you need to apologize for, do it. Sincerely let your loved one know that you love them and it bothers you that you ever did anything that hurt them in any way. Tell them that you only want them to be happy.

Day 3: Expectations

 Love is voluntary. Giving love is done out of a free choice. Love is giving in ways that make the receiver feel good. Love is bringing well being to others. This is true only if these things are done freely, without obligation or expectation. This is what makes it wonderful, rare and so very valuable. Love, when given just for the pleasure of bringing the other person well being and good feelings, without wanting anything at all for yourself, is a gift of incredible beauty that benefits the giver in more ways than it does the receiver  This is the kind of love that mothers give to their newly born babies. It is the kind of love that energizes and causes our spirit to soar. Without it, none of us would survive. We would have died as infants. 
However, as the baby grows up, or the "madly in love" feeling fades, it then becomes easy to find fault with the other and our love is not given so freely anymore. Suddenly, there are rules that the other person must live by, standards they must meet to be worthy of our love giving. In short, we expect the other person to be a certain way. If they don't we become angry and punish them, we withhold love or we leave to find someone else who will "meet our needs" better. Never has a phrase so fully destroyed the spirit of love more than "meet my needs". "Fulfill my desires" comes close, but at least there is a recognition that there is desire, not need. This kind of love "giving" is actually "love taking" in clever disguise and is draining and causes our spirits to dull and become heavy.
Most normal, healthy people expect others to be certain ways, and there are many ways this is played out. The core of what happens though, is this: you have an expectation, an idea in your head of what someone whom you are in a relationship with should do if they love you. You have an idea in your head of what they should do if they want you to be in their life. Anytime that you say anything like: "If someone loves you, they should (fill in the blank)" or "If he loves me, then he will (fill in the blank)" or "That's just something someone does (doesn't do) when they love you". When they fail to live up to this expectation, as they inevitably will, you will experience disappointment, hurt feelings and resentment. Then, they deserve to be punished. Whether or not you will word it that way, when you've been hurt, often it feels like you're justified in retaliating or at the very least withholding love from them. That is punishment. Suddenly, it's like you have a right to expect them to behave in a certain way, as if you are given a position of authority over who they are and what they do because you're in a special relationship with a special label such as "girlfriend" or "wife". 
Of course, this isn't true. This person is completely in control over who they are and what they do and love requires only that you accept them as they are and give love to them. You may be reading this and thinking that you do that already. Many people say that they accept their partner just as they are and only give love to them. They claim that they never expect a single thing in return. You might be complaining to yourself that I'm wrong, that you're always the giver and that has gotten you no where. You might be resentful that you're giving so much and the other person doesn't even notice. Wanting recognition is wanting something for yourself. You are giving to be acknowledged or maybe thanked, this is not giving but taking. There is an expectation there, if there wasn't you wouldn't be upset at all when you didn't get it. You'll know that you were, or are expecting something because you'll feel disappointed or upset and you'll want something to happen or be different than it is. 
Expecting someone to behave in a certain way, or even just wanting someone to say thank you or recognize what you've done or given are all detrimental to your relationship. It's like saying that the other person being who they are, doing what they do is not a good enough reason to love them. You need a better reason: what do they do for you? Very, very rarely if ever, do I hear people ask themselves or their partner, am I giving you a good enough reason to love me? We all want to think that just being ourselves is enough of a reason, but if we feel that way, then why do we want more of a reason from our partner?
There are subtle and not so subtle ways that people act this out. The most common that I see, and the one that I use when I'm having moments that lack awareness, is withdrawal of love. The other person doesn't behave the way that you think that a person who loves you should and so, you don't answer their phone calls, you don't speak at dinner or you withhold sex. This is just another form of punishing, feels awful for both you and your partner and creates distance. Not where you want to be. The good news is: you are in control and all you need is a shift in perspective. That can happen instantly.
Any time you feel disappointed in a relationship you are expecting another to be someone other than they are or do something they didn't or won't do. Whenever you feel tempted to withhold anything good from your partner, you can be sure that they weren't following your expectations. It's almost like we have an unwritten rule book that says that as long as another is behaving the way that we want, saying and doing the things that we believe are in alignment with the role that we've designed for them to play, then we'll give them love. If they are behaving in ways that go against what we want or say or do things that don't fit in with the role that we've assigned to them, we feel that we are vindicated in withholding love from them or punishing them. It's not always so much that we feel that they deserve it as much as it is that we feel that we deserve better. Both are equally damaging.
