What do you do when you’re at your edge in a relationship?
You know that edge-- that scary, exciting, tender, not sure what’s on the other side of the line edge. You want to meet that edge but aren’t quite sure how. It’s an alive edge. It feels like new growth and yet might be the ruin of you too.
Each person has their own and unique edges. For some it might look like setting a boundary, for others it’s letting go of one. For some couples doing something new and edgy might look like having a truly honest and detailed conversation about sex. And for an intensely bonded couple it might look like spending time apart. Of late, I’ve had a number of coaching conversations on the edgy topic of open relationships.
I’m a bit of an edgewalker when it comes to relationships. Walking the edge inspires (sometimes pushes) me to call forth more empowered and creative versions of me. Edgewalking invites aliveness, new experiences and beautiful journeys. Edgewalking took my kisses with my man from a 9 to a 14 on a 10 scale. I don’t always like edgewalking it but in my experience it’s totally worth it.
It’s no wonder that I feel totally at home coaching women at their edge in relationships.
So when someone recently asked me what do I do when I’m at my edge, this is what I shared:
1. Connect to Source and Resource: My boyfriend calls the Divine his primary. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Life flows far better when my Higher Self is calling the shots. My ego, in contrast, makes minor disasters. Consciously creating an intimate connection to your spiritual Source can do wonders for feeling held, resourced and supported. So much fear and drama in relationships arises when we believe that love is finite. Opening to the love that pours out the trees, earth, sky and space between strangers can do wonders for meeting edges with presence.
2. Focus on the Present Moment: Investing considerable attention anywhere other than the present moment has a way of creating a sense of powerlessness. When I’m on my edge I feel confronted by what I can’t control. Hyper-focusing on things that I can’t control is crazy making. The past and future by their nature are beyond control. (So are other people btw.) Rehashing old arguments and trying to protect yourself from future scenarios will rarely make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. And isn’t warm and fuzzy what we all want? The present moment offers a plethora of opportunities to experience soul satisfying goodness when we pay attention to it. Focusing our creative life force in the present moment can help us dance on the edges of our known world with love and grace.
3. Reality Check Often: There is this naughty thing called implicit memory that makes it feel like what happened in the past is happening now. Others call this phenomenon projection. Whatever you call it, it has a way clouding our judgment. This phenomenon makes our hearts confuse our partners for our fathers and makes disagreements feel like life or death situations. These perceptions are rooted in illusion, not reality. I make it a priority to find out what reality really is when I’m on my edge. It helps to ask questions. Try telling somebody something like, “I feel and see this, but I’m totally aware that I may be deluded based on my history. What’s the truth as you see it?” He or she will love you even more for it.
4. Communicate the Unarguable Truth: “When you were laughing with her at the party I felt vulnerable and a knotted in my belly.” This is an unarguable truth. Compare this statement with, “You were all over her and dropped me.” Full of analysis and judgment. The first statement invites awareness and intimacy, the second generates division and defense. Creating connection without losing your individuality fosters resiliency in a relationship exploring edges. Sharing the unarguable truth does just that. As such, it helps us cultivate relationships capable of meeting growing edges with presence and love.
So there you have it. My top 4 relationship skills when I’m on my edge. It takes practice to get really good at these skills. And this is hardly an exhaustive list. Tuning into my body’s natural impulses, spending time in Nature, questioning my beliefs, writing and slowing things down were not explored in this list. All highly recommended.
What would you add to this list? What has worked beautifully to meet your edges in love and life? What beauty would blossom in your life if you got really skilled at edgewalking?