At the beginning we meet the Star Maiden, the wife of a bushman, from Sir Laurens van der Post's book "The Heart of the Hunter". She teaches us a valuable lesson about magic in relationships and trust.
The authors, Hal and Sidra Stone, speak from their own experience and that of their clients. Many times they too feared that the end had come but then they did some work with each other. They advise readers on how to transform their intimate relationships into a "joint venture" based on "cooperation and equality, mutual respect and mutual empowerment."
The good news is that it is possible to preserve the magic, even after many years, but it takes work together, work and learning new skills. "Love alone cannot make a relationship work become the forces that can destroy love are too powerful and, for most of us, too unconscious." We need not only love, romance, sexual chemistry but also partnership, personal growth and spiritual evolution.
Within everyone of us are a multitude of selves and these selves interract with similar or opposite selves. "Without the knowledge of one's inner selves, there is little possibility for truly rewarding and successful relationships." Learning about my selves was a key lesson for me.
We have developed "primary selves" which protect us, the basis of our personalities. They vary according to our surroundings. We also have selves we have disowned or discarded. People will come into our lives who display these selves, often our chosen partner, and their role is to challenge us. These "disowned selves are like heat-seeking missiles, aimed at us by the intelligence of the universe, and find us they will." Anyone who pushes our buttons must surely carry our disowned self.
"Entelechy is the purposive nature of the psyche that pushes us to complete ourselves, to become all that we can become. it senses what we are missing - the disowned selves. Much pain in relationships comes from the fact that people do not know they are carrying the other's disowned selves. They are our teachers."
Embracing our vulnerability is also key. There is a whole chapter on learning to meet the other without defenses.
Challenging ourselves to live the best relationship we possibly can is a goal well worthwhile having.
Some relationships do reach a natural end but too many fail because they don't know how to handle the negativity and the sense of being overwhelmed.
The chapters include:
- the business venture of a relationship
- the difference selves we encounter in ourselves and identify in our partner
- the patterns of behaviour
- energetic linkage
- sexuality and sensuality
- romance for parents
- keeping your love alive amid routines.
This book is easy to understand, contains many exercises to do alone and together and it brings results It helped me in my relationship and I recommend Partnering: A New Kind of Relationship to couples and therapists. You can order it from amazon.com but not from amazon.co.uk
Antonia Harrison the English Hypnotherapist & NLP Practitioner in Belgium and Personal Development in the 21st Century .