Do you remember that first heartbreak? Maybe you were in junior high or high school. It was so devastating you were sure that your world would just never be the same again. Did that experience shape the way you engaged with relationships that came after? How about your experience of the relationship between your parents? You might not realize it, but as a child your brain was a sponge, soaking up even the most nuanced interactions between mom and dad. How did the programming you received in those early years influence the way you behave in your own relationships? Maybe you’re the controlling type, trying to steer the relationship in the way that you think it ought to be. Maybe you’re the passive, go along to get along type who prefers to sit back and let the other person steer the ship. What you might not realize is, just as your past experiences have colored your ideas about how a relationship should work, your emotional state influences not only the way your partner shows up in the relationship, but the quality of the relationship itself.
When I was in high school, my girlfriend cheated on me with one of my friends. For a good two years afterward, I carried around a grudge of anger and resentment toward them. Together, completely independent of me or the role I played in the relationship, they had conspired to do me wrong. It wasn’t until I took a seriously deep dive into the dynamics of our relationship, and my part in it, that I realized it couldn’t have gone any other way. I wasn’t capable of creating a relationship filled with peace and joy because I wasn't acting from a space of peace and joy. Instead I was operating inside a vibration of anger. It was inevitable that my girlfriend, that just about anyone, would be driven away from the energy I was bringing to the relationship. She didn’t cheat on me because she was a bad person. She simply reacted to what I was offering. The relationship ultimately culminated in exactly what I had brought to it in the first place: anger and resentment.
One of the greatest advantages we as humans have over the other animals in nature is our ability to form strong emotional relationships. In the days of hunter/gatherers, your relationship with others in your tribe meant the difference between life and death. With the innovation of agriculture, it was our ability to form and maintain relationships that allowed for the development of civilization. The very foundation of any society is the strength of the relationships between its citizens. If you have the fortitude to turn on the nightly news, you might see that this idea is being put to the test around the world right now. What’s crucial to understand is that the state of our relationships is only as strong (or as weak) as what we bring to it. We have the ability to influence those around us simply by the way that we choose to show up.
We are first and foremost in relationship with ourselves. Every other relationship we engage in is simply a projection of our own internal state of being. In this way, we can look at our relationships as mirrors that reflect whatever it is we are feeling inside ourselves. If you notice patterns of anger or resentment in your partner, there’s a high likelihood you’re carrying your own patterns of anger and resentment. On the other hand, you and your partner might not share the same patterns, but rather, the patterns you each bring to the relationship complement each other like interlocking pieces of a puzzle. For example, maybe you desire to be in a relationship built on love, trust and mutual respect, but you find yourself, again and again, tethered to someone who is controlling and manipulative. Because you are unable to recognize your unconscious emotional patterns, you don’t realize that you’re living in a state of unworthiness. This is the energy you project into the world. It doesn’t matter what kind of ideal relationship you might imagine for yourself because, until you change your emotional patterns, you will continue to attract people with their own patterns of insecurity and a need to control others. You might look at your partner and wonder how in the hell you ever ended up together, but what you’re failing to see is that your patterns go together like fish ‘n chips, peas and carrots, coffee and donuts. Except, unlike those things, your relationships constantly leave you with a bad taste in your mouth.
It can be easy to fall into the belief that our experience of life is dictated by what happens in the external world. But the reality is that our unconscious emotional patterns are in charge. Something happens in the world and an emotional pattern is triggered. The brain then tells a story that supports or justifies the emotion we are experiencing, and we then take action that is in alignment with the emotional pattern. The only way to change our experience of life is to change the emotional patterns in which we are living. It doesn’t work the other way around. We can’t change the way we feel by trying to change or control the people or circumstances around us. But the good news is, when we go to work on ourselves, when we develop our emotional patterns to be more aligned with our vision of life, it’s more than likely that the people around us will begin to change too.
I call this the 90/10 rule. In a nutshell, when one person in a relationship gets to work training their emotional patterns, about 90% of the time their partner or spouse recognizes the change and, even if initially resistant, they begin their own journey of growth. Of course that means that about 10% of the time the partner simply refuses and completely opts out. But even Hall of Fame baseball players only hit the ball about 30% of the time, so I’d say a 90/10 ratio is pretty good. Remember, the people in our lives serve as mirrors, reflecting back to us the emotional patterns in which we’re living. But it works both ways. We are also a mirror, reflecting back the emotional patterns of our partners or spouses. So when you start a journey of evolution, the people closest to you will start to notice that something is different. Even if it’s only at a subconscious level, your partner’s nervous system will start saying, “Hey, something’s going on here. I don’t know what it is, and I’m not sure I like it.” Because when you start to show up in a state of peace and love, their brain is only going to register that something has changed, and the brain equates any kind of change with a potential for danger. The brain always prefers the status quo. But 9 out of 10 times the work you’re doing will start to influence your spouse or partner and over time they will acclimate to the new space you’re in, feel safe, and become motivated to uplevel their own experience.
A few years ago, a client whose marriage was on the verge of failure was referred to me by an employee of hers. After attending a program, she decided to take one last shot at saving her marriage and dove into the work of Inner Matrix Systems. As she progressed in her training, she began to recognize the patterns that were defining her existence and chose to disengage from them. She stepped out of anger and resentment, guilt and shame, and instead keyed into the intelligence of love, peace and joy for the first time in her life. She began to see the so-called light at the end of the tunnel. But her husband wasn’t so thrilled with the changes he was seeing in her. He told her she “wasn’t herself anymore”, that he didn’t like the changes she was making and that he no longer felt connected to her. It wasn’t because he had some aversion to things like love, peace and joy, but rather because their long held patterns no longer resonated with each other. His brain had sensed that something had drastically changed and that meant there was cause for concern. So the husband decided to come to a program. Not because he was interested in what I had to offer, but because he was going to give me a piece of his mind. But over the course of the program, something inside of him shifted. Instead of engaging with me from a place of anger or blame, as they walked out of the program he said to his wife, “You know, this guy makes a lot of sense.” It wasn’t that some magical transformation suddenly occurred in the room that night. Rather it was the culmination of the husband absorbing the work his wife had been doing all along. While his brain may have been resistant, at an unconscious level he was changing as a result of the imprints he was receiving simply by being in the relationship with his wife. It was only a matter of time before he too began to resonate at higher levels in his own experience. Coming to the program simply nudged him across the finish line from resistance to acceptance.
So there’s nothing to be afraid of, the odds are in your favor. You’re not going to “fix” your relationship because there is nothing to fix. The relationship is what it is. But you can address the emotional patterns you’re bringing to the relationship, and in the process, it’s more than likely that your spouse or partner will “catch the vibe” and get to work on themselves. You can get to work on your own Inner Matrix at a Power Series Weekend Intensive. Right now you can take advantage of our limited time offer for first timers of only $200. That's $499 OFF the regular price. These events sell out fast, so click HERE to learn more and sign up today!