There is a misconception held in many circles, especially, I find, in some new age spiritual circles: when you find the right partner, everything will become smooth and easy.
I work with so many well-meaning, aware people who tend to idealize partnership and therefore find a lot of frustration and disappointment with handling the ups and downs in intimate relationship. They long for a more stable feeling. And while stability can be great and we all have ways that we can work on contributing greater stability to our partnerships — by reducing our reactions, expectations, and volatility — there is also an aspect to the energy field of relationship that is important to understand & that isn’t a sign that something is wrong.
Like our own personal energy fields, the energy field of any relationship will go through periods of expansion and periods of contraction. This is healthy and normal and when worked with, can even be pleasurable.
Every relationship forms its own energy field, called a composite. And when in times of expansion, the composite field will actually grow bigger! Which you can feel. Expansive times are the ‘Yes!’ periods filled with passion, inspiration, and excitement. They are the periods where it is easy to feel the deeper meaning and purpose between you.
Contractive periods are times of integration and (potentially) times of deeper healing and understanding. As the energy field contracts, becoming smaller and moving inward, you’ll bump up against all the energy blocks that are present in the composite field. Ouch! You’ll hit resistance, misunderstandings, and even questioning of your purpose together. These are the times when you really get to see all the different ways that you and your partner trigger each other.
This may sound unpleasant but as in our breathing, both the inhale and exhale of the field are important and inform the other aspect. The expansions bring a feeling of bliss and connection to the larger purposes we have together. The contractions help us move through and heal everything — the traumas, the biases, the negativity, the fears — that are in the way of our capacity to be fully loving, receptive, and present with our partner. The contractive periods are so valuable because when we get through them, we get more of the love, presence, and connection we long for in the next expansion.
Now that you know the value of the contractive periods, the question becomes, can you work through the contractive energies in a beneficial way? Most of us won’t do that…we will just get irritated and do our usual reactive dance with our partner, maybe throw in some blaming them for our problems, some refusing to look at our own stuff, you know the drill! Most of us are pretty good at negative contractions.
Like everything, the first step in changing the habit of negative contraction is awareness. Just noticing that an expansion period has ended and a contractive on is beginning is a helpful thing. With the awareness you can start to invite the contraction with an inner choice like “I am willing to face what comes up.”
We have been programmed by the media & culture to believe that expansion is good and contraction is bad, so we will tend to resist it. But resisting what is occurring is like bracing for a fall and stiffening your body, leading to greater injury, versus keeping the body flexible and going with the fall.
The next time you feel your relationship going into the depths of you and your partner’s stuff, see if you can surrender to and even invite the process. Practice breathing into your fears and worries and irritations, allowing them and becoming curious instead of stiffening up and freaking out. See what happens! You may be surprised to find that a deeper level of connection and awareness follows.
For more info on how I help conscious people deepen in their experience of relationship, feel free to contact me about my offerings.
What a great article, Nina! I’d love to talk more with you about this sometime!
This is such an insightful and thought provoking article Nina. My question is , what causes or triggers these contractions?