The most successful relationships (the most warmly close and loving over the long term) are also the ones that have the least amount of rules, expectations and "shoulds". They are too busy enjoying their lives and each other's company to worry about how they think the other person should be. The more rules, the more "shoulds" and "if he loves me then" statements, the more pathways to failure you create. Ideally, you should have zero expectations for your partner. Having no expectations for your mate frees you up to enjoy him as he is and to give love to him freely. With each expectation a door to intimacy shuts. When we expect we put a damper on the relationship and we restrict the other's freedom and their feeling that they can be themselves around you.
I'm not saying that you should tolerate mistreatment. You'll know if you are being mistreated as opposed to just wanting someone to behave differently. Mistreatment feels awful in a different way, it feels like you are being treated sub-humanly. If you feel bad about who you are as a person when you're with someone, that is not something that you can just let go of. In that case, being able to say: "That felt awful when you said that. I know I'm not stupid" is helpful. You should always feel good about yourself, like you are valuable, intelligent and good. You'll know it in your gut if you're being mistreated and then you have some choices to make. There are more options then simply to leave, but you can't just let abuse of any kind go. It's not okay and the other person needs to know that you know it's not okay. That is a subject however, that I'm not qualified to give any advice on. The only advice I will give is to be proactive, don't wait until the situation changes on its own, it won't.
Assuming that your relationship is not abusive in any way, expectations, demands for change, ultimatums etc. are all destroyers of a happy, healthy, loving relationship. Most of this is subtle. Unmet expectations cause disappointment and resentment. If every expectation were met, this wouldn't be a problem, but that is impossible. Demands that the other change are very clear statements that the other person is not okay as they are and in order for them to be okay and lovable, they must conform to the way that you believe that they should be. An ultimatum is when you add to that: or else. Or else I won't cook for you, or else I'll lose interest, or else I'll leave, or else I'll anything is an ultimatum. If you want your relationship to disintegrate very quickly, expect, demand and give ultimatums.
Most people don't even know that they are doing this, they don't even recognize it at all and this is problematic. When you aren't aware something is going on, it's difficult to change it. Do you threaten that if he or she does not do this, you will take action against them? You'd probably say no, as most of us would. However, look at your actions closer. When you decide that if he doesn't take out the trash, you won't do the dishes, or that you'll go with him to his friends house because he asked you to, but you won't be friendly, or that he picked out the last movie and this movie so you're not going to watch it with him; these are the small ways.  The spirit with which someone demands or expects something very big, is the same spirit with which someone demands and expects on a very small scale as well. Continue to demand and expect small things and over time, your demands and expectations will grow. If these pressure tactics work at all, they will only bring a short lived or superficial change in your spouse. Your brain doesn't know this and thinks success has been achieved. However, is superficial change what you want? Or, do you want a real change based in love? 
Likely you want real change based in love. This change must begin with you, as any change does. It can begin right now by letting go of how you think that your mate and your relationship should be and accepting and loving him as he is right now. This is not easy, to let go of your idea of who you think your mate should be and what you think he should do, but it is worth it. The intimacy and warmth you'll feel will be on a whole new level. He won't feel that he has to hide anything from you, because he can share what he thinks and feels truthfully without fear of being judged or punished. You can share with him openly and honestly because you won't be fishing for certain reactions, you'll be just wanting to give and share.
It's so important to not have expectations and to not make demands on our lovers, that I can say with certainty that to rid the relationship of these is to rid it of the vast majority of problems, if not all problems. Your job in a relationship is not to pick on the ways that your mate doesn't measure up to what you feel he should be or to demand that he behave in ways that you think a good mate should. Your job as a parent isn't to expect your children to be a certain way or to demand that they change who they are to please you or anyone else. Your job in both these instances is to allow them to be as they are and do as they do and to celebrate them and enjoy their company in the present moment.
The million dollar question is: how do you let go of your shoulds? Albert Einstein said: “We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them”. In other words, we can't continue to think about what we are expecting and demanding. We have to get out of that thinking. The way to deal with your expectations and demands is not by trying to figure out why you have them, what you can do to not have them, or how to get them met in other ways, but to instead shift your focus entirely. You must shift your focus to the following: learning more about who your mate really is, seeking to understand them, their preferences and actions on a deeper level, learning from them and enjoying them more fully as they are. 
