No, really. I know you want to scoff. A part of me does, too. But this question has been consistently presenting itself to me, in one shape or another, over the past month.
The question has come up in my own family, but also for clients with their spouses and business partners, between members of my groups, and even among long-time friends.
Committed relationships are often places where our buttons are primed for pushing, and where we easily fall in habitual, patterned responses. But when that happens, it is on the superficial, drama level, the she-said-so-I-reacted level. And, maybe, there is nothing that can be changed in the patterns, for the moment.
But, for me, the gem is in the fact that I am reactive at all, in the incursion of heaviness, which I might otherwise be inclined to banish or, at least, blame someone else for!
Even if it is not in the heat of the moment, if I can sit with the fact of my reaction and probe beneath it, I can discover what it stands on. It could be based on an old story, perhaps not even related to the person I’m struggling with. If I probe deep enough, eventually I come face to face with some erroneous belief, something I have been treating as fact, but that is waiting to be released, transmuted, or at least, moved along some.
Sometimes it’s work that can be done together with whomever was initially involved, but most often, on that deep level, what happened on the surface and that person are barely relevant. Rather, it is a bittersweet, challenging process of acknowledging, experiencing my fear, my pain, my vulnerability. And by the grace of my ability to do this, the shift begins to happen: the energy moves, sometimes a minuscule amount, sometimes transmuting completely.
But the result is a newfound sense of aliveness, of connection to Life and Mystery, an ability to remember in the truest way that I am an interconnected partof a greater whole. It is the deep breath of air after a long, high dive into the water.
Then it’s easier to be aware of my choices, to remember my connection to this person: my Self. Then, I can hold boundaries with gentleness, instead of resentment. I can choose to clarify an incident with a sense of possibility, instead of letting it go with bitterness; or I can release it with generosity, instead of standing on it embattled.
That means deeper, truer connections with the people in my life. And that energy of connection and understanding that moves out from each interaction creates ripples in the people around me, spreading the love!
In the sacred space that these words and our intention create, offer yourself a moment of true stillness, where you can feel the quiet all around you and within. Ask yourself about the last conflict, or minor irritation you experienced. If it were to serve as an opportunity for you to learn something about yourself or move some energy within you, what would that be? Be willing to dig below the first layers to learn more. What comes up? What changes? Please share in the comments!