I should really start with another question because it often points to the truth of the matter much more clearly.
What do you focus on for yourself?
What qualities do you feel gratitude for? How do you show yourself compassion?
In many cases, we are profoundly judgemental towards ourselves and this automatically extends outwards to our partners and loved ones. For instance, I often catch myself thinking:
“I am lazy, I really haven’t been productive today”, or
“When will I get my shit together and eat more healthy meals?” Or
“I don’t have time to pamper myself or feel sexy, no one would notice anyway.”
And this is just what I’m saying to myself!! When I extend my judgemental and mean attitude to my partner, look out! I’m chagrined to say I find myself thinking things like:
“I wish he could muster up the capacity to do more to help me, he doesn’t do enough” or
“He is always complaining about how we eat, why doesn’t he do more to change our cooking habits? He always expects me to do it.” Or
“Why doesn’t he ever want to be sexy with me, he doesn’t notice me at all these days.”
And the important thing to recognize here is that all of this negative self-talk and projection is absolutely untrue. Or at the very least, there are as many things I could focus on that would be equally true and they would be positive.
What about noticing that I got up today and made it to work on time, did some laundry, and prepared for the week? What about noticing that I chose to get an iced tea instead of an iced mocha and it felt much lighter in my body? What about noticing that wearing a red t-shirt makes me feel more vibrant and alive and I love that feeling?
What about noticing that my partner got up and made me breakfast when I didn’t sleep well. Or that he has almost completely converted me to vegetarianism (no judgment on meat-eaters, but I find a veggie diet suits me better). What about noticing the way he grabs my butt every time he hugs me, and even though that might be all I get on a busy day, it shows he likes my body.
So what is my point? Well, let’s consider what we notice about ourselves and our partner/s in the context of how that affects our relationship. Will it improve my relationship to focus on the negative traits (real or imagined) in my partner?
Yeah, probably not….
Will it improve our intimate connection to focus on the things I love about my partner and myself?
We all love to be appreciated. We all thrive in a compassionate and supportive environment. And the good news is we all have the capacity to create this kind of environment for ourselves and our relationships, just by changing our thoughts and habits.
Curious to know how you can work on changing these ingrained patterns of what you focus on? Creative new approaches to thinking and feeling are a cornerstone of Somatic Sex Education and Intimacy coaching.
Book a free consult to discuss how we might support you with creating a more positive and compassionate environment for you and your relationships.