One of the most powerful things you can do for your marriage is to face your own inner self. To take an objective and constructive look at your mental, emotional and physical health and decide if this package is what you really want to offer your partner. Rather than seeking the marriage to complete you, you should be looking to evolve into a better person to complete your marriage.
When it comes down to dealing with our own personal baggage, many of us can think of a hundred things we would rather be doing. It’s kind of like cleaning out an old, stinky closet, where anything could be lurking from the past. But personal process is the key to healing the wounds of the past and moving forward in a kind, productive manner. It is also crucial for developing the skills needed to navigate the emotional and psychological issues that come up in a relationship. How can you possibly tell your partner to clean out their baggage “closet”, if you slam the door on all your own crap and pretend it’s not there?
What we often fail to realize is that we can change our beliefs from childhood and change ourselves and our experiences of the world. Once we face our emotional baggage by first acknowledging, then accepting the experience or belief, and then by taking action steps to change it, we can let go of negative defensive patterns that have shaped our world and build a world that serves us in a positive way.
What is “Personal Process”?
There are many methods for working with all those old beliefs, but basically, personal process is a tool for creating self-awareness and acceptance. It is a structured way of being objective about your beliefs and feelings with an intention to work towards more truth in your relationship with yourself and others. And, ultimately, it is about creating peace within so you can share it with your partner and family. Personal process work can be difficult to do on your own as it is tricky to not buy into your own bullshit and excuses.
Some of us don’t want to do personal process, as it forces us to get real with ourselves, and to let go of certain beliefs and behaviors. That can be difficult to do on our own, as change and letting go is often scary and uncomfortable. But we need to remind ourselves that we here to serve our partners, our families and ultimately God, through our marriage and experience personal evolution in return. Win-Win.
When you work with your own emotional baggage and become aware of your patterning, there is a huge possibility for personal growth. There are deep lessons buried under all that stuff in your closet, and you won’t reap the benefit until you do the work. You not only need to be aware of your own behavior, but also be open to a new way of being. This leads to more powerful and productive beliefs and actions, and then you realize that you do not need to go into the unproductive defenses as much. Letting go of the past (which is no longer real) and embracing the present moment (which we think is going to be just like the past, but we’re usually wrong) gives us the opportunities to challenge those old patterns, change our behavior and release what is no longer serving us. (Yes, I will show you how to transform these old patterns in a future lesson.)
Before any kind of healing can happen, we need to examine our beliefs, feel our pain and separate what is true for us now from what has been conditioned through past experiences. Before we can be a loving, compassionate, supportive partner, we need to do that for ourselves. No one will ever be “done” with their own personal process work, but if you don’t take care of your own baggage, it is very difficult to be a worthy partner in a marriage. You do not need to be perfect, just a work in progress – for as long as you both shall live.