Relationship Magic: Waking Up Together with Guy Finley
Radiantly You – Episode 62
SUSIE: Good morning, radiant souls. Welcome to another episode of Radiantly You. I am your host Susie Hindle Kher. So I’m going to hop right in today, because I want to spend a lot of time on what we’re gonna be talking about today. A really common area of pain and grief among people that I work with is in their relationships, whether they’re married or just trying to attract the right partner. A really common area of pain and grief among people I work with is relationships – whether they’re married or just trying to attract the right partner. And as icky relationship tensions are – and I’m just gonna say out of all the things that really suck… conflict with a loved one is the worst. But, there’s some alchemical magic in our relationships too! Our partners – and I speak from some BIG personal experience – are our biggest teachers, especially when we see the rub and the tension.
We’re going to dive into this today, and I promise that you’re going to take away at least one thing you can do right away to shift your relationship. Our guest today is a remarkable teacher – he is so good at bringing the unseen mysteries of this human experience to a place where we can learn and evolve.
He is going to help us create some big magic around troubled relationships. ……. But first, let me set the stage for you by revisiting the story of a perfect couple that we all know and love…. Snow White and Prince Charming. As the story ends, they ride off into the sunset intoxicated by romance, and filled with unconditional adoration for each other, they really are on cloud nine. That’s the end of the official story, but it’s only the beginning of their relationship.
As they settle into life in the castle the lovebirds are now spending every day with each other, weaving their lives together. They are making decisions together, taking care of responsibilities together, and paying bills together. Before they know it, the sparkle of the relationship is replaced by tension, disagreements, blame and hurt. Snow White felt so very alone in her marriage. Prince Charming felt like he could never get right what Snow White wanted. One day they look at each other and both have the sinking realization that their relationship had gone from lovey dovey to loveless. Both of them wanted to dissolve the pain, but the divide between them was so big it felt like they were going to be swallowed up.
I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all been there – in one relationship or another. Maybe you’re in that place right now. Every couple goes through some form of this, for sure.
Our guest today, Guy Finley, is going help us understand why this happens and how to turn around just about any relationship.
You might already know how amazing Guy’s work is, but for those who don’t know, Guy is an internationally renowned spiritual teacher and best-selling author of books on self-realization topics. His book, The Secret of Letting Go, is considered a spiritual classic. Guy founded and is the director of the Life of Learning Foundation based in Merlin, Oregon, as well as the host of Life of Learning’s Wisdom School, which is an online program for personal discovery.
His brand new book is Relationship Magic: Waking Up Together – and the moment I saw this book I knew I wanted to share his work with you. It’s a really, really practical book that gives couples unique, enlightened tools to transform their relationships from mundane to magical.
This isn’t the stuff of traditional marriage or relationship therapy … and it’s definitely not for the faint of heart….Guy’s approach is about shifting yourself to operate from a set of higher principles… really to operate from your higher self.
Guy, welcome to the show and thank you for sharing your book with us!
GUY: Oh, thank you. I’m glad to be with you Susie.
SUSIE: I love the subtitle of Relationship magic which is “Waking Up Together,” because to me that sounds like pure magic, and I would love to hear what was your intention in writing a book that’s not just about relationships, but specifically about waking up together
GUY: [05:00]For the almost four decades that I’ve been writing and teaching there isn’t one book one program that I developed over that time that actually isn’t about relationships. They are the single most unrecognized resource that we have as human beings, not just in our day-to-day lives, but as a tool for those of us who want to understand a little bit more about ourselves in life.
So relationship magic waking up together is a sort of a deep encapsulation of all the work that I’ve done, brought into – as you said – you know right down to the nitty-gritty everyday moments that we have with our partners, with mom and dad, children, family, friends… where we have the inevitable rub where things begin to grow cold or stale. And this book looks at how we can begin to look at these moments and our partners through a new set of eyes that have been opened through the new understanding that the book provides.
SUSIE: So, one of the things you talk about in here is the idea that we can see ourselves, you know, there’s something to be learned by what we see when we look through the eyes of the one we love. So what is that lesson in there for us?
GUY: We all know you could make a book just alone on the different kinds of arguments that we have.
SUSIE: That would be a big book!
