01 Feb Is Passion Killing your Relationship?
“To the mind that is still, the whole Universe surrenders” – Lao Tzu
It’s the season of passion where many of us give the heart free reign over the head – at least for 24 hours. But it is not only love potions that form within this steamy cauldron; sadly, some relationships concoct a far more toxic brew.
Passion, just like any form of arousal, has the effect of narrowing the range and limiting the depths of our thought processes. This isn’t a problem when making a spontaneous proposal or delivering an anonymous card or a bunch of red roses, but when it comes to finding a way through a relationship dilemma, a different approach is called for. In fact, the ugly side of passion, such as brooding obsession and aggressive rage, can hijack any attempt to talk through problems.
Cultivating serenity to quell the passions of the heart can be the key to understanding why we get stuck in patterns of action and reaction and can help us to understand the root causes behind a range of issues including anxiety, depression and other mood disorders; domestic abuse; social phobia and even substance addiction.
I have witnessed the power of serenity in action, and mastering it can really shift people who are in a difficult place. From that departure point we can then work on developing a calm focus which will help us to both broaden and deepen our awareness. A serene and broad awareness enables us to calmly assess every aspect of the situation we are in and understand what we can and cannot change. Christians may recall the ‘serenity prayer':
THE SERENITY PRAYER
“Give me the serenity (the patience, love, care, empathy and understanding) to be with what I cannot change, the strength to change what I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Which means we can only change ourselves and meet others with serenity. A concentrated awareness allows us to think more deeply about a dilemma, allowing our thoughts to run their full course instead of jumping all over the place. This skill is not reserved for intimate relationships. It is equally powerful when applied to family conflict or problems in the workplace and the more you practice it, the better you will become. But it is easy for the bustle of life to derail our efforts, and if accessing your serenity is proving difficult, you might well experience faster and more lasting results with the guidance of a suitably qualified therapist who can support you through this life-changing process.