Key points to remember:
* True love is always given freely, without obligation or expecting anything in return.
* When you expect that the other be and do a certain way or expect to receive something in return when you give, you and the other person are drained and become more distant.
* You have no "needs" that need to be met by your mate. The purpose of a relationship is not for a person to meet your needs.
* Just because you have the special label of"girlfriend" or "wife" doesn't mean that you are entitled or that you are justified in getting upset or punishing when the other doesn't behave the way you want them to. The label means only that you are specially positioned to give more love to the other.
 * The spirit with which someone demands or expects something very big, is the same spirit with which someone demands and expects on a very small scale as well. Continue to demand and expect small things and over time, your demands and expectations will grow.
* Change always starts with you. Shift your thinking from how you want your mate to be, to appreciating and loving who he is right now.
* Getting rid of your expectations will eliminate the vast majority of the problems in the relationship. 

Day 3:
* Remember your ultimate intention from day one. State it to yourself right now.
* Do the forgiveness ritual written in day two.
* To learn who your mate really is, ask him questions and be there to really listen. Listen as if what he is telling you is more important than anything that you've ever heard. Gather information about him. There is always more to learn about someone, no matter how long you've been together.
* What are three things he prefers that you're not so crazy about? Maybe he likes to watch the baseball game while your show is on and you only have one TV. Give to him by allowing him to do or have what he prefers, not only with your approval, but with an extra gift from you. Bring popcorn or a snack you both like to bed and read a book while he watches the game. Make it a win win, but do it for pleasure and well being. The reason I say to give him or allow him to do something that you don't prefer, is because this is a challenge that will help you to grow in your giving without expectation. 
* Give new meaning to something that he did in the past that upset you. Look at a past action and make up a new story about it, one that involves him thinking about you and wanting something good for you, but not knowing how to make it happen. However you do it, give it a new meaning that feels good for you.
* Focus this day on just enjoying his company. Whenever you are with him, make it a point to listen when he speaks and find the stuff that you agree with that he says. If he touches you, feel the warmth of his hand, if he makes a mistake, let it go and move on to the next moment. Relationships are about enjoying each other as much as they are about loving and growing.  

Day four: Needs and Desires


There is a time in a relationship when you may ask “Is this person meeting my needs?” The very nature of this question sets a relationship up for failure. It suggests that you actually have "needs". You are whole and complete, you don't need anyone to give anything to you that you don't have, you don't need anyone to complete you and you definitely don’t have "needs" for others to meet. 
This is not to say that you don't have desires. You're human and this is natural even if you are fully whole and completely complete. Feeling like you have a "need" that someone must fulfill is very different from having a desire. When you feel like you need something from someone else and that someone doesn't fill it, you become upset. You feel as if they are effecting you negatively or depriving you. You feel like a victim. However, when you desire something that just means that you have an awareness of your preferences. Whether or not they are met by someone else doesn't effect your well being or your love for that person if what you have for that person is truly love. You wouldn't withhold love or punish them, because you are already happy and whole in your own self and in your own life. No one needs to give anything to you to complete you, and nothing they could ever say or do could make you feel less valuable, or more valuable for that matter. You know that your worth and your value are intrinsic. Giving comes naturally to you because you are so full of love and joy that you overflow with it. This always starts within.
You can't claim to be a whole person and have needs that can only be filled by others. The two are distinctly opposite. If you feel you have needs that can only be filled by others, you are not complete and you can't have a complete relationship unless you are complete yourself. Wholeness should be your focus before attempting to love another. I am not suggesting that you end your relationship, just that your primary focus be on your own wholeness. 
It’s wonderful to feel good when another does something that you enjoy. It‘s great to give positive reinforcement if someone does something that helps you feel loved. However, if you want a close and loving relationship, know that you won't get there if you expect and demand that another meets your needs in order for you to be happy. 
You don’t want to deny that there are things that others do that make you feel good; but you do want to set yourself up for effortless success. If there is something that you really want, there are ways of making requests that will actually increase love and closeness. Can you ask in a way that will actually make your partner feel loving and loved? The answer to that, unless you are asking for something completely crazy, is yes.  
