I’m that kind of person craves deep commitment in a relationship but also freaks out easily from it. My coping method is to back out and leave the situation if I don’t know how to cope with it. My heart shuts down, my throat chakra gets blocked and I get panicky.
But that’s when all the things I learned throughout my spiritual journey and years of learning healing methods become useful. I can take 2 steps back and apply mindfulness. In the past I ran away so many times, but I learned an amazing communication method that helped me not only with my romantic partner but family, friends, and difficult colleagues as well.
Humans generally like to point out the toxic traits of others or see the flaws in their partner but fail to see the same in their own personality. We have to admit and face our own toxic traits first to be able to fix them. And this never-ending push and pull game is anything but healthy for both parties.
The origin of wanting to run away is the fact that we’re unable to face our own emotions. You have to allow yourself to feel whatever emotion that comes up without projecting or blaming or wanting to run away and just sit with it, examine it, and find a healthy dynamic and build from there.
Sharing your feelings with your partner can be intimidating but helps a lot. With someone who’s also mindful, it’s easy to even pull them in and rise in love again with their support.
Why is it that sometimes you do not feel the urge to run away, but then suddenly one thing triggers you and you are thinking about packing your bag?
Experts say it’s because you bucket is full.
Wait, what bucket?
The bucket is a so called inner container where you store all the resentment, little hurts and wee annoyances towards your partner. And this works just the same way not only when it comes to romantic relationships but with any kind of relationship in your life—family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, etc.
We hold back and suppress so many thing we don’t even realize—your partner failed to notice your new hair color, your mom made an unwelcome comment on your outfit, your sister annoys you, your coworker can never keep the deadline, etc. These are minor things, each a single drop, but they add up and slowly fill your bucket.
When the bucket is full it overflows and you burst out in uncontrollable anger that can hurt and eventually even break your relationship.
Now you know about your bucket, you can start to consciously handle it and make sure to not let it get full again.
Accept that you and everyone else has a bucket, and you also add drops to the buckets of others, and it is okay for them too to empty it.
You can explain this concept to your partner, friend, parent or whoever you’d like to practice it with and let them know your intention to practice emptying your buckets—to build healthy, long lasting and intimate relationship with them.
You can decide together how you want to practice this. For me, it works best if I empty my bucket with my partner once a week or if we are going through an emotionally more intense period we can suggest extra time for this.
Find a space where both of you feel safe and comfortable. In our relationship it works best if one of us goes first and the other listens with full attention, without cutting in (unless you need to make something clear) and let the other express themselves fully then when they finished you can express your feelings and thoughts or feedbacks regarding. It can be challenging to not respond (even with body language) or protect yourself especially when what the other says is triggering. You can even ask for time to digest what they said and reply them back much later, not right after they finished sharing their feelings. It’s also important not to share your feelings in a way that it seems like a lash out or an attack, especially if you agreed that the other won’t cut in. That can do more damage if you just blame and shame the other while they have to just sit and listen to it.
What works for me best is to think of what I have to say ahead and follow a specific form to shape my sentences:
Once the first person emptied their bucket, the other can respond. And then the other person comes sharing and emptying their bucket the same way.
It’s not easy but keep the goal in front of you all the time—to build the relationship, connect deeply and grow together, Strengthen your love. In the end, there might be tears but both of you should feel better and lighter.
Frankly, sometimes I need just to share what’s on my heart, have a good cry, get a long warm hug from my beloved and that’s it. Problem solving Is not always required, just simple releasing.
You can only be responsible for doing this exercise correctly from your end but in the end, it only matters that you try and get better at it each time. This amazing technique saved many of my relationships and saved me from lots of situations where otherwise, following the old pattern there would have been a huge fight and lots of hurt.
Get more like this—Sign up for our daily inspirational newsletter for exclusive content!
Photo: Hannah Olinger via Unsplash