GUY: [06:45]Yeah, I mean, you know, there’s a there’s the cold shoulder treatment. There’s the hard and heavy look treatment. There’s the passive-aggressive comment. There’s the out-and-out anger. There’s the seething resentment… all of those things that we share in our relationships with others each. And every one of them, honestly, have a single seed, a single source, for that kind of suffering and when we can begin to understand it a little bit then we can start to do something we’ve never done before. An example. When our partner says something, and it pushes the proverbial button, what’s our reaction, Susie? Where we do we go? “Oh, thank you for making that comment for looking at me like that ,for bringing up that past fault, or my present weakness.” Are we grateful that our partner has pointed out a fault, or do we have an immediate negative reaction?
SUSIE: Oh, man, the defenses go up. I can feel the armor coming on.
GUY: [07:55]I mean we can all say no, not me. But the fact is, there’s an instantaneous negative reaction because within us is awakened, in that moment, an instantaneous resistance. We feel pain and when we feel pain we push back – that’s what traditional patterns are in most relationships.
Our partner pushes, we push back. Now everybody stay with me! Did our partner make that comment, say that cruel message – whatever it was – because they felt good in the moment? Or was there something about us just prior to their comment, that set them off so that they were in pain and they spoke out of pain? Wouldn’t that be the truth?
SUSIE: That sounds true.
GUY: [08:49]All right, so our partner is in pain that we don’t see. They don’t know what to do with their pain, other than to blame it on the familiar part of our self that usually justifies that negativity. So they throw the bomb, we catch the bomb. It goes off in us and we throw the bomb back, and there you have a war – whether it’s between two people, two nations, two countries, it’s all the same war. Someone’s in pain. They throw a bomb, someone catches a bomb. They blow up. They throw it back. Now, here’s what it means to see our partners through new eyes.
SUSIE: Okay. I’m excited to hear this.
GUY: [09:39]What if we could begin to understand that when we look at our partner all we see is him or her as the source of our suffering. And could we understand in that same moment that while we’re negative, what are they seeing? All they see is the source of their pain, so that in such moments we have two human beings, each one seeing the other as the source of the pain between them.
And here’s what we need in terms of new knowledge. Why, Susie – especially if I really love someone – why is my pain more important than yours? If I really love someone, do I ever want to hurt them? No, and if I was present – really present – to myself in the moment where something I saw in my partner set off a pain in me. And I then could see that that pained part of me wants to launch out and make my partner feel pain. If I could be aware of my own pain, would I give it to my partner? Would I do it? No.
Next – and equally important – did my partner actually cause that pain in me or is the pain I’m feeling when I find a fault in my partner because I’m living with an unseen expectation that he or she should never miss the mark, never say the wrong thing, always console me, always listen to whatever is troubling me? But if they don’t, that unseen demand that lays dormant in my mind.
The moment they don’t live up to that expectation, bang here I am and I’m going to – and this is also important – I’m going to fix you. That’s what I’m trying to do when we get negative with our partner. It is because something has been stirred in us, that we saw in them. What we don’t know is that what we see in them has no weight, no power, no authority were it not for an unseen demand in us that we never see that in them. So we are complicit in that conflict without knowing it, because if there weren’t that expectation.
And then, on our part, the idea that you know – and listen to this – out of love, don’t we try to fix our partner out of love? You know, we say, “I love you or I would never bring this up.” But you see, you can’t fix your partner – write it down. You already know it. What we call fixing our partner is trying to make them fit the expectation we have of them that we don’t know until they don’t fit our pattern our ideal. So that that pain is as much our responsibility as is theirs.
And one more main idea. If I may, there isn’t one of us listening to this call between Susie and I who hasn’t had a moment where – and I’ll say it, by the grace of God – something in some relationship finally hit home, you know the saying, “when the student is ready the teacher appears.”
GUY: [13:29]Well every moment is the teacher, and specifically our partnerships, the relationships we have in those moments. Now, my partner may have said to me a hundred times, “I wish that you were more patient. I wish you would just listen to me when I’m talking.” Any one of those comments that is our earnest and probably true wish on the part of our partner because there’s some breakdown in our communication. Then one day, because when my partner says it, I’ve already turned her off… I’ve already turned him off. Hmm. I want to listen to you. Tell me what’s wrong with me. Yeah, I’m pretty much perfect. You just don’t see, but here’s what happens one day. I’m with someone or I’m doing something and I actually see for myself my impatience. I see that I hurt somebody with it. Not because they asked me to see it, because by the grace of God, maybe because I’ve been wanting to understand myself. There I am and I suddenly taste what I’m serving my partner to eat, and it stinks – it’s bitter, it’s bad. In that moment. I don’t need anybody to say, “Guy, will you please change your behavior, change your nature?” Because in that moment, I see for myself that that nature has no love in it – that nature believes is right because of how righteous it can become, but the feeling is not right – it’s negative.
