The most important relationship to focus on, understand and heal is the one with self. As you develop mastery in that pursuit, all other relationships automatically achieve a greater level of understanding and you put yourself in a place of conscious, intentional choice around each one.
This is a really difficult concept to grasp. We live in a relational world. We are always interacting with others and some people have a tremendous impact on our lives – good and bad. The Law of Attraction says we are consistently attracting to ourselves that which we focus on and tells us that we could actually attract anything we truly desire whenever we desire it. Many of us have tried…. and failed. I know I have. But I have been successful too and the learning is that it doesn’t have to be hit and miss. It could just as easily be consistently good as it has at times been consistently bad.
But in such an intertwined world how are we to know exactly how much power and impact we have as an individual? Can’t our individual ability to attract be canceled out or muted by other people we live with, work with or are close to? Or would we perhaps cancel out what someone else is trying to attract? This is the question I have lived – and lived into - for years now and even as I write this I see how either/or this scenario is. Either I get what I want or someone else gets what they want but we both can’t get what we want unless we want the same thing. What if it is actually different than this kind of scenario and many possibilities exist all at the same time?
I distinctly remember a few years ago feeling completely out of control and overwhelmed. There seemed to be so many external circumstances (aka people for the most part) who impinged on my well being, my sense of self, my own competence and my clarity. They created stress in my life, drained me of energy and fed habitual thought patterns in my own mind that I knew were not serving me and had the potential to make me gravely ill.
And I knew that I had attracted to me, and even created, even embraced, some of these circumstances. What I had more difficulty grasping was how much of these difficult relationships and circumstances was me and how much was external to me or someone else. And why? Why did I attract such undesirable circumstances and relationships to myself because I would certainly never consciously have invited some of these things into my life.
Intellectually I grasped these concepts. Living into them was a totally different story.
Then came the point, I also distinctly remember, when I knew I had to turn away from all the external stimuli and blame and turn inwards, turn off the vitriolic self talk, to find the answers I was seeking. Thus began an intense, deep, concept shattering phase of growth which began as an internal battle with loads of resistance and gradually shifted into a surrendering which now allows a beautiful, simpler unfolding of self and story which I embrace as part of my ongoing evolution or journey into open-heartedness. And I couldn’t have done it without the support of a couple of different coaches I worked with over that period of time, dear friends and amazing healers. The discovery and eventual joy in my journey was amplified because I learned to call on and lean into the support that was and is readily available to me.
I couldn’t change the people around me. I tried. I hoped. I prayed. I rationalized and bargained, “Yes, I know I’ve attracted this and contribute to it, but…..” When I was out of options, out of hope and feeling myself slip away into a haze of oblivion I finally turned to the only relationship that I actually have the power to influence, shift and change: the relationship with self. Sure I wanted to…. but did I have to go so deep? Did I have to fundamentally change my views of myself and my life? Did I have to let go of my sense of having been wronged and even harmed by others? Couldn’t I just skate across the surface or go just under the surface? Couldn’t I still hold onto some version of being right? Did I have to fundamentally examine everything about me, take it all apart in order to invite the kind of dramatic change into my life I knew I was needing? Damn. Resistance. Strong enough that it required pushing through at times.
I learned, thanks to the lovely Sarita Chawla, that my emotions were the doorway into understanding what was really going on with me and I learned that when I dissociated from my emotional state I was putting up strong barriers to the learning that was available to me.
As I broke down walls and reclaimed more and more of the essence of who I am, I began to stand stronger in the world. I learned about healthy boundaries and I learned about allowing myself to show up more fully in the world and in my relationships. I became clearer and clearer on what I wanted, what I didn’t want and what needed to shift in me in order for the dynamics of my relationships and my world to shift.
As I came to understand the relationship I had with myself better, I found ways to stand in my strength and my power and grew clarity about “my stuff” – what was mine and what wasn’t – and all the relationships around me began to also shift. I found strength to walk paths I had cowered on before and I found the capacity to change the conversation. I began to choose with who and how I wanted to be in relationship and more and more layers of protective coating began to fall away so I could show up in – and attract – more and more joy, delight, beauty and graciousness until I have come to the understanding that THIS is the baseline way of being. Now I know that when my emotional state is anything other than joy, delight, beauty or love it is a signal to inquire into what’s going on, resolve within myself whatever needs tending to and reaching out, time and time again, for the assistance I need when I need it – because it is readily available and because we amplify possibility and healing when we do so.
I have learned more and more of the truth that it all begins and ends with my relationship with self. When that it grounded, solid and resilient, so too is my capacity to show up in all the other relationships in my life – including the most challenging ones, the most beautiful ones and everything else in between.