Keep it simple, sweetheart…
In my humble opinion, most relationships exist to teach us something. To open our eyes to something we previously couldn’t (or didn’t want to) see… To propel our growth… To get us more and more in touch with our intuition and inner knowing.
Let’s be real – this world is full of assholes! ignorance! jackasses! However you want to say it, this world is full of people who don’t intend well, and put more simply, this world is full of people who flat-out, downright, intend to harm you. Sometimes it can feel like there’s more harmers than do-gooders out there. It can get down-right sad sometimes… until you learn to use every single negative encounter as a lesson to propel your own growth.
What I’ve found helpful on my journey, is to first stop and pause when I’m triggered. Triggered meaning someone pissed me off, offended me, hurt my feelings, or provoked any reaction from me other than one of silent and calm knowingness. So, I’ve found it helpful to catch when I’m caught in the whirlwind of reaction… when I’m in tornado-mode just absolutely perseverating on the story of how could so and so say that/ do that/ and what the fuck were they thinking(!?!) kind of thoughts.
To then practice the art of the pause where you focus your breathing to become deep, full breaths, and you hold steady avoiding the momentum to get pulled into drama and to add it with reaction.
Anyone notice how conditioned we are to react first and calmly process later? Why not calmly process first and read the situation, know what’s truly going on, and then choose to react (or not!!!) later? All the reality tv shows show the tornado of reaction oh-so well… anyone watch Big Brother? What a tornado zone! And all those well-off housewives reality shows… good gravy! There’s some F5’s in there! I actually cannot tolerate the 40 seconds or so of that show’s commercials, let alone sit down for an hour to watch that incessant dysfunction and pathology. Anyways, now you know what I mean with “tornada-mode!” What’s tornado-mode like for you? Do you get irritable and spin into needing control? Do you get over-wrought with emotion? Do you become a soldier for that friend/ family member by taking on their tornado and trying to make everything right?
So, to find the art of the pause, and then to give yourself the time and space to process what happened and why you were triggered… after all, if you are triggered, this is about you(!!!) and not about the person. And as counter-intuitive as it might be, this is true for every situation! Even if the entire planet agrees with you that you were 100% absolutely wronged and mis-treated, it’s still about you! As much as we want to blame the other person for being a jack ass or asshole or for being selfish or rude or whatever the case may be, if we were triggered, it behooves us to figure out why. And not to figure it out through thinking incessantly, which is the hardest part. But to figure it out through our knowing, our gut, our intuition, our instinct. How might you do that? I choose to do that through meditation. Sometimes I’ll get strong sensations of knowing simply through being in a relaxed and tuned-in state such as with yoga, or simply deep breathing. Sometimes the knowing comes to me through a song or a random encounter with someone while I’m out on an errand. Here’s the thing – I trust that if I’m truly dedicated to knowing the root answer to something that’s triggered me, and that if I simply ask, the answer or message I need will find its way to me… however it needs to. It isn’t always an answer or message I particularly want… but it’s always what I need. Often the message comes through nature too… deers and hawks and birds (robins especially) seem to be a “thing” for me. What are your things? And if you don’t know yet, ask! I’d bet something will answer you… be sure to stop and pause and embrace it fully! These are truly magical moments – I treasure them like they are the rarest and shiniest of all earth’s diamonds.
So, back to being triggered… Often, it comes down to something going on in the other person’s life – whether they realize it or not, and you’ve just become a tool for them to vent at because they’ve not done the work of looking at what triggered them and why. So, they go vomiting(!!!) their issues all over everyone they can, never realizing the true issue. Isn’t vomiting as a word so appropriate in this case? If you’ve felt this before, it just feels yucky, gross, stays with you, lingers… well, kinda like vomit! It’s such a hit of utter grossness!
Sometimes it’s well-intended like, say, a little jab or joke meant to poke fun at something without harming, but if we get triggered, we take it personally instead of seeing it for what it was intended to be.
Sometimes, though, it isn’t well-intended… and when that’s the case, your intuition is really worth listening to. If there’s one rule I’ve learned that I can depend on time and time again, it’s that toxic people will serve you in absolutely no way – that is something I’ve learned the very hard way, more than a time or two I’ll add. It also feels like society says, oh just cater to them and love them more and tend to their issues and fix them! Anyone resonate with feeling that pressure? And it’s just such a falsehood. Period. Exclamation point. Toxic people exist to provoke a trigger-reaction, breed drama, harm, and exploit. It’s almost like they walk through life with a massive trail of black heaviness, like slug, or engine soot, or swampiness around them trapping anything and everything they can.
So, now to what matters – the best relationships! What have you found the absolute best relationships in your life to have? For me, the best relationships are the ones where you can truly be yourself, no hiding. Where there’s true connection. Where the childish games of control, manipulation, gas-lighting, and extreme highs and lows (what I lovingly refer to as roller-coastering) aren’t on the table. Where each person in the relationship truly supports the other’s journey and isn’t caught in using force, control, guilt, or mind-games in attempt to pull their partner into the role they want. The best relationships are where each person has their own journey, and they each support the other in that journey without attempting to force the other into serving them or their agenda. The best relationships are where each unconditionally trust that by tending to their own journey first, that a greater force out there will work with you to bring each of you exactly what you want, need, and dream of. And that, even when we really don’t know what is in store for us regarding our journey, we are willing to buckle our seat belt and trust and just go with it.
I so strongly believe that the only agenda we need ever be concerned with, is the agenda our intuition has for us. Period. Exclamation point. Finding a relationship that honors that is so rare… truly.
Usually people say it’s about give and take – I just detest (correction, fucking detest) that statement. There’s too many takers who never give back and spend their entire life taking. And there’s too many givers who just give to give and wear themselves thin because they just give their entire life and never receive. It isn’t about give and take; it’s about finding connection without sacrificing even one speck of yourself, and without expecting your partner to sacrifice one speck of him/herself. It’s about finding connection while staying true to who you are… while you both journey your journey’s and support each other’s journey no matter what it means…
But, the reality is, relationships are so damaged these days… so bloated with pathology…so filled with untruths. Over the years I’ve learned the old adage of “you must love yourself first in order to be loved” is pretty dang bang-on. If you’re constantly trapped in situations where you are bullied, or where there is a power-over dynamic, or where your partner is unfaithful (like all of your previous partners were), or where you’re left utterly unfulfilled and always day-dreaming of the “what ifs”… the most important step… the first step… and really the only step… is to start the journey within.