THE MIRROR OF RELATIONSHIP-
An Alchemy of Emotions
*A chapter from Nancy Nester's new book*
While I have written books, newsletters and articles and counseled
and worked with many different individuals around the world, I continue
to find that the biggest challenge for most of us is our relationship
to Creator/Source. The quality of that relationship equates to
our relationship with Self and then, to our relationship
with others. In each instance, having
a relationship with Source and then with Self is of paramount importance.
The quality of that primary relationship has a direct effect on
our partnerships with others.
Do we know who we are, and do we like who that person is? Do we believe we are worthy and deserving of unconditional love? While we might know how we would like someone to love us, do we love ourselves in that way already? Do we trust and accept all the different parts of ourselves? The bottom line for most of us is - we simply would like to be loved and accepted for who we are, for our real selves.
Which one of us hasn't wished for finally finding and keeping our perfect relationship? What if we are in a relationship and it remains confusing and always changing? How do we cope with the loss and heartache that relationship can sometimes bring? How do we deal with the hurtful emotions that can sometimes occur, despite our best intentions?
The challenges then become: What do we do with anger in a relationship? How does this powerful emotion reflect our passion? Where does our anger come from? And finally: What do these emotions have in common and how can we use this alchemy, this mixture of powerful energies and feelings, to remain true to ourselves and become more creative?
So we might say the first question is: How do we love even the unacceptable parts of ourselves without projecting them on to another? When we are angry at someone close to us, we usually don’t see them as a mirror. We don’t want to accept that this powerful emotion is really telling us something we need to know about ourselves. If we choose to be true to ourselves and grow in our creative self, we first must take responsibility for all of our own angry feelings. Understanding the process of projection (directing our energy and feelings at another) often is our unconscious attempt to take the unacceptable parts of ourselves and attribute them to our relationship partner. Projection is often so subtle that it makes it difficult for us to see that it is ourselves we are not loving when we are angry– not the other person. (More information about Projections)
The emotion of anger calls for great passion. Passionate people have passionate anger. This powerful energy can however, be creatively used as a signal for us to be ‘pushed’ or ‘prodded’ into action. Anger happens in every relationship. All of us may wish we could get to that point in life when we would never again experience that energy. As long as we are in these human bodies, however, we are in the human condition of experiencing every emotion. That includes anger. Looking at the reasons behind this energy can help us to see and understand its purpose and usefulness. Most often, anger is a way we protect ourselves from pain or fearful conditions. These feelings can make us vulnerable and often, vulnerability is viewed as a sign of weakness or fragility. We believe however, that it is within our vulnerability that we can find our strengths and the truest nature of our relationship to Creator/Source.
In our healing, counseling and life-coaching practice, we have heard many people say that anger is the hardest part of their relationship. They often ask how to deal with this emotion. We suggest that first, they must determine if the everyday irritabilities are worthy of that much energy, or do they represent a pattern of behavior that we can let go, for the sake of maintaining harmony. The real emotion of anger in all its passion has a great intensity. This energetic pattern often has roots older than the current situation or relationship, yet that old pattern is being ‘triggered’ by something within the present moment. We can determine those past patterns and present triggers by examining the issues and conditions we have come to place on love – specifically the love of self.
Anger often expresses itself as an outward attack on another person. In allowing ourselves to examine this emotion as an old pattern with a present-day trigger, we can recognize it as a defense mechanism. Even though we may know this to be true intellectually, it is still difficult not to accept anger from our partner as a personal attack. This powerful emotion demands a need and a longing for acceptance. If we can get past our own emotions in that moment to remember that anger is the other person’s way of covering up their own hurt or pain, we can have unconditional compassion for them and recognize their cry for help. Listening openly and accepting the feelings of someone else and whatever emotional state they may be expressing in the moment can diffuse the hurtful energy. Remember, anger is not really personal, for it represents the internal feelings of the individual expressing the emotion. The most destructive thing about anger is not only that it deeply hurts someone we love, but how that energy causes a chemical reaction within ourselves that can damage our physical and emotional bodies. It deprives us of our inner peace, our unconditional love of self and our unconditional compassion for others. Holding the energy and emotion of anger can literally make us ill. It is important to physically deal with the intensity of that emotion. This is easily accomplished by taking a walk, running, dancing, singing or finding another active way of moving through the energy.
If we truly wish to grow in love and friendship, we need to take responsibility for our own angry feelings. It is up to each one of us to accept and confront the hurt, pain or fear hiding within. Maintaining this emotion in any type of relationship is self-defeating, for it does not allow us to examine any deeper or more vulnerable feelings.
How do we muster up the courage to look into the mirrors provided in our relationships in order to examine what we may have projected? The emotional energy we feel or see in our partner is really our own identical emotional energy in that present moment. Yes, it does take courage and love of self in order to accept the mirrors within our relationships. One way to work on our love of self is to begin living within each moment, being present, claiming our power and changing our vibration to the higher energy of love. A place to begin is to choose a part of our physical body that we don’t like, hold a good thought or feeling and bring the vibration of love into that part of our bodies. For years, we have shared a simple energetic clearing technique that works – every time.
It takes courage for us to acknowledge that what we see in our relationship mirror is actually ourselves; that how we are feeling in that moment is being reflected not just by our partner, but in our world. Until we can change our attitude about anger, begin to trust in the loving compassion within our relationship and stop projecting our own insecurities and blame onto another person, we will ignore the mirror of relationship and not uncover the pain or hurt that we hold deep within.
When we begin the work of having unconditional love of self, we can become serious in reviewing the emotions of anger. This allows us to confront our issues with the realization that we all are truly in relationship to grow and to learn. We are in human relationships to master all of the conditions we have placed on love. That awareness can assist us to use the passionate emotion of anger as a powerful tool for action, to move us forward in our spiritual growth, become a witness for Spirit and then begin to assist others in their own process. (Witness for Spirit Newsletter)
Everything that happens in our relationships is part of the beautiful and wondrous dance of life. The mirrors we attract in order to look within ourselves to examine our own fears are very special gifts and opportunities. Until we recognize the emotions we hold deep within, we will continue to attract the mirrors needed for our human growth and spiritual evolution. As we learn to accept others for where they are in every moment, without losing the love of Self, we grow and expand into even greater awareness. We can then help others to recognize that awareness of unconditional self-love within themselves.
Only by being courageous and willing to look inside ourselves for the ways in which we may have contributed to the difficulties within our relationships and by accepting the gift of our mirrors, can we find the roadmap for greater love, intimacy and passion in all our relations and all our creations. (More on relationships)