Working toward a healthy relationship benefits more than just you and your partner as a couple. It can also have an amazing effect on you, as an individual. Dr. Craig Martin explains why in Elemental Love Styles: Find Compatibility and Create a Lasting Relationship.
Potential is a goal, not a state of being. It is something you work toward. It can’t be expected that you will act from your potential all the time. Yet potential is something you strive for. You do this by making good choices. The good choices I’m referring to are the ones you make regarding your character. They are made through intimacy — love, honesty, and dynamic inner growth (DIG).
Your relationship is the best place for you to become more aware of yourself, the choices you make, and the effect those choices have on your partner. If you act badly, your partner will let you know. His or her reaction is a quick and direct way of seeing your choice. Hopefully, you care about their reaction and feelings, at least enough to look at what you’ve done. Without caring, you can’t reach your potential.
Your potential is the possibility that you could act from your best self.
Compassion is the love and caring you have for your partner’s well-being. It motivates you to make better choices in your relationship. Without compassion, you would be completely focused on yourself. In a relationship, you have to think about yourself, but you also have to focus on your partner and his or her needs too.
Compassion is more than just a passive feeling; it’s a feeling that leads to action. You act from your potential because you care. Your best self comes forward and attempts to make things better.
Just like a hero, you can be inspired to act from your best self because your partner needs you.
Caring in Action
A hero is an individual who lives up to his or her potential. When a hero sees someone in need, compassion compels them to act. This applies not only to superheroes and the heroes of Greek mythology; it applies to you too.
Just like a hero, you can be inspired to act from your best self because your partner needs you. You rise to the occasion with your potential and make difficult and selfless choices because you see his or her need and you care.
Caring as Example
You can also offer your potential as an example. You don’t always have to rescue the baby from the burning building. Just by being yourself and acting from your potential, others can see, learn, and act from their potential too.
Setting an example offers only a possibility for someone else’s growth. You can’t force anyone to grow and meet their potential. But one thing’s for sure: acting from your negative self does not help others grow.
Virtue and Potential
Many heroes can be found in Greek mythology. In fact, ancient Greek thought dealt extensively with human potential. In ancient thought, and even in modern psychology, there is the concept of human virtue. Loosely, you could think of that as “the best in yourself,” or your individual potential.
Each elemental style has a particular potential of its own, with compassion at its heart. Those potentials are described in ancient Greek philosophy as the virtues. There are four of them. I think it’s worth taking a look at the ancient virtues because even though we rarely refer to them by their old names, they are still the highest points of human potential even today.
Ancient Greek philosophy defined the four virtues of mankind as fortitude, justice, temperance, and prudence. For the purposes of making them more modern, I am going to call them strength, truth, moderation, and wisdom. The meanings remain the same, but the modern language may make them more understandable and easier to apply to yourself. Each virtue corresponds to one of the four elements in elemental psychology.
THE FOUR HUMAN VIRTUES
Greek Virtue: Fortitude
Modern Potential: Strength
What Is It? Inner conviction — the ability to stand in the face of adversity
Greek Virtue: Justice
Modern Potential: Truth
What Is It? Fairness — the ability to know the difference between right and wrong
Greek Virtue: Temperance
Modern Potential: Moderation
What Is It? Balance — the ability to remain centered
Greek Virtue: Prudence
Modern Potential: Wisdom
What Is It? Understanding — the ability to apply knowledge from experience
As your deeper needs are met, you will discover that they are linked with your potential.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Craig Martin, author of Elemental Love Styles: Find Compatibility and Create a Lasting Relationship (Copyright 2010 by Craig Martin), is an interfaith minister, relationship and spiritual counselor, and celebrity astrologer. He lives in Los Angeles, where his main counseling practice is located and also maintains a New York office for his bicoastal clients. Prior to his ministerial work, Dr. Martin was a licensed chiropractor and homeopath. Martin has been featured on television as a relationship expert, and is in demand as a speaker and teacher nationally.
MORE ARTICLES BY THE AUTHOR
- Learn more about Elemental Love Styles: Find Compatibility and Create a Lasting Relationship and browse inside the book
- Watch the video: Dr. Craig Martin on making relationships work
- Learn more about the author