How Relationships Can Be Our Greatest Teacher

A moment of humility.



Feeling the weight of reality

seeing what I’ve chosen to be blind to

my faults

my imperfections

my part…

in relationship


So… I had a moment this week. It wasn’t pretty. It didn’t leave me feeling good about myself. I sure as heck am not proud of my actions.


Here is the thing. It takes two. Relationship is partnership. Two people coming together. 


It turns out (I realized the other day) that I am quick to blame others… specifically if the other is my partner.  I saw quite clearly that I don’t own my side of the relationship. My actions. My shortcomings. My…ugly moments.


I threw a tantrum. Yep, like a child. Jumping up and down. Stomping my feet. Flying into a state of anger, just like the flip of a switch. Yelling, cussing, blaming…not owning.


All this by seven in the morning.


I believe that if you want to become the best version of yourself, be in a relationship. Relationship will teach you pretty much everything you need to know. Your partner will mirror to you all the things you choose not to see in yourself.  (This can be ANY kind of relationship, not just romantic relationships by the way).


We often attract to our life what we need for personal evolution. Sigh. Sometimes that reality is a big pill to swallow.


Here is a bit of the back story. I was raised in an environment where most people talked and very few people listened.  I never felt heard, understood or valued… especially when it came to what I had to say.  Not only that, but yelling was a part of this wonderful world of communication. Everyone did it. So… growing up I thought yelling was effective and appropriate communication. It turns out it isn’t, and thank goodness the relationships I have had with friends and partners over the years has taught me that.


Communication. It’s a BIG one for me these days. To the point that I get frustrated when people don’t use their turn signal… because, let's face it, it’s a form of communication. What is with communication? Why is it so freaking difficult for us human beings to do it effectively? To use our words. To be lovingly direct. To express our needs. To state our desires. To listen. To feel respected. To be heard.


Yeah, it’s some mighty big stuff.


It’s an art. To be able to use words that penetrate another’s psyche. That hits the other in the heart. Unlocking the importance to what is being said. It takes two. One speaks. One listens.


It takes total and complete awareness. Both must be fully present to the moment. All in.


So… the moment that flipped my tantrum switch.


I had asked my partner to not communicate with me via email about specific things. That I prefer that we talk about it in person. Well, because life really wanted to wake me up, he sent me an email. Assumptions were made (on both ends) and well… there was lots of information that fell through the communication holes.


So when I found myself saying something I had said before. Not feeling heard. Not feeling respected. I went into full on reactive mode.


Just like a little kid.

No filter. No awareness.

Not my finest moment.


It is said that one should give what one desires. Do you desire to be heard, listen. Do you yearn for more quality time, give your time. Do you want more affection, give more affection.


I have been yearning for better, deeper, clearer communication in my relationship.


I’ve wanted my partner to show up differently. Listen to me more intently. To use words. To go deep. To be honest.


I asked myself: What do I do? What have I done?

(reality slap)

Bitched. Complained. Reacted. Yelled. Cried. Disowned that I had any part in my discontent.


Then I asked myself: If I am not happy, how can I show up differently?


The truth is, I can’t control how my partner shows up. I can’t control how they choose to communicate. I can’t change how my partner does anything!


The only thing that I can control, the only thing that I can change is me.

How I choose to react. How I show up.


I’ve been so stubborn that I haven’t been willing to own my part. To be accountable for my actions.

I’ve been looking at my partner and my frustrations and thinking it has everything to do with them.

Ah, but when you point your finger at someone three are still pointing back at you. Damn,  some of those old sayings are true. Sigh. The truth stings.


Show how could I and can I… will I show up and respond differently?




Start with love. Be in love. End in love. Offer love.

Love. Love. Love.


What would love do in this moment?

Not blame. Not yell. Not look like a (nearly) 40 year old tantrum throwing idiot!


What does love look like?

It sees the good.


What were my partners intentions? (Pretty sure it wasn’t to piss me off)

His intentions we're to set aside time and plan a fun adventure.


If I am willing to see it from this perspective it’s almost impossible for me to come back to him throwing words like fireworks. It helps me stay grounded in the truth. The truth that this man loves me and wants to spend time with me.

From that grounded and open place (instead of the walled off fortress with flaming arrows ready to launch) I can see his side.

I can see the whole story. Our story.



I want more quality time, he’s trying to make it happen. I want my partner to communicate differently, this is an opportunity for me to communicate differently.







What I want from him… I give.

I want him to communicate with me verbally… when he emails me he is giving me the invitation to use my spoken words to express my feelings, thoughts and desires.


Life is always giving us another opportunity to show up differently. To evolve. To grow. To be a better version of ourselves.


Only when we are willing to see our darkness can we shine our light.


I am grateful for such a loving and wise partner. A guide to show me the way. A better way of being. The way that I prefer to show up.

In love.