First consider: why do you have these preferences? Are they really what you need to happen in order to feel loved and give love? Or are preferences things that have been learned and can be changed? I believe that preferences were built over time, and you can let them go and build new, much easier to meet preferences. Consider a newborn baby. This baby has no preferences at birth. The ways that you prefer others to love you are just stories that you tell yourself that you can re-write in a way that sets you up for successful relationships. 
You didn't have preferences when you were born, you learned to have preferences. To attempt to unlearn all your preferences for love giving and receiving would be near impossible as you have so and many that you are unaware of. An easier way is to create new love preferences. You are always empowered to create your reality the way that you want it. What is a “love preference” you could up so that you always feel loved? Create your own if you please, or borrow mine. Mine is: "In order for me to feel loved, I must think loving thoughts and feel love toward the other."
What is the condition you feel has to be met in order for you to feel loved? The one that I stated earlier is great for a few reasons. It puts me in complete control because it's up to me to create it. Nothing needs to happen outside of me and no one needs to do anything in order for me to think loving thoughts and feel love. This is something that is only within me. It's also great because thinking and feeling love will always lead to loving words and actions. All bases are covered, I'm completely empowered and set up for success. What could your condition be that will empower you and set you up for success?
Now, let's shift our focus to him and his desires. Call me hypocritical if you like, but while I do believe that you don't have needs, I will tell you in the same breath that I do believe that meeting your mate's "needs" is absolutely vital. How much easier and closer would your relationship be if you were able to do the things that would make him feel wonderful everyday? How much more joy would you find in being with him if you were able to give love the way he likes it?
This is possible for you, but you must first find out what his individual preferences are. You do this by paying close attention to what makes him feel happy. If you are aware and sensitive enough you will know. You will know by the way it feels, it will either feel right and good or “off” and bad. To get you started, feeling good is his preference. How can you make him feel good?
Do you know the conditions that make him feel close to you, loved by you and connected in your relationship? As you get to know him, you will learn these things, and you can start now by being open and observant. Listen closely to not only what he tells you directly will make him feel good, but to the way he talks to and about others. This will give you clues as to what he likes and believes a loving relationship is. 
You could simply ask him what he wants, or if this makes you feel uncomfortable, become a detective. Notice what he asks for, when he seems to be happiest and what he has complained about in the past. His past complaints may have annoyed you at the time, but actually these are gifts. They are requests right from the horses mouth. Maybe they weren't put in the nicest language, but that is irrelevant. What matters is the information that you can use to give love to him in a way that feels good for him and increases love and closeness. 
Pay attention in your interactions when it feels like the two of you are especially close, make a note of what you did at that time, and then repeat it. Experiment this way and make adjustments as needed. This will very quickly bring you closer. As the self-improvement guru Anthony Robbins says, "Success leaves clues". Notice what you're doing when things are working.
If you have his best interest at heart and you are aware and sensitive enough this becomes easy and natural. To become sensitive you must learn to observe closely without letting your own emotions or preferences get in the way. Be open to everything. Maybe your partner’s family shows their love for one another with food and because you're observant you notice that this is the way that he shows love for others as well. His family eats together a lot and they talk about food often. You pick up that this is a way that he gives and receives love. Now you know that when a lot of effort and time is put into a meal, or you cook his favorite meal, he'll feel loved and special. You can show your partner that you love him by cooking for him and you know it will make him feel good. 
Make it very easy for him to tell you what he desires by being easy to tell his desires to. Do this by listening fully, and by being thankful for his advice on how to make adjustments that will make him feel good and bring the two of you closer. Unless what he likes is very uncomfortable or harmful, do your best to joyfully give love to him in the way that makes him feel good. If he expresses dissatisfaction with something you are or aren't doing,consider this is a wonderful gift. You are receiving valuable and useful information directly from the most accurate source (him) about how to be a better partner for him. If he comes to you with a direct request, even if it's delivered in a less than happy tone, you could tell him that you didn't know that he liked that and that you’re glad you’re aware of it now. Then put this information to use as often as you can, in every interaction if possible, otherwise it’s useless.
Encourage and reward your love into sharing with you. Practice patience and be happy in your own life. Remember that you don't need him to give to you, instead give to yourself so much that you want to give to him just to give to him, not to get anything in return. Then you will create an amazing dynamic and exchange in your relationship.
