The Healing Power of Intimate Relationships

Maintaining Healthy Boundaries

Intimate relationships create the conditions necessary to heal our deep wounding. Because our closest relationships often elicit intense feelings, it can feel justifiable to respond to our partner from a rageful place. Since our most painful memories are usually stored in our implicit memory (the part of our memory that is expressed through performance, rather than conscious recall), we often react to our partner with an intensity as palpable (and unconscious) as survival energy. Conflict in relationship is not only natural and healthy, but also creates an opportunity to respond consciously and thus experience tremendous growth and healing. This conscious responding—including slowing down our reactions by taking deep breaths, feeling our feet on the ground, orienting to our immediate surroundings, and identifying how early childhood experiences may be impacting our current state—transforms a potentially dangerous situation into an opportunistic one. When we are conscious of our feelings, without being swallowed up by them, our early wounds heal and our capacity for healthy and loving relationships grows exponentially.