The key insight for the success of a relationship:
Reorienting Self to Self
I got stuck in a subtle, long-term possession of sorts. Moving across the country to live with this lady person wasn't the plan. Two weeks later, it was. I prepared to leave my family over the next 5 months, and when the time came, I was in a completely new environment. Granted, I have had a lot of practice with this when in college. Each year I picked a new place to live and embraced the randomness of Craigslist to assign my housemates. Each year, I adapted, and in doing so, I significantly created myself based on who I was living with. My operating philosophy at the time: In order to be successful in the future, I needed to be able to handle myself in any living environment. I saw it as a challenge and a practice in flexibility; however, I didn't realize how much I was compromising myself by creating my character to be at the whim of my world. Perhaps I promoted harmony, but I didn't stand as the director of my reality.
Now, living with my LP, we're committed to becoming the directive principle of our lives in alignment with what is best for all. That's not an overnight process. Closer to 7 years. Walking with another process walker, we are constantly facing our minds, day-in and day-out. It's safe to say that this is far from the easy, go-with-the-flow style of living that I had been operating within most of my life. This has been far more real, far more challenging, and unquestionably more rewarding.
So what is really the difference? How I had learned to live was primarily through self-interest, meaning that I would dynamically alter my expression: thoughts, words & deeds, to get from life that which I wanted. The scope of my consideration was narrowly what I saw would best suit me. I enjoyed laughing and getting along with people, so one of my favorite characters was a humor-oriented personality. There is also a fear energy of not being accepted by others, so I was kind of hitting two birds with one stone. I had no idea how I was using my mind to create these well-adapted characters, nor did I have any idea of the consequences.
Creating harmony-producing characters is simply not working anymore. Those personalities function on a more surface level. My LP and I are committed to going deep, sorting out the false personalities, and getting to know the real Self here. This task is much more involved than creating a temporary personality, and this means it's not going to be all pretty and lovely-dovey all the time. The friction and conflict between us is much like tilling the earth for the next season of growth. This can be most uncomfortable! We're drudging up many of our personal 'truths', the ways which we've accepted and defined the world to be. But Hey, it's a new year, and they say the first year of an agreement relationship is the hardest.
I have already begun to see how we're shifting from 'fighting for our limitations' - which is how we say: fighting to be right or to protect our existing 'knowledge' - and into understanding each other, accepting each other, and moving to firstly change self. Letting go of her in a way, frees me up to focus on myself and my process through the mind. One of the most supportive tools I've been focusing on developing is: Listening. More on that to come.
There are plenty more tools to define and use, and I'll make a more sincere effort to begin sharing them with you here. Writing is so incredibly essential if you want to move forward into/as life. The mind will play games to no end if you let it. The coolest part about being in an agreement is that neither of us will let it happen to either of us. There is no question in my mind whether moving across the country was worth it or not. My life partner and I are going to Garb-Dan the world together :)