..Caroline Reynolds..

5 Keys to Soul Level Relationships

"Can't live with them, can't live without them." We all find ourselves somewhere on the relationship cycle in varying degrees of confusion! Like parenting, relationships are something we're largely required to work out for ourselves and much of our approach is based on our personal history. To really understand how to have successful relationships we have to expand our thinking and go to the "soul level." This is where we move from preconditions and knee-jerk reactions to a deeper level of understanding and consciousness.

Here are 5 key "soul level" guidelines to creating loving and thriving partnerships.

1. The Purpose of Relationships

One of the main purposes of romantic relationships is for us to exchange our "gifts," We're always attracted to qualities in someone we haven't yet owned in ourselves. It's why we feel they complete us. Instead we could learn from each other and become more complete within ourselves.

This usually happens in the first flush of romance -- we share new lifestyles and consider different viewpoints. We like someone because they are more "free-spirited/creative/calm" than us. But then "life" kicks in and we resort to our tried and tested coping mechanisms. Instead of dealing with events in the new way our partner models, we find their approach too threatening. Sacrificing growth to familiarity, "free-spirited" becomes "irresponsible," "creative" seems ungrounded and "calm" appears inactive. Our gifts are not exchanged and one of the relationship's main purposes is lost.

The secret is to remember why you were first drawn to one another. Connect with the higher purpose of your attraction, try seeing life their way and expand into a fuller expression of who you are.

2. Outer Dramas, Inner Struggles

We're also drawn to our partners' negative aspects because they show us where we need to heal. At the soul level, your outer life is a reflection of your inner reality. Whatever external conflict you're experiencing is somehow mirroring a struggle within yourself. You may be with someone who tests your ability to live courageously and be a risk taker. Look closely and you'll realize they're an outer manifestation of a voice inside your head. You have "created" them so you can work out how to overcome this negativity within you.

To do this, conquer your own fearful attitude and fully express who you are. We teach people how to treat us and your partner responds to what you believe about yourself. As your self-image and self-worth grow, your dynamic will change.

3. Self-Love

The greatest gift you bring to your partner is your genuine love for yourself. It's impossible to receive love if you don't feel worthy of it just as you can't receive a compliment if you don't believe it. If someone tells you they love your green hair, no matter how convincingly, you can't accept it because you don't believe it's true. If they compliment your hair's actual color, you're likely to accept because you believe it.

Your partner can only make you feel good about yourself if you've already created a place to receive their love. You do this by learning to meet your own needs. Honor whatever helps you feel nurtured, appreciated and empowered -- follow your heart's truth, fully express yourself and surround yourself with environments that bring out the best in you.

4. Respect

Long-term couples always cite respect -- loving understanding and acceptance -- as a major reason for their longevity. We come together to witness, support and respect each other on our mutual journeys of discovery. We are not together to be each other's healer/entertainer/savior/parent. Judgment, expectations and manipulation defile the sacredness of the journeys we share.

"Respect" comes from the Latin word "respectare" meaning to "look again." If you're having difficulty respecting your partner, go to the soul level and look at them with unconditional love until you see what you're both meant to learn and how you can best cherish each other.

5. Freedom

Relationships do not equal ownership. We frequently assume the minute we enter into "relationship" with someone we have the right to decide what they do, where they go and with whom. Most of us don't this in our friendships which is why they're generally easier. If we took the "rules" of friendship, which include recognizing each other's innate freedom, and applied them to our romances, we'd have much more fulfilling experiences. To succeed as a couple, you must accept your partner for the truth of who they are.

Our friendships are also more successful because we tend to have a higher level of self-esteem in them. Love yourself more, deal with your own insecurities instead of trying to control your partner, respect the highest truth in each other and you'll be free to become your authentic best selves.

A romantic relationship is where we enter into a soul agreement to gain a deep understanding of what love really means and how we've each come to express it. By having a soul level relationship you allow your union to become a sacred vehicle to bring real love and expanded consciousness into your life.

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To find out more about Caroline's book, Spiritual Fitness (DeVorss $14.95), visit www.carolinereynolds.com or call (949) 715-1039. She is also giving Personal Energy Readings in NY thru Nov 15th. To book or find out more, please call (949) 244 9769.