One day, I sat in the garden, listened to a workshop and heard a truth: ‘you don’t actually want to be the number one thing on your partner’s list’. Sure we do! We all say it. We all vie for attention all the time. We compete with phones and internet, hobbies and mates, dreams and plans. Of course we want to be higher than them all?! I couldn’t understand what I’d heard… And then I did. I might well want to be higher on the list than a lot of life’s noise, but there is one thing I do NOT want to be higher on the list than. And that is my partner himself.
To be number one on someone’s list means them putting you higher than themselves. It essentially would result in dependency on you to provide all the nourishment that person needs. You may love that person until the ends of the earth, but I challenge anyone to meet every. single. one. of the unique needs that comes bundled into the frame of a partner. You can be responsible for what you bring to the relationship but you cannot be responsible for the welfare and the life of your partner. You can be responsible for what you say and how you say it, but not how it lands. You can be responsible for your dreams but not realising theirs.
Unless you’re a saint, even the best of people will appear to wind you up, do things wrong, work against you. Not because they are trying to, but because your perceptions of other people come from within you. You generate them, they don’t. Creating or nurturing dependency within a relationship means being beholden to a swathe of reactions and patterns, counter-moves and preconceptions over which one of you has no control. It’s submitting your happiness and truth to a wild animal which can never be tamed. And being top of the list means that this riding this whirling dervish is deemed more important than anything else.
Not only that but, and I know this sounds controversial, I want to be able to put myself first. I want to be able to do things that truly light me up, progress me forward, see me grow…even if others disapprove. Not
because it means I don’t value their opinion or their love but because I understand that ultimately only I know the true depths and breadth of me. It’s the difference between working things out as a partnership or under a leadership. One allows for a million versions of ‘right’, one dictates a ‘should’.
A relationship is one of the most precious things in our lives. After all, we’re born to connect. But I believe the best of connections is based on knowing where I end and they begin, where the crossover is and who I am in my own integrity. I don’t believe a relationship is something into which you become subsumed or completed. I believe relationships are a beautiful source of fertile land from which to bravely have your positives illuminated and to safely unearth and release that which hinders the abundance. It’s a team effort to grow the best we can, for ourselves and them, not making someone else responsible for all that happens to you. It’s about meeting connections from a place of bettering yourself, rather than surrendering yourself; a vow to nurture yourself understand if that that nurtures the connection in the same heartbeat. A relationship, therefore, requires you to grow, to be curious about life and make change where change is needed. So if you’re feeling a little lost today, don’t throw yourself at climbing back up a pedestal or making yourself indispensable to someone. Spend the day instead simply being the best you can be for you. Put yourself at the top of the list and feel into the difference.