Monday, 5 September 2011

'We' Can Heal Our Life

We have decided to write a blog. Together. A blog about being in a relationship, about life as a couple. Who is this 'we' that 'we' speak of? It's Nige and Ell, of course!

We are setting our intention here this evening (Nige just farted - how very timely), and we hope that you will join us as we expose the good, the bad and the innocent of being in relationship.

Right now, 'we' are deciding how 'we' want to express our own, individual voices on this blog. Notice the word 'we'. What we've noticed in the last couple of weeks, is that the word 'we' has become one of the most frequently used words we use in our vocabulary. We don't think we've used the word 'I' more than once or twice. We have decided to add variety and spice to the relationship - we may start using the word 'us' occasionally.

'We' is such an interesting concept: One Individual + One Individual = WE

Two separate bodies, with two separate personalities, decide to live together and two become one. Suddenly, they no longer have separate interests - they eat the same thing, they retire for bed at the same time every night, and they always order the same thing in a coffee shop, because one is always unsure of what to choose so it's easier to just order what the other person is having even if you don't like it. It's a bit like having sex - lie back and think of England, as they say.

We don't think we're doing too badly with all this 'we' stuff. After all, it is a word that spans many languages, age groups, cultures and even technological breakthroughs... read on if you don't believe 'us':

The French use the word we (pronounced oui).

The Scottish also use the word we (pronounced wee).

Little boys often wee in their pants.

Young children are taught about the power of we when on a playground slide .. wheeeeeeee!

Even the Nintendo has jumped on the bandwagon, trying to be the first brand with codependant tendencies selling many variations of Wii.

Neil Diamond even wrote a song about the subject called 'We' (and if anyone in the pop world understands the nature of a loving relationship then it's Neil).

We found this great quote about the song on YouTube...

"The lyric of this song is so wonderful, it expresses exactly my deepest wishes of a ideal relationship. Thank you Neil for helping me to realize what i really want of 'my future-life'"
Even Buddha spoke of 'we':

'We are what we think. With our thoughts, we make our world.'
(c. 563-483 BC)

He was probably fused with the all-encompassing Oneness, rather than trapped in a codpendent relationship, but nevertheless he too spoke of 'we'. Buddha is definitely the way forward. (That is why we have a Buddha statue in our bedroom.)

It might seem like we're making light of this issue. Making light of it allows us to shine some light on the situation, enabling it - and us - to breathe, paving the way for a happy relationship.

Having noticed that there's a lot of we-ing going on, we've both decided to make a conscious choice to use the word 'I' and to make individual decisions. It's about respecting each other's differences. The one thing we always have available to us is freedom of choice. Every human being who walks this earth has their own frame of reference and preferences, and exercising this needn't be threatening to their partner or relationship. However, if you start to choose something different from the status quo, the ego may kick off, so don't be surprised if the very foundations of your relationship appear to shake and become unsteady beneath your feet! This is only temporary, as you start to learn a new way of thinking and being in your relationship.

Once you've begun to make loving choices for yourself, it becomes easier to enjoy connecting with your partner.

We're not experts, but we are happy together, and it is the seemingly insignificant daily choices that we've made and continue to make which determine who we are in the middle of our relationship: connecting in the morning, giving and receiving acknowledgements, really listening to what the other has to share (and that means being curious and open!), sharing meals, riding our bikes together, saying thank you and giving loving touch - these are some of the ingredients that combine to create a soft place to land. These choices are things we do together in the relationship but they also help us as individuals to be in relationship with ourselves.

There is an invisible line between us, and it is there for a reason. It's like walking alongside each other; our paths are parallel, but not enmeshed. As a woman, Elloa particularly likes the image of her 'life river' running alongside her partner's 'life path' - it reminds her to allow the relationship to flow and unfold in its own unique way. In Nige's words, don't cross the line.

The truth is that for a relationship to become conscious and fully alive, it takes practice and the willingness to choose again... and again... and again. Being in a relationship is a learning process and we're finding that it's best to remember to laugh at the absurdity of it all as we navigate the twists and turns.

Perhaps Neil was wrong.

Perhaps One Individual + One Individual = LOVE

Thursday, 1 September 2011

The Forgiveness Project

Ell and I have been pondering... What would happen if you spent 30 days focussing on forgiving everyone who angers or upsets you in any way - and we mean everyone? Whether it's mild irritation, medium road rage or a fully blown fit of hysteria, forgiveness, we've found, is always the antidote that can help us move from fear to love.

What is forgiveness, anyway? Well for starters, it's a letting go of control and a need to be right (ouch!), genuinely putting myself into another person's shoes and truly recognizing that everything that another person seemingly does to me is either an extension of love, or a cry for it (yes, that does include the ignorant van driver who drives within a hair's breadth of me on my bike - yes, even that is a cry for love). Through practicing radical forgiveness, the heart bursts open to a new way of thinking and living, in which innocence becomes the order of the day.

So, for the next 30 days, this is exactly what Ell and I are going to do. Inspired by the amazing 41 day projects Julia has done this year, and reflecting on my 104 day experiment in conscious dying, today seems like the perfect time to begin a forgiveness project.

Love waits on welcome. To the degree that we are judging our fellow human beings is to the degree that we are refusing to let love into our lives. Not content with just coasting along, doing the work of forgiving when it's so intense that we can't carry on our day without doing it, we are, for the next 30 days, committing to forgive all of it.

If we truly take this to heart - and we mean, truly take it to heart, really, really forgiving everyone - and apply it in our everyday lives, then we will be doing our bit for world peace. We're talking about everything here, from the idiot on the road to world leaders, to the friends we secretly judge, to our families, our annoying neighbours, and especially, each other. We will leave no stone unturned. After all, what's the worst that could happen here? We might actually end up liking the arsehole. Woah!

On a serious note, this is about accountability. It's a revolution in how we speak, how we think, how we act, and it starts in the mind. It's about refusing to point the finger, and, when we do, forgiving ourselves anyway and letting it all go.

We would love for you to join us on this epic adventure. Get involved by leaving comments, blogging about it yourself and sending us a link, or going within and doing the work quietly - whatever suits you.

Let the forgiveness revolution begin...

... hand in hand.