Healing Relationships Now, and back then too

Connection is such a vital part of this life. You came into this world connected physically to your mother, from there you formed emotional relationships with your parents, siblings, and/or those who took care of you. You met neighborhood kids and learned how to share your Stretch Armstrong without breaking him (okay, maybe he totally broke that time and sand went everywhere, oops.) What all this was doing, with or without you realizing it, was forming your relationship with yourself and how you expect to be treated by others. BOOM.

And I know a lot of you are thinking "I had a super happy childhood, but that doesn't stop my husband from stealing the remote and being a dick about it." Well, no, but it does help you see why you feel the way you do now. What type of relationship were you raised to believe you deserve? What types do you choose to form now?

I'm not just talking about your romantic partner, but you boss and your best friend. Were you raised to believe someone can walk right over you? What is the balance of give and take between you and that person at the other end of the table?

I invite you to sit and think about this for a while. If one particular relationship is coming to mind, what emotions is that bringing up for you? When did you feel this way in the past? Who was the first person to make you feel this way? What situations does this remind you of from your past?

By beginning to see your current emotions as part of a long standing pattern, you can separate yourself from the relationship issue at hand and look at the deeper conflict within yourself. This is where the real work is.

A big part of this work is forgiveness. Instead of jumping straight to forgiving your husband for jacking the remote (not that you shouldn't, he probably had a long day), I dare you to go back and forgive the originating cause of this pattern: your dad, your uncle, your bully. And if you don't want to do that work, it means you really need to do that work. This does not necessarily mean calling that person and hashing it out. In fact I recommend not doing that, at least not at first. If you really want to contact this person, try writing them a letter that you don't plan to send, allowing you to get all of your feelings out before deciding exactly what you want to say. If you have a meditation practice, bring this person into your mind while meditating and send them love, genuinely wishing the best for this person. This may be difficult at first, but it feels good in the end.

Once you have forgiven the people in your past, you can look at the actions of the people in your life now. What emotional patterns could they have to make them act this way now? What you find here is an opportunity for empathy. This is opportunity to see people as more than just how they affect you. Look at the person across from you as a whole being with their own relationship to themselves and belief system on how they should be treated. Think about this for a moment and how it relates to your own belief system forming the relationship you have with this person today.

I know this is a lot, and it is only the tip of a gigantic healing ice berg. But it is a great way to shift.