Los Angeles Chapter — California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
Los Angeles Chapter — CAMFT
Do You or Your Clients Love Too Much? The Secrets to Creating a Loving “I-Thou” Relationship: The Seventh Step
In working with the clients in my practice who are either in unfulfilling relationships or alone, I have discovered the steps they need to take and what they need to know and to find that perfect mate for them. This is the fifth in a series of articles on The Steps to Creating a Loving “I-Thou” Relationship.
The Seventh Step in learning how to create a loving, committed relationship is to know with every fiber of our being our own unique qualities and character—who we really are in so many different areas. Why is it so important to really know ourselves? How does knowing ourselves help us to create loving, fulfilling, and committed relationships?
Before we go on to more about the Seventh Step of the secrets to creating a loving “I-Thou” relationship, here are the first six steps:
In knowing ourselves in the Seventh Step, we need to know our philosophy of life. Why are we here on planet Earth? How do we define our moral and ethical beliefs? Are we religious or spiritual or an agnostic or atheist, and do we require the same beliefs in our mate? Do we believe in marriage or believe that living together without the formality and legality of marriage better fits us? Do we want children? What are our thoughts on money and financial security? Are we city, suburban or country people? Are we open minded enough to embrace the inevitability of change which will lead to personal growth if allowed to unfold?
Wow, so many questions that need to be answered to help us in making one of the most important decisions of our life.
When I was young, I never thought about any of this—and my choices in mates were horrendous. I just wanted “love,” not even knowing what “love” really meant because I didn’t really love myself. I hadn’t as yet explored the wonderful being that I was and am.
It took a lot of exploration in therapy and with my spiritual practice to gain the self-awareness which freed me from the confines of my Family of Origin System. I learned how to know and express the truly unique and wise individual who had been hidden under layers of confusion for far too long. All that work brought me to where I am today: an expert in the relationship field. Relationships are with one’s self as well as with a mate.
Do you spend time every day learning about yourself? Do you look at your past relationships, both personal and professional, really trying to understand what they meant and how they shaped the person you are today? Do you know what your bottom line is: exactly what you will accept for yourself in relationship with a mate?
Leila Aboohamad, LMFT, is a psychotherapist practicing in Brentwood, Santa Monica and West Los Angeles, California. She specializes in helping individuals and couples create successful, committed loving relationships. She has studied and practiced spirituality and mindfulness for over 35 years. Leila also works with gifted, talented and creative adults helping them to identify and share their special gifts and passions with the world. Website: www.leilalmft.com.
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California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists
Los Angeles Chapter