By Michael David Lawrience B. A., B. Com
Relationships do not cause pain and unhappiness. They bring out the pain and unhappiness that is already in you. ~ Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now
Relationships we choose or end up in reflecting back to us like a mirror who we are inside. They reflect our emotional states, our beliefs, and our wounded unhealed aspects.
We can choose to ignore or remain unconscious of what our relationships mirror about our internal states. Worse we can blame and get angry at our partner for what they reflect about us. Then the drama, emotional conflict and turmoil will continue recycling, endlessly.
On the other hand, we can choose to recognize that everything our relationship reveals can be used for greater understanding and healing of ourselves and thereby our relationship. It is best if both partners have a willingness to do this.
Our relationships besides reflecting our internal states also show the patterns we learned and took on unconsciously from our families.
As Rahasya in the article, Counseling, says, “It seems that suffering patterns repeat themselves. If we look at a family, the suffering pattern gets inherited, gets transferred from grandparents to parents to children.”
I see the truth of what Rahasya says in my first relationship. I felt joyless and trapped in my birth family growing up and now again I felt trapped in my relationship with Angelique.
So how do we overcome our inherited family patterns of drama? Charlotte Kasl in her book, If the Buddha Married, expresses the suffering that occurs in relationships.
Understanding our attachments, how our expectations, fears, and demands lie at the root of our individual suffering, including our suffering in relationships . . . .
We discover how we can use our highly charged flashes of emotion to help us wake up rather than retreat from our relationships. We learn to stay present to ourselves and acknowledge our anger, fear, or hurt, so we cease hiding from ourselves and those we love.
To summarize what Kasl says, we can use the feelings of anger or hurt sparked by our relationships to stay present with those feelings within ourselves.
As we move through them however long that takes, this allows them to change, to empower ourselves and our relationship. Also, first of all, we can express how we feel to our partners without acting out, for instance, our anger.
For example, we could say, “I feel so angry right now I could pick up this chair and smash it. I am not going to do that though. I am going to instead feel this anger without acting on it. I am going to fully feel it inside my body and just stay present with it.”
“The main obstacle in love is fear, the fear of turning vulnerable, of surrendering and, ultimately, of suffering … What we should not forget is that pain is normal in a relationship. By shutting down your affective flow, you block both pain and love from reaching you,” says Stefan Anitei, science editor.
Because of past suffering, I believed in ignorance that more feelings meant more suffering so I remained in a permanent state of emotional numbness, afraid to feel.
Locked inside my body, without expression, the pain never had a chance of releasing so I suffered. In addition, Angelique and I both blocked our expression of love for each other.
Robert Burney, codependence counsellor in the article, Letting Go of Unavailable People says, “We need to focus on healing our self, on understanding and healing the emotional wounds that have driven us to pick people who could not give us what we want emotionally.”
Have you picked partners out of your own unrecognized and thus unhealed trauma that remained unemotionally capable of nurturing you?
Without knowing, we create a cycle of conflict, a cycle of hurting, attacking, and withdrawing from each other. This cycle then goes on and on without either person ever noticing his or her role in it.
“It’s this cycle of conflict that creates the suffering in relationships,” says Bill Ferguson, author, and relationship workshop leader in the article, Learn How to End Conflict in any Relationship.
Like most people growing up, I received no education on the dynamics of a healthy family, proper communication skills, or awareness and expression of feelings without blame.
I resolved no longer to continue the misery of my parents in my relationships before I ever entered relationships and yet, I ended up out of ignorance repeating the same patterns of conflict.
Fortunately, I stopped the emotional drama in my relationships through recognizing and healing my codependency, becoming aware of, speaking to, and healing my inner five-year-old boy, and integrating my inner feminine energy and emotions with the help of my women partners.
At the beginning of this article I mentioned how relationships mirror back to us who we are. Here are some tips for your benefit.
See these tips adapted from author Shakti Gawain’s article, How to Apply the Mirror Principle to Your Relationships.
1. Think about people you admire. Write down 5 qualities you like about them. These positive qualities also describe you.
2. Think about someone who upsets you. Write down 5 words that come to mind when you think about that person. Do you have some of these same qualities?
Note: When you get angry at your partner or someone stop and reflect what is this telling me about myself? It has nothing to do with them. It is all about us. Are you ready for positive change and the ability to transform your relationships? Are you ready to stop the drama in your relationships and take a good look at yourself?
Michael David Lawrience is the author of Emotional Health: The Secret for Freedom from Drama, Trauma, & Pain coming to Amazon as a softcover in mid-June 2011. He is a certified Residential Coach III with over 13 years’ experience teaching teen’s self-awareness, self-esteem, and self-reliance. He has over 35 years’ experience as a holistic health practitioner with a B.A in Sacred Healing and has been a certified Bowenwork Practitioner since 2005.
Michael’s niche is emotional health with extensive personal experience related to codependency recovery, strengthening self-esteem, healing the inner child, stress management, and meditation which he has practiced for over 40 years. I hope you enjoyed this article with Michael and that you’ll check out his softcover book when it is ready at Amazon mid-June. You can 0rder other versions here now at www.emotionalhealthtips.com Read FREE 1st 50-pages the book, The Secret for Freedom from Drama, Trauma, & Pain.
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