Each person who has come into your life brings you a gift — a chance to get to know yourself better. Relationships, through love, allow you to open up and experience emotions and learn more about yourself. As you become more aware of your behavior and habits through interaction with a loved one, a door opens up and you may now choose to change certain things within yourself and interact differently with that person.

We’re creatures of habit and we keep attracting similar people into our lives. If you are in a wonderful loving relationship and both of you are happy then you have learned lessons on your path. You feel good about yourself. You feel you are a whole person who can be at peace alone and you are choosing to share yourself and your life with another whole person, both respecting each other’s free will. You have entered the relationship in a loving, compassionate way.

It takes an effort to grow and change, and it is a conscious choice.

As you look at your relationships, whether past or present, in an objective way as if you were viewing a movie, you will start to see patterns. It is as if you are interacting with the same person all the time, only they look different physically. Each love who enters your life brings you a gift. What is this gift? Whatever you see in your loved one when you first know him or her, are projections of yourself. If you perceive that person to be kind, intelligent, funny, passionate, etc., so are you. Recognize that you possess those qualities. Own them. Acknowledge them. Accept them. Be grateful for them. So many of us have low self-esteem, and low self-confidence. It’s important to recognize the positive qualities in yourself. Remember if you can see them in others you have them in yourself. This is part of your growth process.

As you think back to your relationships you become aware that there is a second gift for you. You’re fully aware of your loved one’s so-called shortcomings. Maybe he or she is impatient, stubborn, intolerant, has problems committing, or lacks responsibility. The list goes on. What that person is mirroring to you is what you already have within you. Maybe it appears larger in the mirror than it actually is in you. Your version of it maybe only as big as a grain of sand. You cannot change the other person. You can however, choose to change that aspect of yourself. It is just a learned habit — something you acquired on your path — like a pebble you picked up on your journey. Just as you can throw a pebble back to the earth you can release a habit in about 28 days. First you have to be aware of it in order to let it go, and this is what your loved ones are helping you do.

As you change that habit your loved one can no longer push that button and will find another way to interact and communicate with you.

Changing these things takes time. It’s all about growth through love of yourself and your loved one. We grow together and with time love reaches new levels of understanding and offers us new levels of growth.

Communication, in relationships is fundamental. Communication is the art of speaking in a way that the other person understands: learning how they view their world and explaining your emotions, thoughts and opinions in a way they can understand. Maybe you can use their personal experiences and stories to illustrate your point in a gentle way. Be patient. It takes a while to learn a new language! Also do not take for granted that the other person understands where you are coming from. He or she is not a mind reader!

Finally, understand that we all communicate differently and show love in our own way — usually the way it was expressed in our childhood. Some people are touchy feely, some are verbal, and others show love by buying gifts or preparing dinner etc..When we court each other we do all these things — which gets confusing as our emotional, tactile, and auditory needs are met. We then believe we are in love, and we see things through rose colored glasses.

When you understand what makes you tick – maybe you love hugs, or like to hear – “I love you,” frequently, or you love to receive flowers etc. (we, of course, appreciate all these things except that one is stronger than the others) we can then express our needs concerning the way we would like to experience love. Remember that your loved one may not be used to expressing love in that fashion so take time to acknowledge and appreciate his or her efforts. Also find out how they understand and want to experience love and learn how to give it to them that way.

Relationships are worth our time. They need to be nurtured just as we do. As you follow some of these simple steps you will grow spiritually, mentally and emotionally, and you will really appreciate the gifts those beloved souls are giving you in your life. Laughter also binds us together and relieves stress. It is a great healer.

May your life be filled with love, and gratitude for that love.



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