And that’s sort of the point. We only change ourselves when we see the need to be changed. The same holds true for our partner. But when we push our partner to change instead of getting a willingness to see what we wish they would see, we get an instant resistance to anything we’ve said. So, rather than enlarging and opening the relationship where each of us has the chance to change because we each see where we’re being limited by something that doesn’t know what love is, but believed it did. In that moment our partner can change because we’ve given them the space to do it. If we will sit there in that moment and understand, my pain with you right now is my responsibility first, not yours, mine. Then we have chance for not only a real shift in the relationship, but it begins with self-realization on the part of each partner.
SUSIE: And that speaks to a part of your book that held a really big truth for me – and it’s a little bit of a bitter pill – that the real underlying limitation in the relationship, as you’re saying, is how we look at and think about others… but more accurately t,he real problem is what we don’t yet see or understand about ourselves.
GUY: [16:44]It’s so true and we can use our past experience, listeners, to recognize the fact of that.
SUSIE: That’s true. How would you recommend that couples use this book? Should they read it together or, you know, if one partner wants to take the initiative read it and then how could they draw their partner in? What’s the best way, because there’s a little bit of vulnerability, right, in being the first person to try this, especially if there’s been long ongoing tension, you know?
GUY: [17:13]I know it does seem like that, Susie. But it would like be saying, you know, what there’s a little bit of vulnerability to the first person who notices the house is on fire and runs outside without a coat, you know.
SUSIE: Thank you for putting that in perspective.
GUY: [17:31]I mean, this is where each of us has to really be honest. When I was a boy I fell in love, and honestly I was kind of born working with spiritual ideas from the time I was six. So by the time I was at 17, I had quite a bit of a real wish in me to know something of the nature of timeless love, Christ eternity, call it what you will. And I fell in love, and I remember the first time I sat down with my first love and I said, “You know what? I don’t know how we’re going to do it, but you and I have to agree, because we love each other, we will never hurt each other. We just have to, we just have to agree to it. I’m not even sure what it means. I mean, right now we’re on a bed of roses, but experience dictates that’s going to go away, and when it does we have to remember it isn’t love that left us. But rather that we forgot love was with us, and that if we could remember that when one is unloving, unkind, unconscious? In the dark of us, wanting to blame someone, we could remember that maybe instead of making each other suffer, we could use those times together to change so that we didn’t have those bad moments where all things get dark and then we live with resentment.”
Now I was unable to do it and she was couldn’t do it. Because I didn’t have enough understanding, and to the point of what I said, we’re so quick to be sure that the pain we feel with our partner is 100% their fault. We see no complicity on our part at all. But as we start to wake up, which is the subtitle of the book, Waking Up Together, it means that my partner – I start to see them as an agent. I actually call them Secret Agents of Love. They are there in my life to work as force of revelation. When we go outside, Susie, on a beautiful day like right now – I know it’s not so beautiful up there where you are.
SUSIE: It’s foggy, but I love the fog.
GUY: [19:49]Yeah, the fog has its beauty you can see things moving. When we look at something beautiful, are we not stirred by that relationship to realize somewhere in ourselves a very unusual character or quality that we would never know lived in us if it weren’t for the revelation of that relationship in the moment? Isn’t that true?
SUSIE: Yeah. It’s kind of like it’s bringing something that you can’t normally see into a place of visibility.
GUY: [20:22]Yes exactly. What was unconscious is made conscious. Okay, what was concealed is momentarily revealed. And when we fall in love with somebody, man, we want all the revelations there are: I didn’t know my body could feel like that; I didn’t I didn’t know a smile could light up my heart and mind; I didn’t know that quirky tone would tickle me. I mean all these little nuances when we fall in love. Why? Because the revelation of these parts of myself are realized because my partner is turning me on, pure and simple. Literally waking me up to parts I never knew were there. All on board with that, Susie?
SUSIE: Yeah, for sure.
GUY: [21:11]Yeah, that makes perfect sense, right? Now what happens when a year, two years, three years, ten years down the line, all of those little quirky things, all of the things that there could never be enough time for start bringing up all of these strange reactions in me.
GUY: [21:35]Annoyance, irritation, impatience. Here’s the question l,isteners. Why isn’t my partner serving the exact same purpose that he or she did when we first met?
