How are your relationships?
Do you agree that relationships, whether with your partner, family member, friend or workmate, can be so amazing when they are going well, but so challenging, triggering, frustrating, demanding and head wrecking when they are not?!
You know that saying: Relationships are the best mirrors...
I hate that saying.
But annoyingly, it is true. As I will unravel for you shortly...
So, someone you spend a good chunk of your time with has offended, irritated or upset you and you want to resolve it because you're sick of thinking about it, you're sick of the situation bringing you down.
How do you go about this? How can you address this issue without it turning into a defensive, angry fight that only makes matters worse and adds more fuel to the fire?
Ok, this is really hard, and less than 2% of the people who read this will actually try this out, really give it a go, because not many people have the patience or will, or courage even, to attempt it. But I'm going to share it anyway, because someday, you might be so fed up with going around in circles that you force yourself to try it...
BEFORE, you address the person with your qualm, you need to sit with yourself and meditate on the feelings that this person is triggering within you.
Yeah, I know. You want to stop reading now right? So many of us would rather stab someone in the neck in a heated rage, and go through all the consequences that would bring, rather than just sit with themselves and feel for 10 minutes.
But this is the answer, if you can handle it.
You need to take a deep breath, grow some balls and buckle up with yourself.
Connect with yourself honestly and openly and really listen to that feeling of hurt and everything it wants to say about the situation. Do this objectively, as if you were listening to someone else. You'll find that when you relax into it, it's not that hard. If you take all the labels and judgements away, it's just a feeling, an energy moving within you.
After you've heard everything it has to say, find out what the feeling actually needs. This is the key...
And now, where, in your own life, have you not been giving this to yourself?
Let me give you a couple of examples to demonstrate what I am saying...
#1. Sarah feels as though her husband doesn't give her enough attention. He used to in the early days, but recently he doesn't want to cuddle like he used to, he seems to not respect her as much and doesn't notice it when she puts on a sexy dress. She feels unloved and uncared for, rejected.
As she sits with this feeling, she feels it coming from her heart area. She listens to all the sad, lonely, hurt thoughts emanating from here, and then she tunes into what the heart, the feeling needs.
It needs more meaningful connection.
She realises she hasn't been seeing friends much lately and hasn't been doing the things that make her feel passionate and alive like she used to. She's been relying on her husband to make her feel that way instead.
Now, instead of feeling angry towards her husband, she feels sorry for putting all her eggs in his basket and expecting him to be her only source of love, and decides to get more involved in the community and do what she loves more.
She shares her realisations with her husband that night (instead of accusing him of doing something wrong) which encourages him to share from his heart too, and she feels close to him again.
#2. Phillip really wants to be successful and is very motivated in his job, but he feels his boss is always undermining his ideas, criticising him and devaluing him so he never gets the chance to shine. He wants to call a meeting with his boss and tell him where he can stick his job, but he sits with his feelings first.
He feels anger and a big block in his throat like he's being strangled. He listens to what this area and feeling has to say and realises that it needs someone to believe in him, to believe he's good enough. In other words, he realises that he doesn't believe in himself or think he's good enough, and he's been looking to his boss to give him that validation.
After realising this he drops being angry with his boss and focuses on believing in himself through affirmations, meditations and coaching.
Through this process he has a really good idea which he fully believes in. He takes the idea to his boss in a detached way, with out needing his boss to agree with him. His boss loves it, and loves his new aura of confidence and gives him a promotion.
In both of the above examples, the issue was resolved internally before it was actually expressed to the person involved, if at all.
And you can see how the issue that both Sarah and Phillip had with their hubby and boss was just an indicator of what was going on internally for themselves (that whole relationships as mirrors thing) - the person who seemed to be the problem turned out to be actually giving them the gift of showing them where they needed to work on themselves.
When they chose to sit with themselves and listen to their feelings instead of project them angrily and unconsciously outward, they were able to receive that gift.
What gifts are the people around you trying to give you, especially the super annoying, hurtful, ignorant ones??!!
Relationships are a MASSIVE opportunity for personal growth that a lot of us don't take advantage of because its so much easier to blame and accuse, and it takes courage to really look at yourself and take responsibility for what you find... but you'll keep going around and around in the same rut until you do...
Susan Harrington-Baker is an International Inspirational Leader, Teacher and Intuitive from Christchurch, New Zealand.