Week 1 - I introduced the concept that your destiny as a human being is to be in relationship with other human beings. You were born into the basic human need to experience love, acceptance and connection with other human beings. To resist this inherent truth will have you suffer on many levels. We are incapable of reaching our potential without being in human relationships. Therefore, relationships could be said to be crucial to our human evolution.
Week 2 - I expanded on suggesting that each of the many types of relationships support us in authentically knowing ourselves. I claimed that each and every relationship has a purpose, a role and a reason for being what it is at this time in our life. Our actions or lack of actions in our current relationships are a result of our past associations, and prior programming of relationships in general. The mere mentioning of someone's name whether we know them or not, generates an experience and energy in us. Those experiences and that energy either opens or closes possibilities for the relationships in our lives. Knowing what opens and closes possibilities in any and all relationships will be a crucial step in co-creating, designing and sustaining relationships. I hope you had an opportunity to do the exercise.
This week, I would like to expand your awareness to include the many filters that further impact how we experience, enhance, or limit our many relationships. Filters in relationships often stop us from experiencing possibilities. Filters are dual purposed. They only let glimmers of ourselves be shown and we are only available to receive or experience a limited amount of the other person at any given time.
Subconsciously we do this to protect ourselves from further hurt, pain or suffering. We bring the hurts and wounds of previous relationships into the current ones. To make it worse, we bring all of the unprocessed emotional messages and wounds as well as our old programming since childhood into our adult relationships. We make it about the other person yet it is our stuff that we are projecting onto the other person.
I am going to claim that trust is at the root of all relationships. If we were to tell the truth about it, it's not that we don't trust them, the fact of the matter is, we don't trust ourselves. Most of the time we are looking for evidence to be right about the stories, judgments, beliefs and interpretations we made up about our relationships. What if that were just more of the ego trying to protect you? Your ego can be slick. It can show up disguised as wisdom. Don't be fooled. Be on the lookout for this trickster. Let's go a little deeper.
Think of what you might be protecting yourself from. Maybe you have trouble setting boundaries, or saying no. Maybe you think negatively of yourself and you don't think you deserve to be treated with respect or dignity. Maybe you don't believe you make wise choices in relationships. Maybe you were naive and trusted blindly. Whatever the excuse or justification you can find to make the relationship wrong is usually more about you than the other person. The facts of the relationship are the facts. Those facts only take on the meaning you give them.
Most of your suffering comes from the interpretation you assign to those facts. Two people who observe the same fact could have a totally different interpretation. Therefore your interpretation is not the TRUTH. It is merely one interpretation.
My point is that we bring many filters, walls and limitations to our relationships. Another thing to consider is that both parties in the relationship are doing the same thing. That makes it nearly impossible to experience any connection at all. These self-imposed disconnections are the walls we hide behind as we continue to experience loneliness, sadness, confusion, anger, frustration, resentment and resignation in the relationships of our lives for the sake of not being hurt. My question is, "IS THIS WORKING FOR YOU"?
Let's do an exercise to demonstrate how many filters are in the way of a real or honest connection with the relationships in your life. From this awareness you will have some insight into what is getting in the way of the connections you want. With that awareness, you can choose to take actions or have conversations that will allow for deeper connections. With practice and a little time, you will begin to let some walls down and let other people in to love, accept and support you. Isn't that more of what you wanted in the first place?
Take a few minutes to find a place that you can get quiet and be still. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and relax. As you continue to breathe, soften your face and shoulders and allow yourself to sink into the awareness of your internal world. If any thoughts or judgments are calling for your attention, allow them to be there without having to follow them and without judging yourself. Always bring your focus back to your breathing as soon as you notice your attention went somewhere else. The good news is that you noticed your attention went somewhere else. Now bring your attention back to your breathing.
Some of you might still find it very difficult or uncomfortable to get still or quiet. Besides getting still and quiet, you might also find it challenging to experience an awareness to your internal world. Whatever is showing up, please don't judge it. Just keep breathing deeply and focus on your breath.
You don't have to do the whole exercise in one sitting. If you are a beginner, it is more important that you practice the art and gift of getting still and quiet and being able to focus on your breathing. This is a lesson in itself so be gentle if you are trying this for the first time. You can gradually add the other pieces once you have learned to just be with your quietness, stillness and breathing. Focused breathing is also great for relieving stress, allowing a different perspective to emerge and taking a pause or calming down from an anxious feeling or situation.
When you think you have gotten as still and quiet as you possibly can, take another deep breath. Don't force your answers. Allow the answers and experiences to emerge. For the sake of this exercise, trust me when I say, you have all you need to access your internal wisdom. Your internal wisdom is that part of you that knows what is best for your highest self to emerge.
If you were able to listen to your internal wisdom from the perspective of your relationships, what would you hear about each one? Ask yourself as many of the following questions about as many relationships as you want to explore. Keep in mind that if you take this on, the degree to which you are willing to risk exposing the truth is the degree to which you will experience more connection, depth and intimacy in your relationships.
- What is my experience when I think of or remember my relationship with (fill in the blank with a person's name)?
- Is my energy enhanced or drained?
- Am I being authentic or am I hiding behind the walls of people pleasing, trying to avoid conflict, or not needing or wanting anything in this relationship?
- What are my beliefs about myself in this relationship?
- What are my beliefs about (fill in the blank with a person's name)?
- What are my beliefs about this relationship?
- Do I have any attachment to the outcome of this relationship?
- Am I resisting taking the next step or moving through what I know I need to do to take responsibility for myself?
- What are the fears that are holding me back in this relationship?
- Do I have any limiting stories or judgments about (fill in the blank with a person's name) personally?
- Do I have any limiting stories or interpretations about this relationship?
- Am I holding onto any grudges or past resentments in this relationship?
- Am I adding any energy or wounds from other unhealed relationships to this one?
- Am I committed to connection in this relationship or am I committed to controlling this relationship?
- What belief, story or interpretation would I have to be willing to surrender, let go of, accept or embrace for me to experience connection and peace in this relationship?
- What action can I take in the next couple of days that would be the next step in eliminating some of the filters I have placed on myself or (fill in the blank with a person's name)?
- What is this relationship showing me about myself and the way I relate to others?
Send me your comments by Clicking here and scrolling down to the contact form and completing it. Your comments are confidential. If you would like to schedule a 30 minute complimentary session to discuss this process or anything that came up for you, you can also request that on the contact form.