“If you safeguard virtue, it will in turn safeguard you”
Exhibit what you seek
Misplaced trust can extract a terribly high cost in the form of betrayal and the full calamity that unfolds with it. Since we are vulnerable to those that we place exceptional trust in, how do we safeguard ourselves and our relationships from harm and damage and what precautionary measures can we take to mitigate those risks inherently found in the vulnerability associated with the act of trusting at the core of any relationship? First we must find it within ourselves first. We must be willing to live our life as to be worthy of the relationship and trust we expect from others. Safeguarding requires harmonizing between words and deeds. We must first exemplify what we seek in others, if we are to naturally attract it. We create moral obligations when we pledge our commitment to a relationship…if we are unprepared to fulfill those moral commitments we should not to have made them. Having made those we need to be prepared to conduct ourselves in a manner that indicates that we do or end that commitment with honesty and integrity.
A statement of the obvious
When seeking measures to safeguard a relationship, attend to the obvious; “Don’t Fuck it up!” Act virtuously. Be the same person you are in private, as you are in public, by being accountable to your behavior at all times… Whether this is responding to and controlling your impulse for anger management, blaming, victimhood or so often primal sexual drives, we need to be in command of ourselves if we expect to have the same accountability within our partner. It is at these times we should look deep into ourselves and seek out the why of what we’re reacting to. This level of self-reflection is essential if we are to ever overcome our basic primal self. “Know thyself” are truly words to guide your life by and the consequences of your experiences are a condition of it. When you consciously explore your unconscious needs and desires and are then able to attune to those, the more likely your actions will be in alignment to your values. Self-arresting after a fall, protects us from the fall itself, but understanding the hazards that lead up to the fall, safeguards us from those hazards from happening again in the future.
Unspoken needs go unmet
There’s much ado about Hypergamy & Hypogamy within the dating and relationship realm because it falls directly on the natural biological lower rung of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, with physiological needs associated with basic life sustainment and sex being the primal essence. If we are to truly rise above this, towards the highest rung of Self-Actualization, we have to make room for intimacy & vulnerability, thereby developing deep relationship equity. When we attempt to safeguard our relationship by not being vulnerable with our partner about our true needs and desires we are putting up barriers that separate us from our partner and our ultimate fulfillment. We cannot be honest where we fear to offend or risk loss… human connection, to be meaningful, commands trust and respect. When we hide, from our partner, from ourselves, we are doing neither. We are not being intimate when we do not trust or respect our partner with our true needs and desires. We are not being intimate or respectful with ourselves when we do not trust and respect ourselves to convey our needs and desires with our partner. The ability to drop our masks of pretense, to lower our shields to our own vulnerability and to invite our partners in to know and understand our true self adds a vital dimension and depth to our relationship that is central to our fulfillment as individuals and partners.
“Don’t own so much clutter that you will be relieved to see your house catch fire.” Negativity is so much clutter that hasn’t found a proper place and as it builds we become ever more receptive to the idea of just letting it all burn. It is one thing to vent, to feel, experience and then let go of emotions passing through us, but it’s another when we embrace them, when we take ownership of them, when we don’t find a place to lay them. Negativity, shit that doesn’t matter, seemingly benign behaviors that build to toxic behaviors that threaten our relationships are things we need to first limit within ourselves and then promote and support appropriate behaviors within our partner. Often this will mean recognizing and managing our own morale and ego depletion, as we cycle through life’s events, but we should always keep a mindful eye that we don’t have to be smiling to be grateful and to let negativity pass us by.
Never leave in doubt what you value, appreciate and desire within a relationship and a partner… seek out and display your partners virtues and promote those. Leave no misunderstanding what it is that they bring to you and the relationship that you are willing to commit to. Respect competence. Honor it. Protect it from debasement. We receive more of what reward, let that be virtue. Make room for it. Promote it. Acknowledge it. Reward it. Ultimately I believe that what makes people the happiest is the recognition and realization of their own virtue. Our relationships should be incubators for that virtuous expression and realization.