While you don't have a need for anyone to give anything to you, you absolutely have a need to be well and to be safe. If you are being mistreated or abused and don’t feel safe, get out as soon as you can. Stop making excuses for or ignoring behavior that is harmful to you or the people you care about and cut ties, period. You can find reasons to stay for the rest of your life, but if you are being denied your safety and well being, this is the only reason you need to leave. This is the basic love for self and is the only thing I'll say on this subject.
The fewer your expectations and preferences, the easier it is for him to meet them. What if you had only one expectation and only one preference? Your expectation could be that you desire for him to be well and in giving what you know brings him well being you are giving love. Love in it's true form is not selfish and the other's good feelings and well being is what love desires. So, if you desire to have a truly loving relationship, then “when I think and feel loving thoughts and feelings, I am loved” could be your new rule. You can choose to create some new beliefs that support this new rule and it with consistence and persistence, it would become your new “one and only rule to feel loved”. 
Think of the alternative. The alternative is for you to demand that your needs be met, or for you to manipulate or convince him to be and do what you want him to be and do. If he doesn't comply, you could always withhold love, punish or criticize him. This might actually work in the short term. You may have a victory that feels good for a few minutes or a day or two. However, eventually the demanding, manipulating, convincing, withholding, punishing, criticizing behavior will not only not work, but it will lead to resentment and a partner who doesn't want to be near you because every time they are they feel pain.
Everything in your life that you like or dislike was added to your list of like or dislike because you have attached meaning to it based on past experience. If this were not true, everyone on earth would have the same preferences. You always have the power to give new meaning to things and create new expectations, rules and preferences. Once again this starts at the level of your own thoughts. You choose your thoughts and therefore your view of reality. You can absolutely make life easy, you can make it impossible to fail by choosing thoughts that create expectations, rules and preferences that put you in control of whether or not they are met and whether or not they take you in the direction of your desires. My "rule" is set up so that I alone can meet it, and I place power to do so within myself, where it belongs. "In order for me to feel loved, I must think loving thoughts and feel love toward the other.". This is so easy for me to remember and simply by focusing my thoughts and feelings only on love, and I have my expectation and feel loved. This is so effective in creating a close and loving relationship  because thinking creates feeling and we speak and act naturally based on what we feel. When love is my thought and feeling, love is naturally my words and actions.
When I first came up with this "preference" or "rule",  I had to repeat that intention several times a day to keep my focus brand new razor sharp, but I decided to simplify it to make it even easier. Every time that I look at my mate, think of my mate, touch him, talk about him, make dinner with him, talk with him or pick up something for him at the store, I simply feel love for him. The feeling of love is inner, and requires no outside stimulus. If I asked you to right now and you put in any effort at all, you could absolutely feel love, no matter what is going on around you. This is a kind of preference “in a pinch” now and it has created miracles in my relationship. Now, the only thing that I need in order to feel loved is to feel love. It doesn't really matter what he is doing. He's going to do what he is going to do and the feeling of love is what matters in a relationship anyway, so why wait for something to happen in order to feel it? I just skip all those unimportant details and just feel love for him. After several months of intentionally, consciously putting this into practice something wonderful began to happen. Every time I thought about him, touched him, heard his voice, talked about him, washed his socks or heard someone say his name I instantly felt a warm feeling of love wash over me. This happens all the time now and these feelings inspire me to speak and behave in loving ways that inspire him to do the same in turn.   
Some people may welcome this kind of thinking and way of being with an open heart and mind and others may feel fearful or even repulsed. The former recognizes the value in this way of thinking and being and knows that it can bring partners close and create loving feelings. They sense the truth that your thoughts are powerfully creative and giving is the same as receiving. The latter has been hurt and is very afraid of being hurt again. To them I say that there is no way to guarantee, ever, that you won't be hurt again. Fearful, painful, angry or hateful thoughts won't protect you, and the words and actions that they cause you to speak and act will only push love away. 
At first this rule and preference felt unnatural for me and will likely feel forced to you as well. While it may be an effort to remember everyday, I urge you to remain committed. You won't have to consciously do it for very long if you put it into practice daily. When you focus your attention only on the desired end result of thinking and feeling love, the difficulties simply pass. They become catalysts that spark you to become an even better partner and grow as a person. Then they aren't even difficulties or challenges, but opportunities. The key is to stay focused and committed to what it is that you are wanting and if for some reason you falter, as soon as you are aware simply return to focus.
