1ST CHAPTER OF DEREK O’NEILL’S LATEST BOOK
No one can know where the journey that a couple takes together will lead. What keeps us together? What breaks us apart? Whether we remain in a romantic partnership, or transition out of it, there is wisdom in the idea of love driving both experiences. It is too easy to see marriage/partnership in “success” or “failure” terms. It’s much more productive and healing to look at the dynamics of love and divorce with new eyes. Let’s redefine the journey we take with another person, no matter how long it lasts.
If you are in a relationship, working on keeping what brought you together alive and adaptable, or at some stage of divorce (heading into it, in process, or dealing with post-divorce life), it is helpful to understand that your experience is about YOU. Yes, a partnership is about two people – but your power in love, life, joy or in crisis, and in resolution rests with your own being. Your self-love and confidence, even when shaken, remain under your control. Whatever you are going through, I want you to realize and believe in your true power. Stop giving it away. Don’t put people on pedestals who don’t belong there and don’t let someone else dictate your happiness. We can go through challenging and/or painful times with a partner but no one sets the tone of your life except you. You are every bit as powerful as anyone else on this planet.
Love and partnership can lift us up, but the danger is that once these feelings change, they are now tied to your identity.
In a relationship, or out of one, remember that self-love is the main ingredient in the recipe of being at peace with the world. There will be highs and lows in every aspect of your life. When a marriage ends, it can be one of the most difficult experiences along your path. There’s no sugarcoating it, yet the very thing that brought you into the partnership can be the thing that brings you out, with as much healing as possible. You will have the opportunity to gain a strong sense of who you are, independent of anyone else. This core concept will help you in relationships that last 50 years, ones that fall apart in a relatively short time, and every manifestation in-between. Life is a journey into the highest and most powerful part of yourself, your heart. Partnerships allow us to share this with someone else. They also test our hearts when they come undone. Love can set the tone throughout the entire journey.
My marriage to my late wife Linda was about two beings coming together and supporting one another no matter what we had to face, no matter where we were in our journey. I like to think of us as a couple who were looking in the same direction in life, with the intention to follow the same path, yet as separate souls who were not dependent on the other person to make us complete. We never stifled our individual growth. Though Linda was called back to the light in 2008, she is always with me. She continues to be my teacher as she was in life, now even more so. A marriage/partnership is always changing. Linda taught me, and reinforced the idea that we had to sustain the balance of what it means to be “together” in a healthy, realistic way that never takes away from the “self.” When it comes to endings, we can transition into our new situation with the knowledge that we have experienced life head-on, instead of sitting on the sidelines never taking a risk. Sharing our love is an act of courage that can shed light on everything we do.
On the pages that follow, we will look at the role of love – for others and for ourselves – in partnerships. The first section looks at some of the issues that can create challenges, and the second part of the book focuses on the journey coming out of a marriage/partnership and the post-divorce/break-up experience when we re-establish who we are, what we want in life and how we can act on and share what we have learned.
Or check back soon for the print version!
Relationships: Would You Want to Date You?
part of the Get A Grip series
The Get A Grip books have not come about as a result of my training as a therapist, but through some hard-earned lessons that I have experienced myself. This is how I know the path out of limiting beliefs and behaviors that hinder growth.
The tools that I offer in these books have worked not only for me, but also for hundreds if not thousands of other people. I have shared these ideas and techniques in my workshops, one-on-one sessions, video and radio broadcasts, and on my website, and I have witnessed astounding results time and time again. Through observation of others, and myself, I have learned to identify the triggers and root causes of disharmony. Most of all, I have come to understand and apply the best methods for achieving peace and balance in life; not perfection, but real transformation and harmony that comes with learning who we are and what makes us tick. You’ve made a great choice by investing in this book. Enjoy the read, and take time to learn and apply the techniques. Let’s change who we are together.