Transforming Fear to Joy

Integration ­— Complementary Skills for Meaningful Relationships

This blog is one of a three-part series on the health impacts of integration (wholeness) in our self-esteem, relationships and ability to enact meaningful change in our lives.

To know oneself is to know life.

The ancient Greek and Egyptian aphorism “Know Thyself” was inscribed on the Temple of Apollo at Delphi and interpreted by Plato (428-348 BC) as symbolizing this truth — when we know ourselves we know what it is to be human.

Others later interpreted it to mean “know thyself, and you are going to know the gods.” Even more recent others, such as Bruce Lee, further explained it as “All knowledge is self-knowledge” implying that to know oneself is to know all of life. As a proponent of the last interpretation, I recognize self-knowledge or conscious awareness of oneself (enlightenment) is a challenging practice to undertake.

 There are three things extremely hard:  steel, a diamond, and to know
one’s self.    Benjamin Franklin

Franklin is right. Spotting our unconscious habits — thoughts, speech and behaviours — is difficult work. However, when we do, we can increase our self-awareness and ability to alter those habits. Thus, if we can identify the habitual relationship patterns we employ, we can then answer the question, “Do I want to be/act this way?”

It is important to remind ourselves that when we use self-identification to directly confront ourselves, our ego is often triggered and then sabotages how we perceive the situation. What is usually required is a back-door awareness tactic to trick us into not reacting from an unconscious negative habit. One means of achieving greater honesty and awareness is through consciously creating an inventory of your strengths and limitations, which is the purpose of the relationship tool below.

To help you bring your relationship patterns into consciousness, you will identify how you are with others as well as how you are with yourself. For each relationship dimension (i.e., INTIMACY), circle the two responses (one from the Patterns With Others columns; one from the Patterns With Self columns) that most accurately represent how you currently respond in the majority of circumstances.