There are times that you may want to make a request that you feel will help you and your partner to become closer. Let's say that for the sake of adding variety and excitement to your relationship there is something new that you want to try, to see if the two of you like the way it feels. It could be anything from a new sex position to a new spot to vacation. There is a way to ask for help with this from your partner that will increase the chances of it being well received. Harsh requests and demands will only create a lot of resistance. You can build a positive context by giving him the complete freedom of choice with your blessing and inviting him into joy with you. You could say “There is something that I learned about myself that makes me feel amazing, but I think it would be better if you’re involved”. Then tell him you’d love it if he would go shopping with you just because you love his company. If he says yes, make it a fun date (otherwise, why should he go again?). If he says no accept it. Learning to accept an unwanted no is one of the most difficult things to learn for most people. However, it's something we all must learn in life and I promise you that his no isn't the end of the world unless you make it the end of the world. Simply say okay and then go shopping anyway and have a great time. You don't need him or anyone else to have a great day or a great life and if you make a request and he says no, that only has the power to negatively effect you if you decide to allow it to. 
Other ways to make requests in a way that feels good for both of you is to use humor. Joke around with him like you would with your brother, “You can tell me all the things I look stunning in, it’ll be fun”. Or joke around with him in a way that you would never joke around with your brother. Use your imagination but remember to have fun and enjoy him in the present. Create a moment, flirt with him; be playful, sexy and caring when you make a request.
Make sure that your requests are only a kind of gentle suggestion and if he says no, remain playful, sexy and caring, “Alright. If I'm not back in five hours you'll know I spent all our money.” Then smile, kiss him, get in the car, call a girlfriend, go to the mall with her and have a blast. Give yourself permission to have fun no matter how he answers a request.
Another way to ask that gives him even more freedom and will make him feel great even if he doesn't notice that it’s a request is to tell him about things you've done together in the past that you enjoyed. “Remember that time that you gave me a back message with that rose oil? I found the oil today and it reminded me of that. That felt so incredible, I loved it.” Smile at him and be easy about it. Your attitude should not be one of expectation or requesting anything. It is best to have an attitude of offering him information about what he could do to please you if he would like to. You are offering him the gift of this information because you know that it’s likely to make him feel like he is winning, like he is successful in making you happy and it is up to him how to use this information. If he doesn't get that it's a request, let it go, but put the bottle of oil somewhere he can easily see it as a reminder. 
You make these requests not so he will meet your needs, but so the two of you can experience loving feelings and be closer. Obviously if you get upset when he doesn't comply this won't create loving feelings or closeness. Drop it and return to enjoying him in the moment and creating love right now, whatever you are doing. 
When he does use the information, or says yes and fulfills a request, reward him by letting him know that you are pleased and that you appreciate him. Even if it was the very smallest attempt and say thank you with words and actions. You could make it feel even better for him by authentically sharing your appreciation with someone else in front of him. If his mother comes over and notices the flowers on the table, tell her in front of him, “Your son gave those to me, aren't they beautiful? He’s so sweet.” 


Day four:
* Remember your ultimate intention from day one. State it to yourself right now.
* Do the forgiveness ritual written in day two.
* Needs and desires in relationships are really just ways of saying, "I like it when you (fill in the blank), it makes me feel really good. I would love it if you would do more of it." Make it easy by setting it up so that it's very easy for you to feel loved and very easy for you to succeed in creating a close and loving relationship. Make a new rule for yourself that goes something like: "When I think loving thoughts and feel loving feelings, I am loved" or "When I give love I am loved". Whatever you choose, write it under your ultimate intention and state it to yourself several times a day.
* Express genuine appreciation when you are pleased or for something that pleased you in the past. Say thank you, but also be thank you by living in appreciation for your mate.
* Using either what you know he likes, what he has requested or complained about, choose something that you know will make him feel happy and loved and do it today. Bonus points if you do more than one thing.

* Remember your ultimate intention from day one. State it to yourself right now along with the new rule you wrote under it from day four.
* Do the forgiveness ritual written in day two.


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