What I’ve Learned

Last week, a FaceBook friend on my personal page totally misunderstood something I said in response to a question she asked, which quickly escalated into a total meltdown on her part, ending with her unfriending me before I could even respond. While I valued that person’s friendship (we didn’t know each other personally, but she had been very supportive of my family through some rough times), I also understood that it was her problem. I always go back and re-read/re-evaluate situations like this to be sure whether I had some part in the issue and take responsibility for it by making amends or whatever is required. In this case, I was making every attempt to be factual and unemotional in my words. This was one of those cases that reminds me that, regardless of how well I choose my words, attitude and tone, I simply cannot take responsibility for how the other person hears them.

So here’s a blog I wrote several years ago that I repeat occasionally. It reminds me how I’ve learned to manage relationships, and how far I’ve come to date. We’re all works in progress, so each time I post it, I add new things I’ve learned. I hope it helps you as well.

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Like many of you, there are people in my life that challenge me in just about every way possible. Some of these people I love very much. I’ve spent lots of energy trying to understand, help them, and at times, to realign my side of the relationship so that it feels better to me. Sometimes, it’s eventually possible and even healthy to eliminate toxic people from our lives. In some cases, this is not an option.

The realization I’ve come to is that these people have been and continue to be my greatest teachers. I now believe that we are joined together on a spiritual path through which each of us is meant to learn.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned (and often am even able to practice) so far:

-To enjoy the moment. Yesterday may have sucked and so may tomorrow, so when it’s good, I relish in it. Even if today is the one that sucks, I’m learning to appreciate the lesson and the fact that if nothing else, it will propel me upward eventually.

-When I know I’m going to be in that person’s presence, I prepare myself emotionally and spiritually to remain aware during that time. This helps me consciously respond to behaviors and comments, rather than impulsively react (which I usually regret later).

-To love unconditionally, with no strings attached, is the only true love. Anything other than that is either obsession or some other form of self-indulgence.

-To allow the other to live their life in their way, even though it feels very wrong or unsafe to me.

-To want the peace that I want for myself even more for the other person.

-To send that person love every day (at LEAST once a day) – and those days when I’m not feeling the love to ask my Source to make me an instrument of the loving energy that comes from the Universe.

-I’ve learned and practiced a meditation where I breathe in the pain of another and breathe out the healing energy of Love.

-We don’t have to be in each other’s lives every day. Sometimes the best we can do is love them from a distance.

-When we are together, it’s OK – and often better to just have a surface level conversation so things don’t get uncomfortable. (In most cases, I encourage open and honest communication to get down to real issues; but there are people with whom this is just not possible. I need to know the difference and act accordingly).

-To honor the other’s perspective on life and understand that we each see our environment through the lens of our own experiences. Based on that person’s belief system, I can respect their choices.

-I can’t hurt enough for the other person to make them better. All that does is double the amount of hurt. It doesn’t help the other, and it certainly doesn’t help me!

In order to do ANY of the above, I have to allow space in my life to let something new in. If I keep myself obsessively busy trying to understand it, control it, fix it or worry about it the only thing I’ll be successful at is numbing myself. Any of these behaviors will keep me from having space in my life to allow anything else to come in. Peace, true understanding or love will not be able to squeeze in. And I will have drained myself of any energy I had to be of help if and when the opportunity comes.

I’m not saying I can practice all of this all the time. Life isn’t all or nothing, and sometimes, even though we learn, it takes several reminders before it becomes a part of us. But each time I get pulled back down, a new light eventually comes on and I’m that much further ahead than I was before.

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SANAYA SAYS: Donning Your Cape

“Oh, but I don’t want him or her there!” you cry, and this is understandable if that one’s energy is so very dissonant to yours. If you are unable to see from your soul’s perspective, you will spend your time together focusing on how your two vibrations grate against each other. Ah, there’s the rub. That other is in your life for a purpose. If they rub you the wrong way, there is growth to be had. Can you be in their presence long enough to ask your higher self why the discord? Yes, you can choose not to include another in your activities, but when you can include them and find peace, then you have turned what would have before been an unpleasant situation into a triumph of the spirit.

How to survive a clashing of vibrations? Be like Superman. Put on your spirit cape and your giant “S” and rise above the clatter. Do you recall how humble Superman was? He did not go about telling the world that he was the caped crusader, and we recommend you do the same. Quietly shift to your greater role and see why that other acts as they do. Now muster all the compassion in your heart and silently send it their way from that giant “S” on your chest. Suddenly it will not matter who is in the room, for your love will have changed the whole dynamic. You have saved the day for your lower self. Isn’t it powerful to be a superhero?

– Sanaya