Getting By Giving

Complete possession is proved only by giving. All you are unable to give possesses you.

·         André Gide


Ten Characteristics of a Conscious Marriage

1. You realize that your love relationship has a hidden purpose - the healing of childhood wounds. Instead of focusing entirely on surface needs and desires, you learn to recognize the unresolved childhood issues that underlie them. When you look at marriage with this X-ray vision, your daily interactions take on more meaning. Puzzling aspects of your relationship begin to make sense to you and you have a greater sense of control.

2. Your create a more accurate image of your partner. At the very moment of attraction, you began fusing your lover with your primary caretakers. Later you projected your negative traits onto your partner, further obscuring your partner's essential reality. As you move toward a conscious marriage, you gradually let go of these illusions and begin to see more of our partner's truth. You see your partner not as your savior, but as another wounded human being, struggling to be healed.

3. You take responsibility for communicating your needs and desires to your partner. In an unconscious marriage, you cling to the childhood belief that your partner automatically intuits your needs. In a conscious marriage, you accept the fact that, in order to understand one another, you have to develop clear channels of communication.

4. You become more intentional in your interactions. In an unconscious marriage, you tend to react without thinking. You allow the primitive response of your old brain to control your behavior. In a conscious marriage, you train yourself to behave in a more constructive manner.

5. You learn to value your partner's needs and wishes as highly as you value your own. In an unconscious marriage, your assume that your partner's role in life is to take care of your needs magically. In a conscious marriage, you let go of this narcissistic view and divert more of your energy to meeting your partner's needs.

6. You embrace the dark side of your personality. In a conscious marriage, you openly acknowledge the fact that you, like everyone else, has negative traits. As you accept responsibility for this dark side of your nature, you lessen your tendency to project your negative traits onto your mate, which creates a less hostile environment.

7. You learn new techniques to satisfy your basic needs and desires. During the power struggle (stage), you cajole, harangue, and blame in an attempt to coerce your partner to meet your needs. When you move beyond this stage, you realize your partner can indeed be a resource for you - once you abandon your self-defeating tactics.

8. You search within yourself for the strengths and abilities you are lacking. One reason you were attracted to your partner is that your partner had strengths and abilities that your lacked. Therefore, being with your partner gave you an illusory sense of wholeness. In a conscious marriage, you learn that the only way you can truly recapture a sense of oneness is to develop the hidden traits within yourself.

9. You become more aware of your drive to be loving and whole and united with the universe. As part of your God-given nature, you have the ability to love unconditionally and to experience unity with the world around you. Social conditioning and imperfect parenting made you lose touch with these qualities. In a conscious marriage, you begin to rediscover your original nature.

10. You accept the difficulty of creating a good marriage. In an unconscious marriage, you believe that the way to have a good marriage is the pick the right partner. In a conscious marriage, you realize you have to be the right partner. As you gain a more realistic view of love relationships, you realize that a good marriage requires commitment, discipline, and the courage to grow and change; marriage is hard work.

- Harville Hendrix PhD, “Getting the Love You Want - a Guide for Couples"


A hundred time every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.

·         Albert Einstein

The key to being happy and fulfilled is giving. Sharing ourselves gives us satisfaction, peace of mind, and a reason to get out of bed every day.

So, what can you give to others? See the list below:

Your time

How many of you are too busy with your own lives to give your time to others? Being busy is an excuse and a reason not to go out of your way. People need you and love you. Make the time.

Your Support

How many of you support the people you in your life? What I mean by support is encouragement to try something new. Just because it didn't work for you doesn't mean it won't work for them. And, just because it didn't work for them in the past, doesn't mean that it won't work in the future. There's nothing better than telling a person that they can do whatever they want in this world. And this time, please mean it.

Your Acceptance

This may be a toughie for some of you. This means unconditional love and the ability to acknowledge someone for who they are and not what you want them to be. It means giving up how you think their life should go, and accepting what they want to do with their lives. It means getting out of the way so they can fulfill their dreams.

Your Attention

How many of you really listen? For everyone who just said, "of course I do", then why are the people in your life asking you to repeat what they just said? It's because they know you didn't hear them. Take a few minutes, stop what you are doing, and focus in on the people you love. Aren't they worth it? And who knows, you may even learn something you thought you already knew.

Your Forgiveness

Forgive people for past mistakes and hurts. After all, they are only human. (We miss this sometimes!) Plus, have you've been the model human being? This really is one of the greatest gifts you can give another person. And, they'll never forget you for it either!

Your Patience

How many of you can't even be with the people you love because they are taking too long to tell a story or longer than "you think" to complete a project. How do you know there isn't a better way to do something? Does it always have to be done your way? Having patience with people shows them that they are respected and loved. Isn't this a better way to have a relationship

Your Love

People want to know they are special in your life and you care about them. If there are conversations you need to have so you are not angry with them anymore, but you are afraid, my advice is to have them anyway. Sometimes you have to take a risk to achieve an open and rewarding relationship. Take the risk and give your love.

And, as you are reaching the end of the article you may ask, "What about me?" Life is bigger than you, so please approach it that way. And, isn't being happy and fulfilled the reason you are reading this article anyway?

- Deborah Brown Contributor, Personal Coach and motivational speaker. Deborah Brown also writes weekly newsletter "Surpass Your Dreams" to help people achieve the life of their dreams. To learn more, visit, or send an email to or call (516) 432-2440 today!



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