by Gabrielle Bernstein: As a newlywed, I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on my relationship to my new husband and honor how far we’ve come.
We’ve been together for nearly seven years. The first two years of our relationship were very different from today. We were both at difficult turning points in our lives, and I believe we came together at that time so we could challenge one another to change and grow. After the first two years, we split peacefully.
When we broke up, we chose to be great friends. As friends we were able to drop all the false pretenses of our romantic status—we gave ourselves the chance to be truly authentic and have fun with each other. The year we spent as friends was when we really fell in love. I never intended to get back together with him, but as we grew closer in our friendship, we felt a strong pull to reunite as romantic partners. It became clear that we were meant to continue our lives together. After a year apart, we made the commitment to get back together, and we married a few years later.
I believe that marriage must be built on shared beliefs and intentions. It doesn’t matter how alike you are; what matters most are your shared morals and beliefs. If you are hanging on to negativity and bad experiences, like so many of us do, you may be unknowingly projecting fear instead of love.
Why do so many of us need a period of reflection or growth before finding happiness in love? It’s simple: Many people carry bad relationship experiences from the past into the present. Holding on to that old anger or resentment inevitably transfers negative vibes onto future relationships (and you may not even realize it’s happening). It sabotages the possibility of creating healthy new bonds—and keeps you rooted in the dark parts of your history so you can’t experience all the amazing possibilities of the now. Here are three steps to follow in order to start fresh.
Step One: Discover Your Story
The old stories we carry around keep us stuck, blocked, and disconnected from others. The first step to releasing these blocks is to shine some light on the fear-based stories we’ve been replaying. What are the relationship stories you’ve believed in for decades? What did you learn as a young child that you carry with you today? Maybe you feel inadequate or you feel like you’re better than others. Or possibly you feel unworthy of love? There are all kinds of limiting, fear-based stories that we learn at a young age and carry around with us.
Step Two: Rewrite Your Story
If you want to change your story, you can do it simply by rewriting the script. Start by writing out the current fear-based story you’ve been living. Then rewrite it. In a notebook, tell the new story of how you want to feel in relationships. Clearly outline the fears you want to release. Committing to changing the story is a radical step on your journey toward fearless relationships. The next time you witness yourself playing out your fear story, take a moment to read the new story you’ve crafted. In an instant you can remind yourself of what is real and commit to a new pattern.
Step Three: Breathe Through It
The third step to becoming more fearless in relationships is to check your breath. When you’re stuck in fear, judgment, and attack, you’re likely not breathing. Your breath alone can smooth over a negative moment and in an instant change the energy between you and another person. Whenever you find yourself dealing with a conflict or fight in your relationship, use your breath as a powerful tool to shift your energy back to positive. I practice Kundalini yoga and love this teaching from one of the masters, Yogi Bhajan:
“In any communication, or in any situation which you cannot confront because it is exaggerating, hot, or aggressive, just change your breath. Breathe through the lips instead of through the nostrils. Exhale always through the nostrils. Inhale through the rolled lips and make it slow and long. It will slow everything as required. It will increase your sensitivity. It will give you 10 times more projection over the person you are talking to.”
Practice this breathing exercise in difficult moments and you’ll see how you can proactively change the energy between you and another person.
Real change comes with a true desire to change. Therefore, to bring more love into your relationships, it’s important that you make a daily commitment to change. Try starting each day with an affirmation or prayer that focuses you on the positive and sets you up to win. You may say, “Today I intend to bring more love into my relationships.” Or, “Today I will be fearless and free in my relationships.” This simple shift can change your entire attitude, energy, and life.
Use these three tools to begin a journey of new, positive perceptions. Open up to the infinite possibilities that you canbe fearless in your relationships and you can enjoy more love. Your peace, love, and connection are a choice you make.
Editor’s note: Finding the love of your life isn’t always easy. Just ask self-help guru Gabrielle Bernstein, author of May Cause Miracles, who tied the knot this past year. Bernstein is the first to admit that getting to this point took work. Here she shares her story of how she got rid of what was holding her back and cleared the way for a happy, loving relationship.