Everybody wants to know how to build better relationships. Why is something everybody desires so very hard to find, create or maintain? Obviously, the way we communicate plays a huge role in the satisfaction we feel in our relationships. Additionally, there are some fundamental ideas that just plain make a difference in how we relate to each other and the world around us. Here, I’m writing about what I discover as I explore the world of relationship and how I can help myself do relationship better.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Like Stars, We Burn Bright

         While transferring over my fourth Morning Moment from way back in 2003, I wrote an update. I decided it was relevant enough to post here in my relationship blog. Relationships are tricky things; but their trickiness is a fertile field filled with nuggets of gold that we can mine out.

         Last time we talked about ways that we distort our perceptions and project that distortion on others to escape our self-recriminating feelings from falling short of our own idea of who we are. In short, we betray ourselves and then begin to make up stories about why our betrayal is someone else's fault. It's a form of self-justification designed to make us feel okay with our choices because whatever whatever just wasn't our fault. This is a good thing to know and think about. It's a good thing to begin to recognize and then change.

         Reading a post I'd written such a long while back reminded me of another good thing to know and think about.
   Once, I lived with two beautiful women, Jennifer and Monica. I adored them both. Monica was my partner at the time and together, we were roommates with Jennifer. It was truly a lovely and treasured time in my life.

         One day, only a little while before Monica and I moved in with Jen, I was sitting on her couch and she was standing across the room from me, pouring out her heart. Confusion and dismay about a situation she was experiencing in her dating life poured out of her and washed over me. It was like I'd stepped from the beach into the swell of the ocean, expecting a gentle, rolling tide but smashed with a tidal wave.

             "Oh Holman," she'd cried. "Is there something wrong with me?"
         "Absolutely not," I reassured her and then went on to tell her precisely why there was nothing wrong with her. Life is just plain hard, and all to often we don't know how to walk through it with the grace and Divinity that is our birthright.

         I only vaguely remember the details. Nor can I recall what it was exactly that sparked a moment of insight; but as insight goes, I instantly knew more that I had known a micro moment before.

         Don't get me wrong, I love my Dad; but when I was a kid, bless his heart, my Dad yelled a lot. I quickly discovered that if I said anything to excuse or defend myself, he yelled more. As I write this, I'm realizing the hidden gold in that collection of seemingly unpleasant moments. I learned how to hold my tongue. I learned to be careful in my words. Since words matter; since words can hurt, or words can heal, learning to be aware of my use of them is truly a valuable gift. 

Finding hidden gold in difficult circumstances
         On the other side, I developed the mistaken idea that if I didn't engage, that if I didn't yell back, if I didn't say the snide and mean things that popped into my mind during conflict -- then I was  being the superior man. I mistook my self-righteousness for reality.

         So, I'm talking to Jennifer and suddenly, just like that, I know better. Monitoring and controlling my words, or even my body language is a valuable beginning; but ultimately, it's only half the ball game. To really win, I needed to learn to refine and monitor the energy that was flowing between me and my conflict partner, (thought and emotions are made of energy). Or more all-encompassingly, I needed to learn better ways of broadcasting between me and EVERYone.

          "If looks could kill," the saying goes. People can feel what we are broadcasting. Even if they are not consciously aware of it, people both feel and react to the energy of thought and emotion that we are projecting. If our thoughts or emotions are negative or violent, people know it, consciously or unconsciously, people know it. If our thoughts or emotions are loving and kind, well, people feel that too, and then they respond to it. 

         Think about it, our thoughts and emotions help determine and shape other people's behavior and response patterns. That's heavy stuff, man. This is the ultimate understanding of self-responsibility.

         We are stars and we burn bright! 
We are stars!

         We are unceasingly bombarding the energy of our being, the energetic quality of our thoughts and emotions in every direction, for good or for ill. And just like a star we can blast a concentrated beam of energy, our own solar flare, out into space. But unlike a star, we can project this solar flare directly at the target of our attention. In massage school, they frequently told us, "Energy goes where attention flows." There is no end to energy; it flows and flows and then keeps on flowing. Yet, for us, energy will flow where we direct it.

         If I am angry and I refrain from yelling mean and hurtful things, that is all to the good. Who wants to be mean  or hurtful? Yet, if I am angry and in my stony silence, I glare daggers -- I have formed my solar flare and shaped it into a nuclear missile and launched it, silent but deadly, at my enemy. When the hateful energy blasts over my conflict partner, it hurts them. They will respond to that hurt; consciously or not, their behavior will be altered. Their response to me  will be distorted. Even more sadly, that distortion might propagate itself in an ongoing cycle of negativity as the hurt I created is passed on as poison to others all around. 

         People have within them all possible human emotions and all possible human actions. We call out, we invite emotions and actions as direct responses to the energy we project as we interact, as well as the words we say and the way we behave. Why not invite the loving and beautiful parts of other people to come forth? Everyone has the choice of how they act and respond, but by broadcasting from the positive side of the human spectrum, we create the most welcoming and encouraging palette from which other people paint their responses. 

Like Stars, We Burn Bright
         My exchange with Jennifer that day taught me that I needed to take responsibility for both my words AND the energy of my thoughts and emotions. Both can be formed into weapons and prove hurtful. I don't wish to be either.         Obviously, it's taking the game to a new level. Plus, it's hard: this thing about being self-responsible. Becoming aware of the need to monitor and refine the energy I broadcast was the first step and all of life's experiences offer an opportunity to practice. I am grateful to you, my imaginary reader, for affording me a reminder. Reminders are good and necessary, lest we get completely caught up in the urgency of the game and forget the finer things of Spirit; lest we forget the greater value in refining the way we move through the dream of this world and slumber on. May we awaken to our finest being, the expression of Divinity that we truly are. 

         Remember! Just like the slings and arrows of negativity or the nuclear missiles of anger and hatred --  the gorgeous and comforting outflow of unconditional love and radiant acceptance likewise bursts from our being, broadcasting brightly outward in golden waves of love. The former hurts; the latter heals. Yes we are that powerful. From moment to moment, the choice is ours. What are we broadcasting right now? May it be filled with love and aloha,


1 comment:

  1. Thank you that you feel I am not the "grouchy lunch lady", I enjoy reading these thoughts. This on is especially "spot on". Would be helpful to me to see more clearly how to react to the anger and negative that comes my way, as I channel my thoughts to my wish for peace and happiness to surround me.