Our spouses, partners and lovers are wonderful but let’s be real – they can annoy us, irritate us and anger us like no one else! But all relationships, including intimate relationships, are a value-added project; everyone adds value by what he or she brings, including the annoying stuff, and we hopefully find unconditional love and great growth because of it.
Intimate relationships are challenging because we are different from each other, and though that difference can be beautiful, it also brings friction. We fall into a dangerous trap when we seek to mold our lover into our version of him or what we see as his potential. This can only cause strife.
Of course, we want to help each other grow, heal and expand and not push major issues under the carpet, but accepting beauty also means accepting what is not beautiful. We want to destroy all that is troubling, irritating, ugly or just plain unattractive but the truth is we don’t want too much “eHarmony” or we are just dating ourselves. The differences, and even the friction, between people can be a beautiful means to polish each other, to bring out the light. This is big work. It is the deeper power and gift of intimacy. The gift is that our partners love, desire and choose us with all our beauty and all our “ugliness.” If we can create a sense of radical acceptance for our partner, we are creating unconditional love and belonging, which is what we all crave deeply.
Don’t get me wrong – I am not suggesting we accept poor behaviour, abuse or disrespect, but rather that we claim clearly what we want and call people to it, including ourselves.
We all want to be truly seen, accepted and desired for ourselves. Too often we don’t feel good enough. Too often we are quick to condemn, criticize and push away. I want to feel loveable with my great qualities and my not-so-stellar ones, too.
Shasta Townsend shares her passion for living well as a featured columnist at Elephant Journal, The Good Men Project, Rebelle Society and Vivid Life. Shasta leads retreats, workshops and talks around the world. She is the creator of Balanced Life Yoga, Durham Region’s largest and most welcoming Yoga Studio community. She lives in Whitby with her husband, cat and creative impulse. Her debut book, Happy, Sexy, Shameless: What Our Mothers Didn’t Know About the Birds & the Bees became an international bestseller and is available through amazon.ca.
connect with shasta at shastatownsend.com,
on facebook or on twitter @shastaherself