SUSIE: Great question!
GUY: [21:50]They are revealing what is concealed in me, and nothing in me can be healed that remains concealed. So if I have brought forward through time with me, through past relationships and all of the misunderstanding that was sown because of self-ignorance, all of these painful places, and all that happens is now, instead of them being covered up with, you know, slathered with love, now the Teflon’s worn off and suddenly I’m sensitive, irritated.
It’s the same thing, only now, I have to thank my partner for waking me up to a limitation in me – not just to our relationship, but to knowing ever deeper levels of love itself, and that’s almost like a deeper connection to divine to divinity.
SUSIE: Yes. Yes. Yes.
GUY: [22:53]Love brings us together. It’s a whole other show. I didn’t bring my wife- I’ve been with my wife for almost 40 years – I didn’t bring her into my life. She didn’t bring me into her life. Something brought us together, something stirred us together. So that in those initial times there, you know, everybody remembers being on the phone for eight hours, falling asleep. I mean everybody remembers that. Why? Because I’m learning all these new things about you. I can’t learn enough about you because every new thing about you turns me on. Why? Because there’s this bond. But eventually we stop learning about who we met because who we met has stopped changing.
SUSIE: Okay, so I let’s give listeners, like, one example or an exercise that they could do today, either alone or with their partner, to help begin to renew that relationship and that kind of brings in all of these beautiful things you’ve been talking about.
GUY: [24:05]This is a big one.
SUSIE: Hey, we’re ready.
GUY: [24:08]All right, because we’ve made certain agreements. Haven’t we?
GUY: [24:12]We understand that in a moment of conflict, not only do I need to see my partner through their eyes, but I need to see what they’re seeing as well. I need to see what my partner is seeing in the moment of an upset. Am I kind, am I pleasant, am I listening, or are they seeing someone who, for his behavior or her behavior, is justifying everything? They see that as putting them in the blame mode. Do you get it?
SUSIE: Yeah, something has to interrupt the pattern.
GUY: [25:04]And it’s not going to interrupt itself, Susie. There are seeds of suffering, of unhappiness, past pain, regrets, resentments. They live in us there, carried forward. Someone is going to have to take responsibility when that seed strikes a fire and that fire throws another seed and that thing goes round and round in a circle of conflict. One of us has to step up and say this one’s on me.
I’m not going to return unkindness for unkindness. Why? Is it because I don’t feel that? No, I feel unkindness. I feel the same pain you do, but I love you and you may not be able to bare yourself for the sake of love. But so help me God, I’m going to try love and I’m not going to explain to myself or you, I’m just going to act.
And this is so interesting, if a person would try it. When you stop arguing with your partner – not because you’re trying to be super cool, super spiritual – but because you understand that what is dark, misunderstanding, painful and you see that you can no more bring about peace than a bomb can clear a path and make flowers grow, then you get it. And your partner won’t know what happened. They’ll say why aren’t you fighting?
SUSIE: You create a shift.
GUY: [26:38]Yeah, you don’t love me. You won’t fight with me. No, I do love you. And that’s why I won’t fight you. I’m going to give love a chance to let me see the limitation in me that you’ve pointed out. But I’m not going to blame you for what’s limited in me. I’m going to live with it, because it’s to it be responsible and then see if love won’t make the change that I’ve been unable to make in myself and in you.
SUSIE: Guy, thank you so much. This has been absolutely beautiful. I hope everyone out there has been inspired to higher action from a place of love by today’s show and be sure to check my show notes page to find Guy’s links, and I did not have a chance to really go into all the offers he has, but we will put those up on the show notes page, as well as a transcript and a recording of the show. Go to radiantriverwellness.com and click on radio. And if you feel like you’re needing any extra support in your own life or relationship, also, I’m just an email away. You can reach me on my website at radiantriverwellness.com.
Thank you Guy, again for being here.
GUY: [27:43]It’s been delightful. Can I give that URL really quick?
SUSIE: Do yes, please!
GUY: [27:48]It’s relationshipmagicbook.com. Go there and one of the free gifts is an instantaneous download of the audiobook that I read (Relationship Magic).
SUSIE: The book is truly incredible. I’m reading through it. And I think it’s gonna be one of those that I return to to remind myself when I stumble, bumble, fall – because I know I will do that in my relationship.
So thank you everyone for listening. I can’t wait for our show next week when I’m talking to the queen of Tarot – Brigit Esselmont … better known as Biddy Tarot. See you then!