February 28, 2016

DAY 160: Relationship Patterns: Wanting to leave everything behind and shut the door... Really?

During a conversation with friends, when asked how I deal with the emotional build up in my relationship with my partner I thought of a pattern that I haven't visited for quite some time: the pattern of accumulating dissatisfaction until I reach a point of wanting to leave everything and just go... Actually, my partner and I have been pretty good at applying ourselves in our agreement of mutual understanding and never staying in a reaction for more than a few minutes - often ending with both of us moving through the resistance, stop the argument with a hug, honest apologies and take-aways for the future. However, in that moment sat at the table and honestly sharing about our experiences, I saw in the back of my mind this impulse based on an image that pops-up in my mind of leaving the house as a manifestation of not standing my partner anymore.

Despite knowing that this is a pattern of the mind and not actually the solution to whatever challenges we may face, I could sense an emotional tone in my voice as if trying to still justify this thought and believe it to be valid. In self-honesty, I see that this reaction of leaving is no different from any other reactions that I don't participate in (throwing stuff, swearing, screaming), the main difference being that my version of reaction only happens inside the walls of my mind. I never actually applied the dramatic movie-like separation of shutting the door behind me but this is what my mind is heading in moments where I see the same old-behaviours in my partner that trigger dissatisfaction within me.

When I was walking home, I looked deeper into this point and saw an opportunity to open it up for me and investigate it, once and for all:
  • What is behind the desire of wanting to escape in the midst of an argument?
  • What do I believe to experience by leaving my partner behind?
  • Is it from my partner that I want to runaway from, or from myself? What does this mind-pattern say about ME?

I can identify in my childhood the voices of couples having arguments and also seeing people threatening leaving the house if things were not to change. This is commonly showed in movies and soap operas too. It is interesting to see that it usually comes after an argument or a disagreement, as if there isn't enough room for two people to coexist or as if there is an invisible wall that hinders a calm communication and understanding.

By bringing this point to myself, I wonder what is that I don't want to face inside myself and believe that it is easier to leave - as a point of powerlessness and giving up on myself. Even though there would be a sense of letting it go, I am actually doing the opposite because whatever is causing the emotional reaction is getting suppressed and accumulated within me until it comes out and starts building up again. Why am I not allowing myself to speak in the moment where I see something needs to be discussed, or ideas to exchange to find solutions, instead of believing that such changes will only happen if starting from 0 somewhere else or with someone else?
So for this I have to let go for a moment of the idea of powerlessness when it comes to changing our relationship for the better and assist another to see what I am seeing, for example a correction in relation to house chores, washing the dishes or any other routines that are often at the heart of the argument. I must also be willing and vulnerable to hear what my partner says, as it can be a great support and reference for my own process of self-change.

I notice that the emotional build-up tends to explode in moments where I feel particularly vulnerable (e.g tired in the evening) or physically weak (sickness or pain). It happens that in these moments my outburst is a call for help more than anything else - I need support and cooperation, and also a sense of equality in the contribution to the house chores, especially if I am not feeling well to keep up my own tasks. From my experience, our bodies are also indicating us a point that has been neglected either through mental exhaustion or accumulation of non-resolved emotions and judgments. So the dissatisfaction towards my partner ends up being a mirror of how I feel in relation to my own self and therefore a great opportunity to look inside, if I am aware of this inside-out process.

Another dimension that I see in this pattern, is the idea that I would not experience this with someone else different. It is interesting to see how my mind projects the dissatisfaction towards another in the polarity of imagining the opposite (positive experience) with someone else. Nevertheless, the common element in the alternative reality is ME and therefore, the likelihood of going through the same pattern with another person or ending up with someone with a similar personality is strong enough.

In essence, whatever I am facing in my current relationship will keep on happening until I transcend my own mind of thoughts, beliefs, reactions, perceptions and judgments. Once I apply myself in my own self-honesty by investigating the source of my own emotional reactions, letting them go through forgiving myself, then I am able to stand by myself and change my communication with my partner, the outcome of disagreements, and ultimately our shared reality.

On my next post I will share my writing of self-forgiveness. Stay tuned :)

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  1. Joanna, I have read many of your posts. I cannot thank you enough for allowing everyone to witness your journey. I have recently been faced with a major relationship struggle and accounting of my own unhappiness and part in the downfall. I am beginning to understand what I need to do to live a better life. You have helped me. Jeff

    1. Hi Jeff. Thank you for your feedback - I am glad to hear that my process assists you walking yours! Let me know if there is any specific topic or issue that you would like additional perspectives on. Have you considered starting the DIP Lite? Here's the link: http://lite.desteniiprocess.com/ All the best!

    2. Joana, thanks for your reply. I have considered looking into DIP. I will follow the link and investigate further. I am so very new into my pain that I do not know really where to start. I am filled with sadness and resentment. Every hour has a new challenge and i am currently in constant struggle with myself and my direction. My three beatiful children need me to be the best version of myself possible. I need it as well. I am looking for courage to not be the victim, to approach life head on and realize my full potential. I am looking for the strength to know my boundaries. -Jeff

  2. These moments can be quite overwhelming... And you are aware of this, which is quite a start! Try to see this as an opportunity to know yourself, to decide who you want to be from this moment on. The simplest steps are often the more disregarded such as slowing down the thoughts and breathe. Really give yourself that moment where you can bring yourself back from the mind of thoughts, emotions and feelings. That stability within you, your groundless, your self-trust. Let me know if you want to chat on Skype - send me an email to joanadesteni@gmail.com and we can have a one to one chat. Big hug (hug yourself)


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