Darbella’s Articles — In relationship — there is so much to learn!

Last week­end dur­ing a vis­it with a friend, I noticed that I was express­ing myself more freely, with­out the nor­mal fil­ters. At the same time, I also was more aware of my reac­tions to the things that were said to me. I was pleased with this increased aware­ness and free­dom, the result being a greater feel­ing of alive­ness and aware­ness. I am so often amazed by the things there are to learn about me when I put myself out there in dia­logue with oth­er people.

My friend, on the oth­er hand, was not so fond of this increased free­dom of being that I was expe­ri­enc­ing. She was choos­ing to hurt her­self with my teas­ing. She decid­ed to express to me her dis­con­tent. I made some inter­est­ing obser­va­tions dur­ing that dia­logue and I became aware of three pos­si­ble choic­es I could make based on the infor­ma­tion she had cho­sen to share with me.

Her dia­logue start­ed with the teas­ing issue. Here is my inter­pre­ta­tion of what she was say­ing to me. (I sus­pect that it had lit­tle to do with what she actu­al­ly said!) She was telling me that my teas­ing was dis­tanc­ing us in dia­logue and that if I want­ed to be clos­er to her, I should choose anoth­er way of being.

My reac­tion is an exam­ple of one of the pos­si­ble choic­es I could have made. This choice came from a place of being unaware — work­ing on autopi­lot so to speak — a place I can often react from. I do not know why but I shift­ed and became aware of the things I was say­ing. I real­ized that I was tak­ing some­thing she said and throw­ing it right back as fast as I could. As soon as I noticed, I took a breath or two. The result was that I moved out of that place of mud sling­ing to one where I was open to dia­logue and present with my friend.

I then report­ed that I had made the choice to feel attacked and that my new choice was to be there — present with her. I’m sure my com­mu­ni­ca­tion was not as ele­gant as I just made it sound but that was my intent. I shared this infor­ma­tion with her as I believe it coloured some of the things I had said pre­vi­ous­ly. This choice to fling “hurt” back comes from a place of being unaware. This is a choice I can make and one I am becom­ing more aware of doing. With aware­ness comes the pos­si­bil­i­ty of dif­fer­ent choic­es. The con­ver­sa­tion continued.

My friend com­ment­ed on my crossed arms. She inter­pret­ed this to be my shut­ting myself off from her. I report­ed to her that I was not aware of any feel­ings of shut­ting down. (I am an expert at shut­ting down!!) I was more than hap­py to uncross my arms and did so for the remain­der of the con­ver­sa­tion. This is an exam­ple of anoth­er of the three pos­si­ble choic­es I could make when infor­ma­tion from anoth­er per­son comes my way. I took what she said sim­ply as infor­ma­tion. I did not agree with my friend’s inter­pre­ta­tion of my crossed arms, I sim­ply report­ed this, had no reac­tion to what I was told, uncrossed my arms and con­tin­ued the conversation.

My friend did me a great favour when she point­ed this out to me. When I uncrossed my arms, the ener­gy flowed through my body in a whole new, amaz­ing way. I got lost in that won­der­ful feel­ing for awhile. My whole body vibrat­ed and I tru­ly enjoyed being alive. Now I want to learn how to have that alive feel­ing more often. Guess I will work at not cross­ing my arms to start with.

Soon I returned to the dia­logue in time to learn even more about myself. My friend often talks about her stuff that she projects onto me and this can colour the way she relates to me. What I heard was that she pro­ject­ed onto me char­ac­ter­is­tics about her­self that she did not eas­i­ly accept about her­self. My head took that one step fur­ther. If she did not like these things about her­self then they must be “bad.” If what she sees in me reminds her of these “bad” things she does not like about her­self then I must be this bad, awful per­son. She is nev­er going to like me. I’ll nev­er have a chance to be in rela­tion­ship with her and have her like me. I must be this awful, ter­ri­ble per­son. Woe is me. I went right into the feel­ings big time. I felt every­thing there was to feel. I cried. It last­ed about 3 min­utes by my clock then I re-framed my think­ing. “Wait a minute. That’s not me. That’s not what I think of me. I like me. Nobody else’s opin­ion mat­ters.” A few deep breaths and the feel­ings passed. It took a few min­utes to clear my head and then I report­ed what I had done, where I had gone and that I was fin­ished. I felt clear again.

This is a third choice I have. Some­times I think I need to feel the feel­ings, go into them, have the expe­ri­ence and be fin­ished with it. Three min­utes was long enough. I felt a release and I was fin­ished with that piece.

Of my three pos­si­ble choic­es — I am work­ing hard at stay­ing present in my feel­ings and thoughts so as not to react with­out know­ing. I will admit to react­ing with­out know­ing as soon as I notice. My goal would be to sim­ply notice a feel­ing I have, acknowl­edge it if nec­es­sary, take a breath and car­ry on. I may need to take a few min­utes to expe­ri­ence the feel­ings, but there’s no need to stay stuck in them.

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