We have all experienced disconnect, disharmony, or emotional pain in relationship. And when we do, it typically causes us to feel stress, and our ingrained and primitive response is to “fight or flee.” To move against the other with irritation, defensiveness, impatience, anger, judgement, or aggression. Or, to move away from the other with withdrawal, armoring, numbness, denial, repression, resignation, shutting down, and turning off. Unfortunately, this only serves to perpetuate disharmony with our partner and, more importantly, further disconnects us from our ability to be authentic and intimate with our selves.

The ancient systems of meditation and yoga teach us to embrace all of our experiences as opportunities to expand our consciousness and to awaken to our true nature. We can learn to move toward pain, resistance, and disharmony – to acknowledge and nurture those blocks to intimacy, and to ultimately transform negative energy into positive results – a greater sense of aliveness, an integrated wholeness, and the ability to fully reconnect and express our true self… which leads to the ability to connect more deeply with others.

You were born full of aliveness, sensual awareness, joy, divine energy. Your true, innate nature is to be fully intimate and authentic. To love and accept yourself. To dwell in the fullness of your being; living in the moment and expressing yourself freely. But then, you began to learn from and be re-patterned by the people and culture around you. You learned which behaviors brought acceptance, approval, and love; and which brought rejection, disapproval, and pain. You likely began to learn to hide and deny parts of yourself that were not acceptable to your parents, your family, friends, society and, most importantly, you began to hide and deny your true self.

You can learn to acknowledge and embrace the very things you may be afraid of facing. To unlock the energy required to keep parts of your self hidden. You can practice the art of conscious relationship – bringing awareness and intention into the moment; naming, healing, and releasing fears; and, identifying truth and communicating what you want. You can also learn to listen well to another’s truth, to receive that truth without judgment, projection, or resistance.

When you cultivate this art of giving and receiving truth, of expressing in the moment your deepest and most important feelings, you create more energy and aliveness, and establish a bond of authenticity and trust with yourself and with your partner. You rediscover the freedom to experience the full range of human emotion and the full spectrum of experiencing being in a vulnerable human body with a tender human heart.

You can open to the magnificence of your true nature. You can restore yourself to wholeness. You can become transparent. Where nothing is hidden, nothing is denied. Not even the parts of yourself that you didn’t want to look at or acknowledge. In fact, this is your birthright. As you choose to be more visible to yourself and others, you become more authentic. As you practice, you open to that innate place within yourself that accepts all of who you are, and surrenders to potential magic of each interaction and experience with your self and with another.

By Marilynne Chophel