10 Ways to Grow a Relationship of Mutual Personal Development

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Personal development happens one person at a time. Nobody can do it for you and you can’t do it for anyone else. Either it’s a fundamental urge springing forth spontaneously from deep inside . . . or not.

If it’s there, it’s irresistible. If it’s not, it’s irrelevant.

Even though the way of discovery and personal growth is a one-lane road, it sure is nice to be able to share stretches of it with someone else.

“Take my hand, we’ll walk along together,
Far as we can, we’ll make it so much better.
So nice to share, some of the things that matter,
So many don’t care, their dreams are torn and scattered.”
- from the song, “Take My Hand” by Tupelo Kenyon

Naturally, something as intimately personal and private as your own personal evolution of consciousness can’t be comfortably shared with just anyone. With what kind of person could you share something so profound?

That’s the first question that comes to mind. If having this kind of life partner is important to you, maybe a better question is, “How can I be that kind of person?”

1. Do you have your partner’s own best interests in mind? Do you really want to help create what is best for your partner, as well as what is best for you? The real magic happens where your own best interests overlap. You enable your partner to be their best, and they do the same for you. This creates a powerful bond, a rare kind of teamwork that is bigger than the sum of its parts.

“In real love you want the other person’s good. In romantic love you want the other person.” – Margaret Anderson

2. Can you respect and honor your partner’s direction even if it’s different than yours? Isn’t it amazing how different we all are even though we have so much in common? No two people think the same or feel the same or react the same. It’s important to remember this. If you were both exactly the same, the team would be weaker. One of you would be extraneous.

3. Are you willing to step up to the plate and do the things you are able to do best with the confidence that your partner will do the same? We all have different natural abilities and different learned skills. A good team evolves naturally so that each person uses their talents and knowledge to benefit the team. A good team player on a good team knows if they focus their attention along the lines of their strengths, their teammate will do the same. Again, the team is stronger that the sum of its parts.

“Love, and do what you like.” — St. Augustine (354-430)

4. If you have nothing to offer, stay out of the way. Every choice and every activity will not involve you both. This is a good time to remember the importance of having some “alone time”.

“Let there be spaces in your togetherness.” – The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931)

When you work alone, it helps you stay in touch with your inner core. Solo activity strengthens and vitalizes the unique person you are. Then you have something more to offer your partner for the activities that better support your teamwork.

5. Can you allow your partner to be right? Can you walk away from a potential argument in order to preserve the peace? Sometimes, who’s right doesn’t really matter. Why pollute the air and strain relations for some nebulous, irrelevant egotistical reason? It’s not worth it. Would you rather be right, or would you rather be at peace?

6. Can you celebrate your partner’s personal accomplishments even though they don’t involve you? Remember the importance of supporting and encouraging your partner’s endeavors. Personal solo accomplishments are often made possible by this fertile foundation of mutual encouragement. A strong support team often makes it possible for individual team members to do things much easier than if they didn’t have someone cheering them on.

“Players win games, teams win championships.” – Bill Taylor

“When you’re part of a team, you stand up for your teammates. Your loyalty is to them. You protect them through good and bad, because they’d do the same for you.” – Yogi Berra

7. Can you celebrate the partnership without clinging? All partnerships are temporary. It may last a year or a hundred years. If it works, it’s beautiful. If it’s stifling and suffocating and getting in the way of your personal development, it may be time for a change. We come into this world one at a time, and we leave one at a time. It’s important to continue to grow your own personal strengths and allow the evolution of your own individual consciousness while celebrating the gift of togetherness.

“Partnership, not dependence, is the real romance in marriage.” – Muriel Fox

8. Are you committed to communication? After a while, some couples enjoy unspoken communication that comes from years of experience together. That’s a satisfying experience, but there are still times when old-fashioned talking is best. Your partner needs to know how you feel. They can read your mind and your emotions to a certain extent, but it’s up to you to fill in the gaps with words.

If you are feeling some negative emotion, that’s a sure sign the predominate thoughts you’ve been thinking recently are not in sync with your deepest sense of personal direction. You are drifting off course, and this is your chance to allow your partner to help. Express how you feel. Trust that your partner is dedicated to your mutual goal of personal development and may be able to offer insight you have overlooked.

9. Don’t expect your partner to change their behavior for you to be happy. Your happiness, contentment and joy must come from deep inside rather than from anywhere on the outside.

