Relationships are the foundation stones of our society. In families, friendship or corporate world, one relates with the other. Some of the relationships we find fulfilling while others end up in agony. Do we deserve only caring and fulfilling ones? If your answer, like most people, is yes, it’s time to pause and think again.
Yes, we feel ‘good’ when the person who we relate to, understands and cares for us. Yet it is only one dimension of life. Life is dual. It has two polarities; good and bad, negative and positive.
Truth is we can’t avoid bad people or relationships, no matter how hard we try to protect ourselves.
Challenge is to deal with and learn from unhealthy, toxic relationships all of us encounter time and again in virtually all phases of life. Conditioning contradicts growth. Look in your head and you will find dozens of voices like ‘be in company of positive people and stay away from negative ones’ . Unknowingly and unconsciously, you are running away from yourself.
The untold fact is ‘We deeply learn from those who cause us pain’, provided we know the art of healing.
Relationships are mirrors. They reflect what is already within us. If you are facing pain and agony in your relationship with spouse, it is time to understand that he/she is triggering only that which is already within you. It requires tremendous courage and willingness to take complete responsibility of your problems unlike holding others accountable for your problems. Most of us tend to affirm with the later.
If you are teenager, you are likely to be feeling peer pressure or perhaps, control by parents. If you are in relationship or married, your spouse may be the one digging deepest wounds out of you. Or perhaps, your boss is one who has pissed off your life.
How to shift from ‘blame game’ to ‘peace’?
The moment you notice other is creating tension and anguish in you, immediately take note of it. Take note of each negative emotion arising in you because of others’ words and/or actions. It could be anxiety, sadness, anger, hatred, guilt, jealousy, shame or fear.
Be aware of each of these negative emotional energies rushing in your mind and body. Psychologists say emotion is a body’s response to a thought. Each emotion has a unique signature. In times of anger, you tend to have an increased heart rate, fast and shallow breaths, enhanced energy in your hands and jaws. Depression slows down your heart rate, reduces your stamina and manifests a disappointment in your facial muscles.
Step 1: Identify the emotion in your system. ‘Ok, I am feeling angry right now’. This awareness is extremely important and will unfold new doors of growth and wisdom for you.
Step 2: Be in total allowance of an emotion in a given moment.
Once you have identified an emotion and thought in your system, close your eyes and stay with it. Be aware of subtle as well as apparent changes going on in your mind and body. You will find mental chatter (a conversation in your head) and bodily changes. Live it, feel it for 5-10 minutes. Don’t run away from the discomfort you are going through right now. I understand it’s not easy in the beginning. Give your best. Let yourself settle into this alien awareness. Live the so called negativity fully. Don’t resist.
In words of a world-renowned psychoanalyst Carl G Jung, “What you resist, it persists. What you look after, it disappears”. Yes, what you ‘look after’ (mindfulness), it disappears. It heals.
This fact is nowadays backed up by large number of neuroscience studies. Click here to read a one by a Harvard Neuroscientist. More details about mindfulness here. or Click here to read our blog on Mindfulness.
Any emotion begins to dissolve in few minutes once looked at and lived fully. It can’t stay for long in the light of awareness/mindfulness.
Our whole life we go on resisting that which is and hope for that which is not. That is where we miss the whole point.
Step 3: Focus on your heart area or heart beat for next 5-10 minutes.
Repeat these 3 steps next time the same or another negativity surfaces.
As you practice mindfulness in this way, you are on to free your mind of so many irrelevant and unnecessary thoughts and fears. The more you practice this, the more freedom will shower in your life.
Over time, you will notice that same person is trying to trigger chaos in you but you are not or least affected. The same energy which was discomfort and you had been running away from, is now transformed into peace and wisdom. You will feel more in control and not swayed away by trivial day-to-day life events.
Not only that, it opens your heart to forgiveness and acceptance of others as they are.