In the book I am finishing up, The Little Black Book on Relationships, I include 6 Do’s and 6 Don’ts to Have a Relationship that’s Fun and Easy.
One of those Don’ts is “Don’t try to control your partner.” And one of the 5 components to a good relationship is to honor both the other person and yourself.
What that looks like in real life can be a bit complicated.
Someone once observed that my husband David does not try to control me, that he lets me do what I like. It’s a reflection of how ingrained the idea of mutual control is into our ideas of relationships that I thought he was making a derogatory comment about our relationship, rather than observing a strength!
Recently I chose not to go to a workshop I really desired to attend, mostly because I could perceive how much angst it would create in my husband David’s universe. He really really really did not want me to do, and he never told me outright not to. (He’s too smart for that.)
Yet I chose not to go, even though I did not wish to miss the workshop.
In an after dinner conversation last night with a friend, I realized why. I was honoring him by not going–but at the same time I was honoring myself. I could have chosen for me and gone ahead and flown to Australia and done the class. That choice did not feel good to ME because of what would have been created for DAVID. It would somehow, because of the unusual vehemence of his reaction to what I was choosing, been dishonoring him to go against his wishes. And dishonoring him did not feel good to me–so in choosing to honor him, I also honored myself.
Just another way that if you look at things from outside the way we usually function in this reality, gifting and receiving are not separate, but are one.
Can you truly gift without a receiver? In receiving do we not also gift to the giver? And in gifting, do we not also receive?