Relationships are a great way to learn about … your SELF! Does that sound counterintuitive to you? Did you think that I was going to say that you choose relationships to learn about the other person? Well that is actually not the case. We choose relationships to learn more about who we have been and to explore the potential of who we could be! Dr. Margaret Paul discusses this notion throughout her website (www.innerbonding.com). You can also find similar ideas in a book by Cheri Huber called ‘Be The Person You Want To Find’.
Based on this understanding that we engage with others to develop a better relationship with self, I have been reflecting on the course of my past relationships. This increased thinking about my dating patterns was sparked by a recent situation that occurred in my current relationship. I began this interaction feeling very enthusiastic and excited by our future. However, there came a day when we “bumped heads” and momentarily did not see things “eye to eye”. We maintained differing opinions and appeared at a standstill. Conflict is inevitable in any relationship, whether that relationship be an intimate one, a friendship, or familial. However, that conflict, our conflict, had me questioning the future of the relationship. I even began wondering was the person I now disagreeing with, the same individual that I was so mesmerized by? It was all quite perplexing… And then… I read the following quote:
“[Your inner voice can pull] you right out of whatever you’re doing, no matter how enjoyable, and suddenly you’re paying attention to whatever it has to say”
This quote, from the book The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer, reminded me that when we are conscious (paying attention) we are able to experience the fullness of life. However, when we fail to pay attention, we can slip into old habits, habits that may be destructive and leftover residue from past experiences. Just think about Erykah Badu’s song Bag Lady. Mz. Badu sang “Girl I know sometimes it’s hard. And we can’t let go; Oh when someone hurts you oh so bad inside”. If we don’t learn to put down (i.e., let go) of our (emotional) bags, then we are destined to carry them around – weighing down our present and future hopes, dreams, aspirations!
So how does this relate to my relationship? Well, there I was allowing my old baggage to impact my current interaction. Somewhere in the past, I learned and adopted the mantra that conflict = bad, conflict = destruction. As a result, whenever I even sensed conflict, I would “run for the hills!” However, thanks to all of the emotional and spiritual growth that has been occurring, I no longer have a need to run. I have learned to “relax in the face of melodrama” as Michael Singer would say. Yes, I must admit that I can be quite dramatic! J I have also learned that letting go is a matter of choice. I can choose to “take the risk to let go, rather than go with the [negative] energy” (Michael Singer, The Untethered Soul).
Two take away points for you:
- Remember we always have a choice! Nowadays I am choosing happiness. What will you choose? What will you focus upon?
- Even when you make a mistake (and mistakes will happen), by slipping into old patterns, at ANY moment you can choose a new path and start anew.