How Mindfulness Enhances Relationships

The heart wants what the heart wants.

But is it your heart wanting it or your ego? Is it our drive to create what we think we need or our heart speaking?

So many people struggle with these questions, you’re not alone. When it comes to dating or relationships it often seems like there we are always looking to change, fix or control something or someone, or struggling to reach a goal, whether that means meeting the right person, getting a commitment in an existing relationship, or changing something about someone you love..

Ironically, this ongoing struggle to achieve want your heart longs for, could be pushing it further and further away.

Mindfulness teaches us that in becoming the witness of our own thoughts and feelings we can reduce our stress, overcome anxiety and become more clear and focused. But the important factor not to forget when using this tool in dating and relationships is that we cannot control or fix the person in front of us. We could be in a perpetual state of present awareness, but if that awareness doesn’t involve a conscious acceptance of what is then we are in danger of being embroiled in a codependent relationship and a struggle to change or control the people who come into our lives and reach our hearts.

When we go into that Mindful state of presence, it’s important to include a sense of acceptance, of who our love interest is as a person and what they are capable of. We must accept in order not to fall into the codependent relationship trap of trying to fix or change them, to control forces that are outside of ourselves.

When we enter into a Mindful state with the intention of acceptance, we observe our thoughts and our feelings, be them frustration, longing or sadness, and we accept them without judgement, we must also in this state be conscious of accepting the person or relationship dissatisfaction that may be causing them.

This does not mean that we should put up with bad behavior or abuse, just that we acknowledge we cannot control or change the other person, that most of our struggle comes through fighting this and that we do so in full present awareness of the effect these feelings are having on us. It is only then we can truly take conscious action to make the right choices when dating, to leave or stay in a relationship, to adapt, change or work on ourselves – the only person we CAN work on in a relationship.

Blog contributed by Joanna Smith who specializes in mindfulness, codependent relationships, and self-esteem issues. www.joannasmiththerapy.com

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