Tag Archives: Anger

Pressed: 52 Weeks Begin Now: Week 22: I Will Meet You in the Garden

19 Mar

52 Weeks Begin Now: Week 22: I Will Meet You in the Garden.

IMG_4501

Looking Beyond the Veil: Sometimes, it takes making a big shift in life, to start seeing things differently–deeply, in such a way that I have had to review what my tendencies are in relationship with self and others. Taking any risk such as moving or travelling, forces me to examine what it is that is really important to me, and why it is so. What motivates me? What am I vulnerable to? Who do I let in my life? Why am I being given, what I perceive to be, the same types of challenges in relationship over and over again? What is now different than when I have been in relationship before, is my engagement and attachment to being “right” within them. I have also learned that feelings are never wrong to the person feeling them. Therefore, it is this delicate balance of not fighting for right and wrong, but knowing that there is somewhere in the middle of thoughts and feelings where people need to find some common ground. The poet Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī writes: “Somewhere between right and wrong there is a garden. I will meet you there.”

After recently experiencing a short-lived, but intense relationship, it became clear that what started out as a fairy tale, was only a story of two personalities still learning about ourselves. It was not, in the end, a meeting of the souls, or I believe that things would have turned out differently. It is interesting reading Gary Zukav’s Seat of the Soul (finally) that he talks about spiritual partnership as the following:

“Spiritual Partnership
… The new female and the new male
are partners on a journey of spiritual growth.
They want to make the journey.
Their love and trust keep them together.
Their intuition guides them. They consult with each other.
They are friends. They laugh a lot. They are equals.

That is what a spiritual partnership is:
a partnership between equals
for the purpose of spiritual growth.”

The Power of Words: When two people discover that their egos and baggage hamper this type of spiritual evolution of relationship, there is nothing one or the other can really do. I have now learned that I truly cannot change anyone. If judgment and harsh behaviour emerges, I can only comment on it, and explain the human experience from the other side while trying to understand the other person as well. However, the wall that is often quickly erected and obstructs a compassionate vantage point, is one in the form of harsh words of judgment and accusations. “How could you do this to me?” Instead of, “What are you trying to say, and why is it important?” Erroneous and arbitrary words that bubble up in argument can be fatal as they cage the conflict in ego, and not in truly seeing each other for what the issue ought to be, a difference of perception and experience. Where I see someone attempting to personify me in a way that does not exemplify my true intentions or best self, it is important for me to first consider why it is happening. Then I try to attempt to communicate my thoughts and feelings to clarify any miscommunication (without wounding), and failing these efforts, it becomes necessary to let the relationship go where it continues to assume the worst of itself under pressure.

“A power struggle collapses when you withdraw your energy from it. Power struggles become uninteresting to you when you change your intention from winning to learning about yourself.” Zukav indicates that when souls, not personalities, love each other, they can meet in this garden that Rumi describes. Otherwise, they are caught trying to impress upon the other the “right way” to act and feel and perceive situations. They are caught blaming each other for their reactions to difficulties, instead of uncovering what is happening in any given dilemma. The goal of any relational conflict is for each person to learn more about each other while still coming out of the situation unscathed and whole. Too many arguments in relationship wound each other, and this is the unfortunate cycle of things. Maturity has taught me that I must walk away where woundedness controls the situation.

Relationship Skirmishes: Regardless of who starts the difficulties, how the matter is handled, and the empathy for the context within which it arises, is paramount. Where there is compassion and empathy, comes love. If empathy leaves the room and counter attacks (based on perceived attacks) take over (passive or aggressive), it is not a reliable or trusting connection. We have to trust that even in the darkest hour of our relationships, we can count on the other to endeavour to see us for all of our good points, and provide us with the benefit of the doubt even where painful to do so. We like to think that an emotional bank account in relationship is deposited so that the partner can draw on it to balance out anger when he or she sees some of our uglier sides. What happens too often, is that people bankrupt all of the emotional investment in one argument.

Compassionate relationships see the frailty of human nature, and understand that where we fail, we are usually grappling with ourselves and the challenges at hand, and not attacking or meaning to attack. People who go through their lives blind-sided by conflict, and seeing it as an attack (passive or aggressive), are not likely to see or understand the other person underneath the surface of their personalities. Therefore, it is not love, it is something else. I have learned that when relationship skirmishes arise, that they are very telling of how successful the relationship will be over time. They give us insight into the journey of our partners and how we can be sensitive to the relationship. Sometimes, we can love people but detach from their pain that might otherwise, pull us under. Sometimes, we can do this in the context of the relationship, and sometimes, we need to leave the relationship in order to stay healthy. We can always love people regardless of our connection to them.

In the end, we are all human. If this humanness is not truly appreciated, we are caged by our relationships because we must alway be perfect. We must always be perfect for fear of toppling over the egos engaged in the relationship of right in wrong. We then live in fear of emotions, rather than embracing them for what they are truly meant to teach us about our souls. Sometimes we have to look fear, anger and hurt in the eye of the storm, and unveil it gently and carefully so that it can look back. When it is this vulnerable, it is best not to label it with unkind words, or pathologize the intentions of the person expressing it, or “it ” will hide or attack; rather we must uncover what “it” is. Once people in relationship can do this over and over again, the volatility of the relationship holds less power and love penetrates everything.

“When you have an emotional reaction to what you see, you are judging. That is your signal that you have an issue inside of yourself – with yourself – not with the other person. If you react to evil, look inside yourself for the very thing that so agitates you, and you will find it. If it were not there, you will simply discern, act appropriately, and move on.” Gary Zukav

10155952_736288353078692_1564273940_n

Advertisements