Relationships as Mirrors

In the beginning each of us was birthed into existence at the tribal level. So much so that our very survival was dependent on caretaking from others. Our story in adulthood is something quite different. In fact, sometimes our very survival can depend upon our ability to be independent and withstand separation from significant others.

Now we have awareness of an essential human dilemma. We must reconcile both facets of our existence. We exist in a duality. We are tribal and we are unique, independent and individual. And we are faced often, with a call to create a bridge between these ways of being. And again, and again, and again, the building of bridges is required of us, in all facets of life. Whether we are at work or at play, with our families and friends, or in our solitude, creating or tuning into spirit, we simply must choose how to apportion our precious time and reconcile the many-faceted needs that these two dimensions of our being demand to have fulfilled.

We each manage this contradiction between the needs of belonging and the needs of being separate with varying degrees of challenge and success. When the challenge is experienced as high, our existence can be troubled and pained. There is also great opportunity for awareness and self-reflection. One way to open up and expand our heart-felt need to join with others is to consider how relationships exist in our lives as mirrors. When we look at difficult relationships let’s inquire of ourselves what is the perception we are having of the other? How do we judge them? What are the qualities that we find difficult?

How might the negative quality we are perceiving be viewed in a positive light? How might we have disowned that part of ourselves? When we are open to looking at difficult relationships in this way we open ourselves to the possibility of incorporating more balance into our own being.

This holiday time of year can bring high relief to painful relationships past and present. Beginning to view how each difficult encounter can serve as an opportunity to become more informed of disowned parts of ourselves and reclaim our wholeness can lessen the negative impact and infuse us with a sense of the positive.

Gratitude Makes A Difference

Keeping a gratitude journal can serve a truly useful purpose when the blues hit. By remembering to be grateful everyday and taking a few minutes to jot down 4 or 5 things every evening that you’ve appreciated during the day you will have a reserve store of ‘goodies’ to draw from in times when you’re feeling down. The mind thinks in pictures and in the moment of appreciation a snapshot of the grateful moment is captured until it’s written down. Over time memories fade but a surprising thing often happens when reviewing the posts from a gratitude journal. Upon reading the written summaries capturing the times when we’ve felt grateful it’s as if that moment happens for us all over again, and we’re back in the ‘scene’. A depressed mood can be instantly lifted at such moments. A snapshot in time from the original scene ‘re-presents’ itself. At such times it’s possible to feel once again infused with joy.