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Reverend Laurie Sue Brockway, The Romance Reverend

Soulful Love
April 2002

by Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway

Every month, our Soulful Singles "Romance Reverend" shares her sage insights on relationships and getting ready for soulful love!  Send your questions to RomanceRev@SoulfulLiving.com.

When Someone You Love Pushes Your Buttons

Dear Romance Reverend,

I have been begun dating someone who I believe is "the one." I feel so closely connected. Yet I notice that there are things about her that really make me nuts. No one can push my buttons like she does, except my mother maybe. How can I fix this situation and make it better? – Andy, Chicago, IL

*  *  *  *  *  *

Dear Andy –

Your new partner probably brings up some of the unresolved issues you have with your mom, and forces you to revisit that within you that needs some attention and healing. You may do the same to her. Relationships often bring all our "issues" up. Bringing these things to light is not necessarily a "bad thing." But is always a more pleasant experience if you and your partner can deal with things in a conscious, loving way. And it is always wise to clarify the differences between getting your buttons pushed and being in a relationship that is filled with a lot of upset and aggravation.

Betty Eadie, who wrote Saved by the Light and The Ripple Effect, says: "The purpose of life on earth is to learn to love unconditionally, as close as possible…To learn to love even those people who are unlovable, to learn to love and accept them unconditionally, and not be judgmental. Love is very healing."

I don’t believe that you have to throw your arm around every homeless person or force yourself to stay in bad relationships, but intimate relationships beg us to explore our shadow selves. These shadows are not the "boogie man/woman;" they are signs that within you live unknown aspects of self. In many cases, these parts would never be discovered, were it not for the partner who pushes your buttons!

If someone shows up in your life to share love, then God and Goddess have brought you the great gift of a partner to help you navigate the sometimes smooth, and sometimes choppy, ocean of Relationships. This person can be a romantic partner, a friend, a co-worker, or a family member. If a relationship or interaction is stimulating or triggering negative emotions or fears, note where this person makes you angry, what about them makes your blood boil; get in touch with what makes you feel unloved or upset around them. Then consider they are reflecting something to you that comes from within you. It is one of the hardest lessons for us to learn in life because we always want to point a finger at the other person.

The people who show up in our lives all have a lesson to bring us or learn with us. When relationships are difficult is often because they are highlighting a hidden part of the self that we have disowned or weren’t even aware of. The gift is a chance to look deeply into ourselves… and an opportunity to love ourselves even more by loving "the other."

In these relationships, you may feel that you want to flee… but you cannot flee from yourself. You will only recreate the same pattern elsewhere.

When you learn to pay attention to the darker side of relationships and not fear them simply because they are dark, you will learn which relationships are truly good for you and which you must leave behind. And you will be able to learn which partnerships are ultimately healing and which add injury and insult. This is a process that requires you to take a lot of personal responsibility – to detect and admit your own imbalances and to take on the work of healing them, and by observing and making a decision to alter co-dependent and unhealthy behaviors.

As Mary Sarton once said, "No partner in a love relationship should feel that he has to give up an essential part of himself to make it viable." True love is a state of freedom and authenticity. It is not our place to try to fix, change or make somebody else okay in life. Love, by its very nature, brings with it a subtle yet sweeping transformative power that brings us closer to our own greatness. But each partner in a love relationship – as well as friends and family members – must get there of their own accord, with love as the gentle impetus, not as the sledge hammer that enforces change. You can’t fix your partner, although you can begin to alter your own understanding, behavior and consciousness in the relationship. You can begin to steer the relationship toward a more conscious exploration of the shadowy sides of loving and being intimate with another.

Some people come to us to teach us and then they move on. Some come to learn with us but fail to take away from the relationship the lessons that will empower them to grow. It is important to assess the signs of a partner who has no intention to evolve. The proof here is in the pudding: they simply never make any effort to change and you end up doing all the emotional work in the relationship. You will naturally want to do all you can to help this person along, but there will come a time of reckoning, of absolute truth telling, when you must assess if a relationship has run its course.

