In my e-book, Reclaim Your Life and Strengthen Your Marriage, I talk about how to be in an intimate relationship that thrives while having a strong sense of self.
This is my second practice in my series of posts focusing on helping you reclaim your life. In this post we will discuss how to stop ignoring yourself and your own life and to stop being solely focused on the life and interests of your partner.
While many define this hyper-focus on one’s partner as love, it really can be quite destructive in an intimate relationship. If you find yourself doing this, take heart. You can begin today to love and nurture yourself.
This year, I have come across a word that I absolutely love and that is apropos to reclaiming your life: Rewilding.
Rewilding is the process of reclaiming your true nature. It is the process of connecting to your authentic self, fueling your passion for living, and feeling fully alive and engaged with your own life.
In today’s world, it is a process that most certainly eludes us. We are inundated with things that take us away from connecting to our true nature.
Technology, social media, and the pressures to keep up with our responsibilities, pay bills, take care of children, and have marriages that last a lifetime, can consume our energy and leave us feeling depleted. All of this can lead to a disconnection from our true nature.
In addition to our current circumstances pulling us away from our true nature, most of us have old messages stored in our brain from our family of origin. If we grew up in families that required us to not be “too much” of our truest selves, and to mold to parents’ or families’ expectations then we can feel a discomfort even now if we pursue our most passionate selves.
The beauty of this is, however, that now we have a chance to heal from all of that. Our marriage or intimate relationship can be the context in which we create a new way of being in the world. A way of being that gives us the freedom to be our wild, untamed, and natural truest self.
Rewilding is the process of reconnecting to that which is most essential to our sense of being alive.
Rewilding allows us to find our voice, be our authentic self and tap into a freedom that only comes when we are doing so.
Rewilding protects us from abandoning ourselves and prevents us from focusing solely on our partner’s life or feelings or experiences.
Rewilding is expressing our unique self with courage, joy, and radiant beauty that comes from deep within our heart and soul.
Rewilding is psychic nourishment. Meaning that it is the process that feeds our souls and allows us to live in the world most authentically.
Our true nature and our soul needs nourishment just like our body does; without it, we wither.
When we begin to neglect ourselves and allow other things or people or responsibilities to steal parts of us, or squash us, or criticize us, we embark on a psychic starvation process.
We deny ourselves the very nutrients that feed our soul’s voice and our heart’s desires when we stop:
being our erotic self
pursuing our dreams
To read more about this process of rewilding, I highly encourage you to read Clarrissa Pinkola Estes’ work, Women Who Run With the Wolves.
Loving our partner is a wonderful thing; a source of joy and fulfillment.
But when it becomes our sole source of joy and fulfillment, we are in trouble. We become like a wolf with its leg in a trap. Unable to run and be free; hindered, in pain and desperate.
Remind yourself that your partner is responsible and capable to take care of his/her own life. And it is more likely that your partner will thrive when given space and freedom to discover and pursue who they are without your managing, controlling or interfering.
When we respect our partner’s freedom, ability, and desire to create their own life, we have more time and energy to do the same for ourselves.
When both partners are doing this, the creative energy is electric! Relationships become more interesting, more open and receptive to erotic energy, and much more sustainable.
So I say, love your partner. Be caring and giving and supportive of your partner. Celebrate your partner’s victories and growth. Hold them when they fall. Be the voice of reason when they need it the most.
BUT, never do this to the exclusion of loving yourself. Never forget to love, celebrate, support and care for your own life even within a close and intimate relationship.
We must learn how to balance the love and care for our partner with the love and care for ourselves. The key to creating a relationship that thrives over time is one in which both partners respect, acknowledge and support the life and interests of the other.
I encourage you to begin today to engage in the REWILDING process. Feed your authentic self and your soul. Establish a loving relationship with yourself.
True intimacy makes room for both individuals to thrive in the context of a deep, abiding connection.
Peace in the journey,