Fifty Shades of Understanding
I could not finish the book Fifty Shades of Gray. Being an ultra romantic, the submissive stuff was too much for me. Do I think it is a topic worth fighting about? No. Do I think anyone is right or wrong whether they enjoy or engage in those activities? No. I am the last one to go around judging people’s behavior. My own book which divulges my male validation exploits, but also how I overcame and found magnificent me, makes that abundantly clear.
Why all the hype about Fifty Shades of Gray? I took a poll, asking people why they believe it was so wildly popular, both as a book and movie.
These are some of the responses:
-its a love story, we all love a love story
-he pursued her relentlessly, we love to be pursued
-he adored her, we love to be adored, we love to know our man will do anything for us
-we like to read and see what we don’t have, what is lacking in our own lives
Most people I polled admitted they do not engage in S & M, and were able to tolerate its role in the movie because the rest of the story was enticing and entertaining.
There is a really important element to this whole discussion. Motivation. Our motivation (or ‘energy” is a synonymous word) behind everything we do, determines its healthiness or acceptability. When our behavior is a result of a wound from our past, it shifts its meaning for us and the recipient of that behavior. The main character, Grey, had a huge wound around sex. He fed that wound with his behavior. We all do this in our own way with our own wounds (which is why judging anyone for anything is hypocritical). Think of a past hurt, wound, or trauma from your own life. Carefully examine behaviors you engage in to continue to foster its existence. Imagine the people in your life that our affected as a result of your choice to foster those wounds with your behavior. On the flip side, you may also be able to recognize behaviors you may have implemented to minimize and or heal that wound.
The beautiful possibility in all of this is that relationships offer us an opportunity to heal our wounds, for we are not perfect. We all have varying degrees and different areas to heal.
To heal our wounds within relationship, there are a few requirements. (I will not divulge whether the aforementioned book/movie does this, so we will leave it behind for the rest of this discussion.)
1. I believe one of the most important components for personal growth within relationship is having a similar level of self-esteem, value toward oneself, or self-love. Someone with great self-love, is on a liberated path, with many wounds already healed. It is those that are still carrying a lot of hurt, pain, resentment, and other wounds, that also carry lower self-esteem. There is a huge difference in the way these self-esteems think, believe, and live. The person with higher self-esteem will inevitably need to reassure, and emotionally support the lower self-esteemed partner, which can be exhausting. Even if 2 persons with low self-esteem are in relationship, they can choose to grow together. 2 with high self-esteems, can challenge one another to go even further.
2. Relationships need unconditional understanding and acceptance. Again, place this inside of Number 1, and you can see why self-esteem is so vitally important for successful relationship. Imagine having complete understanding and acceptance of someone that does not love and accept themselves, and their beliefs and actions include this destructiveness. There will simply be much more difficult things to understand and accept with someone who does not have high self-esteem.
3. Relationships need openness to being vulnerable. It takes vulnerability to open up about our feelings. Rarely can a person with low self-esteem even communicate these things. They stuff and let things fester. Not good. A great way to share how we feel is to literally say “I feel….” Blame and shame are completely unnecessary. Share your feelings without indicting your partner. Ask, “Help me to understand you better.”
4. Trust is a must. To be any of the above characteristics, we have to trust. To open up, trust is required.
5. Accept we are human and will mess up, but the desire to improve must be present.
6. Genuinely care for your partners happiness and satisfaction.
All of these and their success rate are really dependent on number 1. There is no way around it, as I tried to convey in last weeks blog: Self-Esteem Dictates Every Decision We Make. Which is why I am here! And I have this site! And I wrote my book. I had low self-esteem, and now I don’t. The life led feeling great about oneself is a transformative one, affecting every area, most importantly, in relationships. Relationships can be wonderful. They can be supportive. They can be understanding. And they can be unconditional.
The Greatness Gauge and Compatiblity Compass on my website are great places to start becoming aware of yourself and help you get on the road to incredible living with high self-value.
Sunshine & Smiles