Talk to your loved one and see if she is willing to discuss the situation and find out her point of view as well: Is she feeling her buttons pushed by you? Telling the truth, and opening the door to her telling the truth, is the first step to liberate you and your loved one from a negative pattern you may be stuck in. See if you can open the dialog for some conscious and loving exploration. Good luck!

© Copyright 2002 Reverend Laurie Sue Brockway  All Rights Reserved. 

A Favorite Poem From The Romance Reverend

I believe the symbols of a healthy relationship include a sense that two people have come together to enhance one another and share life, but not live it through one another. For those in a relationship, and all those searching, I share this poem by poet Carol Fitchett. It is a reading I often use in weddings to illustrate how to create health and balance in modern relationships. In the context of such a relationship, it is understood that people in intimate unions will trigger one another’s "issues," but that a couple will face the shadowy side of love and romance – together – each agreeing to a certain amount of personal responsibility.

When I Come To You

I come not to change you,
But only to delight in our individuality,

I come not to lean upon you,
But only with desire for our love.

I come not to deplete you,
But only to add my life force to yours.

I come not to possess you,
But only to awaken our sharing.

I come not to stand firm upon only my opinion,
But rather to lie closely beside you in tenderness.

When I come to you, I ask only that we come together in love."

-- Carol Fitchett


What pushes your buttons in relationships? Do you notice any reoccurring patterns?


Read Reverend Laurie Sue's Current Column


Read Reverend Laurie Sue's Past Columns:

March 2002 - "When Life Has You Down, Remember You Are Loved"

February 2002 - "Plan a Valentine's Day Team Date"

January 2002 - "Do I Hear Him Knocking … From the Other Side?"

December 2001 - "How Do We Make Our Love Dreams Come True?"

November 2001 - "What is the Future of Love?"

October 2001 - "Getting to Know 'Lakshmi' the Goddess of Good Fortune"

September 2001 - "Can't Hurry Love... It Will Happen in Its Right Moment"

August 2001 - "Family Rituals Help Us Grow Into Loving Beings"

July 2001 - "Dreams Warn It’s Time To Own Your Power"

June 2001 - "A Fun Visual of Your Favorite Romance"

May 2001 - "Someday Your Mystical Soul Mate Will Come"

April 2001 - "Enjoy the Merriment and Fun of An Ancient Love Holiday"

March 2001 - "Nourish Yourself On a Date for One"

February 2001 - "Get Ready for Soulful Love"

Reverend Laurie Sue Brockway is an author, teacher and contemporary clergy person who specializes in matters of the heart and soul. As an ordained interfaith minister and non-denominational wedding officiant, it is her honor to regularly marry couples in love.

Prior to becoming a minister she enjoyed a successful and colorful 20 years in media as a widely published journalist, editor and author of several books on relationships and romance—as well as being a noted spokesperson on those topics. She was editor-in-chief of two national magazines and several regional publications, and her articles have been published around the world and in many newspapers and national magazines, such as the NY Daily News, The Washington Post, Women’s News, New Woman, Ladies’ Home Journal and Child. She evolved years of specialized reporting in the field of male-female relationship dynamics into a more spiritual pursuit that led her to train to be an interfaith minister, and then establish her wedding ministry along with a number of popular relationship enhancement programs. Her wedding ministry is based in New York.

She is also dedicated to bringing about a deeper awareness and understanding of the Divine Feminine. As a graduate of The New Seminary in NYC, the world’s premier seminary for interfaith ministers, she was educated and trained in the tenants, spiritual practice and worship of many faiths. She became a specialist in the feminine aspects of God in all the world’s religions. Today, she is widely recognized as a minister, teacher and scribe specializing in women’s spirituality and The Divine Feminine from an interfaith and all-inclusive perspective. She is on the board of directors of World Light Fellowship, heading up their Feminine Faces of God programs, and is Founder of Our Mother’s House, a cyber ministry at www.OurMothersHouse.org.

Long devoted to helping women access the "Goddess Within," she is currently working on two books that bring the wisdom of ancient archetypes to modern women. Her newest book, A Goddess Is a Girl's Best Friend, is due out from Perigee Books in December 2002.

To be placed on a mailing list for information about A Goddess Is A Girl’s Best Friend: OurMothersHouse@aol.com


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