Finding Right Balance
Finding Right Balance
With each other…
In the previous section of the website, we focused on finding right balance within oneself.
Once one has learned how to find “right balance” within oneself, there is the additional challenge of learning how to find right balance with another person. We need to attend to not leaning on the other unduly. We need to each take responsibility for our own emotional stability.
We need to be attentive to where we intersect with one another’s vulnerabilities; ideally each hold one another in compassion, and treat one another with consideration and respect.
At least between adults, lovers or friends, the goal is to have relationships with equal partners, and thus stay attentive to unconscious dynamics which could lead to “power-over” dynamics.
We also endeavor to do the difficult work of discerning what is “ours,” and what is the other person’s contribution.
We endeavor to do the hard work to discern what is so in the present and what is being triggered from past relationships and/or from our history.
Issues of enmeshment, codependency
Sometimes we are in one another’s spaces more than optimally, one person may be doing more of a needed function for the other person, rather than each person holding their own even share of personal responsibilities.
One person may be failing to own their own responsibility (colored lines short); another person may be overstepping into the other person’s self-regulation responsibilities (colored lines long).
Issues of projection and coming from “parts”
Sometimes we interact with our partner as if they were someone from our past, treating our partner as if they were a parent, or as if they were an ex-spouse.
And sometimes different parts of us treat our partner in different ways – a loving part of us, an angry part of us, a competitive part of us, a needy dependent part of us, an insecure part of us – and often we trigger different parts in our partner, re-activating childhood wounds, or triggering their own parts (defensive, self-protective, fearful of abandonment)
Issues of communication from parts, part b
Our communication can grow and improve over time. Initially we may come from less healthy parts of ourselves, connecting from a rickety admixture of positive intentions, love, blind spots and arrested development. Our early skills at communication tend to be more primitive. We hurt one another a lot early on. Less functional parts of us may be “running the show,” and we may connect with our partner from more unhealed places –anger, hurt, retaliation, jealousy, insecurity, demandingness, defensiveness, fear (and so forth).
Over time, as we become healthier, as more childhood wounds are healed, we can connect from healthier places (or as IFS and IFIO talk about) from more “Self” energy.
When we connect, my healthier self to your healthier self, we can become more skillful, each truly intending – with full heart and greater ability – to communicate in a way that neither wounds nor hurts the other or ourselves.
Mona Barbera talks about “giving better back.”
RCA talks about finding ourselves to a “Third Way,” that protects and respects the couple relationship and which is NOT as run by self-protective defensive coping mechanisms.
Communication can become less of a competition, less a matter of each person wanting to have their opinion heard no matter what, to becoming a joint venture, where each can connect in a less attacking or demanding way, having empathy and concern for the dignity of our partner – and we can co-create with more success.
Issues of power dynamics
In certain kinds of relationships, in which there tends to be power-over/ power-under dynamics, there may be a relationship within which two people do equal work – but one of the members takes over the full leadership role, requiring the other to simply follow.
Patriarchy and certain kinds of extreme evangelical religions seem to put forth the notion that the male should get to make all the decisions, even if the female does half the work. In some extreme kinds of distorted relationships, the male even insists on full ownership of property and full control of money, even if both partners contribute fully to the wellbeing and functioning of the household and family.
Sometimes it is not even just about gender, as there can be same-gender relationships in which there is imbalance of power.
At least in my view, it is not a healthy relationship unless and until both have input, both have say, both experience an equal amount of power to contribute towards decisions within their lives and relationship.
Sometimes the next “phase” beyond only one person having power is a model in which there is competition over power. However, often this then creates a power struggle, “my way” versus “your way.” Decision-making becomes fighting, arguing, as if only one person can have the power and the two parties compete over who that will be.
This way of interacting in relationships keeps the partners from even experiencing that they are “on the same team,” as they have to try to out-argue, out-convince, manipulate or coerce in order to try to get their needs, wants, wishes, ideas “on the table.”
There tends to be “winner” and “loser,” not a healthy set-up for any relationship.
An alternative, when two people are aligned with a common purpose, and aligned in a common vision of how they want the relationship to be – is that they talk together, each sharing their wants, wishes, needs, fears, goals and visions for the outcome.
If the two people can listen and talk creatively, work collaboratively, a larger vision can emerge that can hold and reflect the needs and wishes of both individuals.
Gottman talks about one of the healthiest clues, predicting happy and enduring relationships, is whether or not each feels that they can “influence” the other, that is have their point of view taken into account, considered, empathized with, and the greatest sense of being “part of the same team” occurs when two people are able to come up with a creative plan that has taken both of their needs and wishes into account.
For a couple relationship to go well, each person’s individual needs and desires need to be part of the fabric of the ultimate outcome created.
Separate individuals living parallel lives versus having separate identities but also a capacity to align around a common purpose
There is a subtle difference between individuals living parallel lives but nearby one another, and their having a capacity to retain individuality but also align around certain intentions.
For a relationship to be healthy, in my opinion, each person needs to be pretty centered within themselves, taking full responsibility to stay rooted in their own values, intentions and beliefs.
It seems this can only occur if each person trusts the other sufficiently– and trusts that the other has our interests ALSO at heart. Only then can it feel safe to align with intentions that have become joint intentions rather than solely one’s own intentions.
The highest intentions of one, interacting with the highest intentions of the other creates a shared space of joined intentions.
That humanity “wakes up” in time to save our planet. That we are able to open our hearts and minds in order to heal our disconnection from mother earth, each other, and our whole selves.
To provide a platform and forum to explore and exchange thoughts and ideas regarding the current complex challenges that humanity faces.
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Being the Change
A New Earth
Being the Change
Audios & Podcasts
Finding Right Balance
My premise is that we first need to be coming from a place of personal “Right Balance,” with more accurate self-appraisal within ourselves, that we next need to develop the interpersonal skills needed to meet the Other with fairness and equal respect, mutuality and reciprocity, and that only with those skills in place can we bring our minds and hearts to bear on the issues facing us with regard to overall “Right Balance” systemically. The website is divided into three areas of “Right Balance”...
Finding right balance within oneself is a matter of our tuning into, acknowledging, healing, and relating to the many various aspects of ourselves...
Relates to how individuals in a dyad connect with one another, attune to one another, and care about the well-being of both dyad members to honor the common good.
How do we create systems and societies that bring us back into harmony with humanity as a whole, and with nature itself?
“Insert quote here…”
Resources + Reading
From the Blog
Explore a few of the recent posts and join the conversation…
We are moving from "mine" and materialism, to humanitarian efforts, less top-down economies, more grass roots efforts, and deep authentic sharing.
The David Suzuki Foundation, founded in 1990, (https://davidsuzuki.org/) has as its guiding principles:
One nature. We are nature. All people, and all species.
We are interconnected with nature, and with each other.
What we do to the planet and its living creatures, we do to ourselves.
A New Earth
by Eckhart Tolle
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