“Even in the common affairs of life, in love, friendship, and
marriage, how little security we have when we trust our happiness in the hands of others.” – William Hazlitt (1778-1830)

When you both know how to tap into your own inner springs of well-being, the joy is multiplied exponentially by your togetherness.

“Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” – Joseph Addison (1672-1719)

10. Express gratitude. Of course your partner realizes how much you appreciate everything they do to make your teamwork special. Tell them anyway.

Everyone enjoys feeling appreciated and loved. This is a simple thing with profound effects . . . a little positive reinforcement to help keep you on track together. Why not express this in the most direct way possible? Everyone loves to hear that familiar phrase, those three simple words, “OK, yes dear.” (Just kidding.) “I love you.”

P.S. It’s appropriate that this is #11 in a list of 10. A sense of humor is one of the most important ingredients of any strong relationship. Laugh together. Love together. And grow together to be the best each of you can be.

“In those whom I like, I can find no common denominator; in those whom I love I can: they all make me laugh.” – Wystan Hugh Auden (1907-73)

A perfect relationship may only exist in Hollywood’s romantic comedies, but these points can make a dramatic difference in the quality of your relationship. My wife, Janey, and I have been together since 1978, and we both care about personal growth. We are very different people with different styles, but we are both dedicated to supporting and encouraging each other in our own unique journey of personal discovery. We share what we can where our interests overlap, and we also encourage and support each another’s solo endeavors.

“There is no greater excitement than to support an intellectual wife and have her support you. Marriage is a partnership in which each inspires the other, and brings fruition to both of you.” – Millicent Carey McIntosh

As in any real relationship, there are fabulous victories as well as things that require working out. It’s not always easy, but it’s definitely worth the effort.

“Life Is A Challenge – Meet It! Life Is A Song – Sing It! Life Is A Dream – Realize It! Life Is A Game – Play It! Life Is Love – Enjoy It!” – Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

If you feel that deep glow pulling you in the direction of your own personal evolution of consciousness and you’d love to share more of it with someone special, try this: Be the kind of person you would like to share your journey with.

While reading, did you choose to hear the relaxing instrumental music linked at the beginning of this article? To learn more about it, click here.
Listen FREE to the songs below . . . chosen to enhance the ideas in this article.

Related Songs
Hand in Hand and Heart to Heart
"You and I drew a good lot in life." We never take it for granted, but continually re-create it on a daily basis looking forward with imagination and gratitude.
http://www.somemusicmatters.com/DescX.html#Anchor16

Take My Hand
Companionship and the sharing of love is the thing, whether it lasts a moment or a lifetime.
http://www.somemusicmatters.com/DescAnth.html#Anchor19

Colours of the Rainbow
Sometimes, the right combination of husband and wife equals much more than merely one plus one.
http://www.somemusicmatters.com/DescAnth.html#Anchor8

Grow into a Song
We have all felt that longing to share feelings and thoughts that matter with people who care. To be inspired, entertained, nurtured and cherished by someone you admire and respect is an amazing gift that makes a previously full life suddenly become complete.
http://www.somemusicmatters.com/DescAnth.html#Anchor10

Where Only Freedom Flies
To be together and feel free at the same time is the essence of a relationship of mutual personal growth.
http://www.somemusicmatters.com/DescHere.html#Anchor13

Songs by Tupelo

Related Links

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Meaningful Spiritual Relationships – Namaste Matters
Behind the faces, beyond the reach of social conditioning, deeper than individual egos, we are identical. We are presence, consciousness, pure knowingness – the awareness of “I am.” We are life itself. Celebrate life with this insight on how to take your personal relationships to a whole new level.

Communication – Friend or Foe
Our communication skills can make or break us. This article includes some refreshing insights on communication from an unusual vantage point. Celebrate life with newfound attitudes about the art and science of communication.

How to Keep Your Word
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Gratitude for Home and Family
Home and family is literally the center of our universe, but how often do we take it for granted? Celebrate life through gratitude for our sense of home and the people we share it with.

Take Time for You
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This is the end of the article entitled 10 Ways to Grow a Relationship of Mutual Personal Development published by Tupelo Kenyon on January 22, 2007 at 8:00 am | In Relationships - Copyright 2007 - All rights reserved worldwide.

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    Even though the way of discovery and personal growth is a one-lane road, it sure is nice to be able to share stretches of it with someone else. With what kind of person could you share something so profound? If having this kind of life partner is impor…

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