We are setting our intention here this evening (Nige just farted - how very timely), and we hope that you will join us as we expose the good, the bad and the innocent of being in relationship.
Right now, 'we' are deciding how 'we' want to express our own, individual voices on this blog. Notice the word 'we'. What we've noticed in the last couple of weeks, is that the word 'we' has become one of the most frequently used words we use in our vocabulary. We don't think we've used the word 'I' more than once or twice. We have decided to add variety and spice to the relationship - we may start using the word 'us' occasionally.
'We' is such an interesting concept: One Individual + One Individual = WE
Two separate bodies, with two separate personalities, decide to live together and two become one. Suddenly, they no longer have separate interests - they eat the same thing, they retire for bed at the same time every night, and they always order the same thing in a coffee shop, because one is always unsure of what to choose so it's easier to just order what the other person is having even if you don't like it. It's a bit like having sex - lie back and think of England, as they say.
We don't think we're doing too badly with all this 'we' stuff. After all, it is a word that spans many languages, age groups, cultures and even technological breakthroughs... read on if you don't believe 'us':
The French use the word we (pronounced oui).
The Scottish also use the word we (pronounced wee).
Little boys often wee in their pants.
Young children are taught about the power of we when on a playground slide .. wheeeeeeee!
Even the Nintendo has jumped on the bandwagon, trying to be the first brand with codependant tendencies selling many variations of Wii.
Neil Diamond even wrote a song about the subject called 'We' (and if anyone in the pop world understands the nature of a loving relationship then it's Neil).
We found this great quote about the song on YouTube...
"The lyric of this song is so wonderful, it expresses exactly my deepest wishes of a ideal relationship. Thank you Neil for helping me to realize what i really want of 'my future-life'"
Even Buddha spoke of 'we':
'We are what we think. With our thoughts, we make our world.'
(c. 563-483 BC)
He was probably fused with the all-encompassing Oneness, rather than trapped in a codpendent relationship, but nevertheless he too spoke of 'we'. Buddha is definitely the way forward. (That is why we have a Buddha statue in our bedroom.)
It might seem like we're making light of this issue. Making light of it allows us to shine some light on the situation, enabling it - and us - to breathe, paving the way for a happy relationship.
Having noticed that there's a lot of we-ing going on, we've both decided to make a conscious choice to use the word 'I' and to make individual decisions. It's about respecting each other's differences. The one thing we always have available to us is freedom of choice. Every human being who walks this earth has their own frame of reference and preferences, and exercising this needn't be threatening to their partner or relationship. However, if you start to choose something different from the status quo, the ego may kick off, so don't be surprised if the very foundations of your relationship appear to shake and become unsteady beneath your feet! This is only temporary, as you start to learn a new way of thinking and being in your relationship.
Once you've begun to make loving choices for yourself, it becomes easier to enjoy connecting with your partner.
We're not experts, but we are happy together, and it is the seemingly insignificant daily choices that we've made and continue to make which determine who we are in the middle of our relationship: connecting in the morning, giving and receiving acknowledgements, really listening to what the other has to share (and that means being curious and open!), sharing meals, riding our bikes together, saying thank you and giving loving touch - these are some of the ingredients that combine to create a soft place to land. These choices are things we do together in the relationship but they also help us as individuals to be in relationship with ourselves.
There is an invisible line between us, and it is there for a reason. It's like walking alongside each other; our paths are parallel, but not enmeshed. As a woman, Elloa particularly likes the image of her 'life river' running alongside her partner's 'life path' - it reminds her to allow the relationship to flow and unfold in its own unique way. In Nige's words, don't cross the line.
The truth is that for a relationship to become conscious and fully alive, it takes practice and the willingness to choose again... and again... and again. Being in a relationship is a learning process and we're finding that it's best to remember to laugh at the absurdity of it all as we navigate the twists and turns.
Perhaps Neil was wrong.
Perhaps One Individual + One Individual = LOVE
I'm in the middle of The Forgiveness Project - a 30 Day Exploration of Forgiveness. Come and join me here.