What does passion mean to you? It can mean a lot of different things to different people: sexual passion, emotional passion, religious passion, passion about values…
Passion is energy — uncontrolled, powerful energy, from the depths of our being. It is focused, motivated, alive, and connected with the forces of life.
Passion can have a huge effect — either positive or negative. It has moved mountains and it has destroyed nations. How do we allow full passion to exist in our relationships without blowing them apart?
In relationships each partner can trigger, for the other, intensely volatile emotions that can seem to be life and death issues, threatening what is the most important to the other. This is why most stable relationships lose their passion after a while.
Anytime we let anyone close emotionally, we’re getting to a place where uncontrolled energy can be released – either in positive or negative directions. In a healthy relationship the energy released is positive and inspiring for anyone in contact with it. There is the potent potential for ecstasy and incredible growth. The energy is going toward love, growth, and expansion.
In dysfunctional relationships the energy released can be horrendous, with everyone running for cover. People can do desperate and destructive things toward each other — if they even stick around long enough for that to happen. That is because in dysfunctional relationships the passion is, in large part, going into projection, when deep issues from the past are being triggered by your partner. (Projection means when we think that other person is the source of the painful feelings we are feeling.)
In general, relationships bring up deep unresolved issues from childhood (limiting decisions*) giving you the opportunity to work through them. Most people have areas of deep pain that they have the tendency to project onto other people. You can either use this intense experience to confirm the distortion of the limiting decisions* as reality, or you can use it for transformation. In other words, you can either take responsibility for the pain as coming from yourself or project the pain onto the other person.
For many people, the goal in their relationship is to get immediate satisfaction. And often at the beginning of the relationship, you get attracted by the potential for this. But when reality hits, and you find yourself in the midst of life happening — outside the fantasy glow of falling in love — the real issues start coming up.
At this point your partner often takes on the symbolism of your childhood primary relationships (generally your father or mother), including whatever unresolved issues you have with them. These unresolved issues usually have to do with intense basic human needs and desires, such as love, acceptance, survival and safety – and especially the potential for deep union with the other. These can bring up intense pain.
If you are open to personal growth, this serves to greatly motivate you to work on yourself and the relationship. But if you are invested in trying to get immediate satisfaction the way things currently are, this can lead to very volatile emotions because you are going in a direction where there isn’t a solution. You end up blaming your partner for your pain, as if he or she is the source of it. And that’s when passion can become dangerous.
The solution lies in shifting your focus from an investment in immediately getting your needs met by your partner — to recognizing that passion in relationships is connected to a larger soul purpose, having to do with each of you following your own path in life, including your own personal transformation.
If you don’t make a larger truth the focus of your relationship, but instead make your focus safety, security, stability, and comfort, the passion will likely either dissipate or tear the relationship apart. If you do open up to a larger purpose for your relationship, you will find it is an amazing journey, with enormous potential for growth and transformation.
*Limiting decisions: An NLP term used in NLP TimeLine counseling sessions to mean unconscious decisions made in early childhood that are some form of that life doesn’t work, and usually that there is something inherently wrong with you — such as “I am powerless,” “bad,” “without value,” “the world is a dangerous place,” or “people can’t be trusted.”
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Author’s Bio: Jane Ilene Cohen, Ph.D. is an Intuitive & Transformational NLP Counselor, and an NLP & TimeLine Master Practitioner and Hypnotherapist, with a private practice in San Diego North County (Encinitas). She does individual counseling with children and adults (includes the NLP TimeLine Process and hypnosis), works with couples, families and other relationships, and facilitates groups and workshops. She is also the Founder of the “Life is Designed to Work” thought system.
For more about Dr. Cohen’s counseling services, go to: JaneCohenCounseling.com . For a free phone consultation to decide if this is right for you, or to make an appointment, call Dr. Cohen at (760) 753-0733.
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