Conscious connections 7 tips for keeping the you in your union


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Conscious connections 7 tips for keeping the you in your union

  1. 1. www.DecodingHim.comConscious Connections: 7 Tips for Keeping the “You” inYour UnionWomen are notorious for losing themselves in relationships. Being natural nurturersand caregivers, the female gender often lets go of their own needs and desires for thesake of others, whether friends, family, or even foe at times. This is especially true inromantic relationships, as they aim to please their partner. And although this may seemlike an altruistic trait, it is one that often leaves a woman exhausted, resentful, and lost,and unfortunately often also marks the end of her relationship.Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, knew all too well the risks of giving oneselfaway as he said “The greatest hazard of all, losing one’s self, can occur very quietly inthe world, as if it were nothing at all.” He knew that this loss of self was a slow andunconscious process—one that poses a deadly risk to our very soul.The word “mindfulness” has become a common part of the English language, referringto a moment to moment awareness of the responses, behaviors, and actions ofourselves and others. Countless articles, books, and blogs discuss the importance ofremaining mindful as we choose a mate. However, in my psychotherapy practice, Iprefer the word “consciousness” over mindfulness, since it implies both a deeper levelof awareness and also an active commitment to preserving self throughout everymilestone in life, perhaps most importantly in the process of building a healthy, lifelongrelationship.There are many reasons why a woman may lose herself in the midst of herrelationship– she may try to please her partner without regard to her own needs, shemay model herself after her mother who also gave herself away, she may adopt atraditional submissive female role, she may lack self-esteem and assertiveness, shemight over-compensates for her partner’s lack of responsibility or emotional availability,she might be too busy to acknowledge her own needs, or perhaps she simply doesn’tknow what her needs and desires truly are. Regardless of the reason, losing oneself isdangerous not only to a relationship, but also to a woman, herself.So how do you protect your most vital ally, your “self”, while in a relationship?Following are seven tips to help you keep you grounded while creating consciousconnections and maintaining the “you” in your union:1. Know who you are.I have lost count of the number of times a female client has told me that she has no ideawho she is, no matter how old she may be at the time. Although changing somewhat,society still seems to encourage women to take the backseat in both their families and
  2. 2. www.DecodingHim.comcareers, and instead work to define and support the identity of their partner instead. I’vealso lost count of the number of times a client has discovered that her “dis-ease” withlife is related to the fact that she has given away her own hopes and dreams for thesake of others, and lost her sense of who she is and what is important to her as anindividual.Continually working to understand who and what you are physically, psychologically,socially, interpersonally, environmentally, intellectual/occupationally, financially,spiritually, sexually, and recreationally, will help you create a solid foundation in which tosecure your own identity as part of your partnership.2. “To Thine Own Self Be True.”It is one thing to know who you are and what you represent, and another to maintainyour identity, interests, and needs in the midst of your relationship. “Being true” toyourself through your words and actions demonstrates your commitment to yourself andassures you of maintaining a conscious, equal partnership.3. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.Historically, women have always had a difficult time voicing their needs, often because ifthey did so they were shunned, shamed, or shushed in one way or another. Eventoday, women are taught that to express their needs is selfish and that they should besatisfied with whatever they get out of life, rather than speaking up to guarantee thattheir needs are met.Modern conscious connections demand that women speak their truth. It is impossiblefor a relationship to be healthy unless a woman is able to fully express herself andreceive what she needs.4. Know your boundaries. Set your boundaries. Maintain your boundaries.Women’s boundaries have also historically been greatly violated, assuming that all oftheir boundaries were permeable as long as they fit the needs of others. Today, it isimperative to not only know and honor your boundaries, but also know and honor thoseof others as well. Such boundaries may include both physical and emotionalparameters, and are necessary in differentiating yourself from the identity of another.5. Demonstrate your personal integrity.Although “integrity” is a term used to depict the nature of a man, it isn’t a word that isoften used to describe a woman. Women are more likely to be measured according totheir level of self-esteem—living life from the “outside in”, always comparing oneself to
  3. 3. www.DecodingHim.comanother. How a woman looks and acts is often a reflection on how she thinks the worldwants to see her, rather than on what principles she holds for herself.Living with integrity shows the world that you are aware of and hold strong moralstandards, that you display an undamaged “wholeness” of character, and that youportray complete harmony in what you think, say, and do. By living in this way—makingdecisions, speaking, and acting from your truth, you demonstrate—or live–through yourintegrity. In doing so, you live from the “inside out”—bypassing the need to meetsocietal expectations and instead living in an authentic way that more closely fits whoyou truly are. This is difficult in our culture, but it is also a much more desirable trait.6. See yourself as an equal.Never have women as a whole felt equal to the rest of the population. In fact, it was justover 50 years ago that women were allowed to vote. However, healthy, modernrelationships require both parties to perceive equality in their union.First and foremost, it is necessary to see yourself as an equal to your partner. Withoutthis belief you will not only lose yourself by deferring to your partner, but also in notexpecting and even demanding the respect that you deserve.7. Respect yourself first and foremost!Probably the most important factor in preserving self is to develop and maintain a senseof self-respect. If you don’t respect yourself, none of the above tips will be possible andyou will likely lose yourself far before you ever realize it.To have self-respect means that you honor yourself in all ways (as demonstrated in thetips above), and actively work to prevent violation of self at all cost. This implies thatyou know what it would mean to give yourself away and that you are willing to invest inpreserving your self no matter what.As recently as a generation ago, women didn’t feel empowered enough to follow the tipslisted above. But times have changed and women want more out of their lives and wantmore from their relationships than they thought possible—or worthy of– in thepast. Modern relationships require a much more conscious approach to choosing amate—one that includes a more mutually agreeable set of circumstances. And forwomen, this means knowing and living in a way that maintains their “self” throughouttheir lives.
  4. 4. www.DecodingHim.comAbout the authorAuthor of “Soul Health: Aligning with Spirit for Radiant Living”, Dr. Katherine T. Kelly,Ph.D., M.S.P.H., is a clinical psychologist, author and speaker. For more information orto contact Dr. Kelly, go to more free tips and insights on what really attracts a man, how tomake yourself irresistible to him and how to capture his heart, click thelink