How many of us grew up with the image implanted in our minds of that “second half,” the partner who, once we succeeded in finding them, would complete us?

Billions are spent around the world each year producing and consuming products and services to deliver the redemption of perfect romantic bliss.

Rarely do these tricks or tools turn us toward what actually has the power to grant us the “completion” we seek: the realization that we will never be truly happy in any relationship unless and until we take responsibility for tapping into, cultivating and realizing our own fullness; for making ourselves complete.

How can we do this? Start with these (free!) tips and tricks:

Recognize your souls’ independence

Whether it’s with your new flame or your spouse of twenty years, your connection doesn’t change the fact that you are, at the end of the day, still two separate souls, on your own paths of awakening to your own greatness and missions. We, alone, are responsible for moving ourselves steadily along that path.

How does this change things? Instead of blaming your unhappiness on the apparent problems or deficiencies in your partner or relationship — her lack of psychic understanding of your need for space (or closeness!), the way he leaves clothes on the floor, or a “tension topic” that never fails to stoke a brutal fight — you can see these instead as something your soul has chosen for you to grow from and with, so that you can become a more complete person able to create harmony from these icky dynamics.

Love yourself

How much do you make intentional time in your day to do something that expresses love for yourself? My guess is, not much. It takes practice, and we each can find our own way that fits, but that old homage will always be true that if we can’t love ourselves, we cannot love someone else authentically or authentically accept love from someone else. Some ideas:

  • Journal each day about something you did well, or a great quality in yourself that you observed;
  • Take a few moments in front of the mirror to focus not on your imperfections but on everything you like about yourself;
  • You know those things you keep complaining your partner never does for you? Stop waiting… Do them for yourself! Take yourself out to a movie. Buy yourself those nice earrings or shoes. Take yourself to your favorite romantic spot.

Actively appreciate your partner

Like two side of a coin, actively loving ourselves and loving others go hand in hand. When we are intentional about one, it feeds our ability to do the other. So make a point to look each day for what your partner does, or who they are, that you can appreciate. Look hard if necessary… So they didn’t empty the dishwasher like you asked, or complement you on your choice of attire before you both headed out to work? But, he did get out of bed, and she did go to work today, contributing to your quality of life. Then, once you have found those things–however small–thank them!

Practicing these habits can help shake you from toxic yet seductive assumption that your partner is anything but an independent soul there to offer both supports and challenges to you in your growth as another independent soul. They do not complete you — rather, as two complete, appreciative and self-realized individuals, you can realize a love that is light-years beyond what we have been taught is possible.

CLARITY. CONFIDENCE. CONNECTION.

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