A recent meditation on relationships was so healing for me; I felt inspired to share it with all of you.
I had a dream, and actually a series of dreams recently, about my college boyfriend. So this morning I sank into the memories and etchings of that experience on my soul. What I came up with was regret. Not regret that we are no longer together, but regret over the energetics of the interaction.
Boy, was I a jerk. I was a typical pitta imbalanced, self-centered, narcissist. And I had also a good amount of vata imbalance=codependency, poor impulse control and need for drama. Some of that comes from the unhealthy aspects of my parents’ relationship; and likely he stayed with me because it mirrored the unhealthy facets of his parents’ relationship. Looking back, I see the regret is really that I hurt him.
I don’t think I’ve really ever hurt anyone, definitely not intentionally. Even this was a hurt that I caused because I wasn’t paying attention. I was so focused on me and the effects of my choices on me, that I disregarded how he would be affected. Therein were the seeds of disconnection with the universe. From there flourished other poor decisions rooted in that basic disconnection. As Dr. Vandana Shiva describes true democracy, it’s making choices that are in awareness of their impact on the whole.
We are still in touch and he has, in a very mature manner, moved past our tumultuous relationship to be on good terms. I think we are still friends in part because I was able to take responsibility for my poor choices and own my mistakes. Of course, in the same situation today, I have the wisdom to handle situations with more grace and awareness. What I wish I knew then, and truly felt in today’s meditation, is that when you hurt any living being, you hurt yourself. You lose trust and respect for yourself. In addition, you invite fear of being hurt by others into your experience of life.
As a mother, I try to highlight “the golden rule.” Sometimes this is not a good fit with my personal life philosophies. I don’t want to teach my children not to be real with people just because it may hurt someone’s feelings. If we are overly concerned with how we will affect others and do not address our own feelings, we are still hurting them in the long run, and hurting ourselves. I don’t know when it is healthy to deny how your really feel. And, not having harmony amongst your innermost intentions, words and actions is fertile ground for disease. Giving someone superficial access to your feelings denies them the depths possible in true intimacy. Plus, in most cases your true feelings will come out in other nonverbal ways if you don’t express them. In short, I cannot think of anything good that comes from suppressing your innermost musings.
Perhaps more than “the golden rule,” I try to emphasize internal-external alignment. If every cell of my being is not feeling good about a decision or situation, it’s likely not the right decision or situation for me.
So, what about indecision? Well, as I’m learning, it’s really present when the emotional valence on either side of the decision is about equal. For example, “staying in a relationship or job is just as challenging as not having it.” However, as my good friend says, “You cannot imagine India fully sitting in your American home.” Her point is that until I’ve actually made the decision and really immersed myself into being without that job or relationship (etc.), I cannot really know what it will be like. I’m only feeling indecisive because of my projected expectations of what that decision will bring. So here I am, projecting how tough it will be, knowing how tough my current situation is, and feeling stuck having to choose between a “rock and a hard place.” What I can do is change my projections, or change my approach to my current situation. In most cases, trying to change our perspective on the current situation is a first step. And if even still, something doesn’t feel great, change your projections of what is to come for you in this infinite universe.
So in summary, a heart-opening meditation for all of us that have a roller-coaster ride of a relationship in our past:
- own your poor choices
- reflect on where the seeds of disconnection were in those choices (usually they are first between us and our spirit and then between us and our loved ones)
- apologize (if you haven’t already…and yes, this is part of the 12 step programs)
- forgive yourself
- consider where you are today
- identify any areas of disconnection or disharmony between your deep desires, words and actions
- breathe into the possibility of bridging those gaps within yourself and in your life (imagine internal alignment with the external reality)
- make decisions for today (or start with this hour) that reflect this harmony inside and out
- practice the integrity to express your true feelings in a loving way
When I took the time today to really do this, I felt a restrictive feeling in my chest (which I didn’t realize was even there before) dissipate. I felt expansive and light, and unafraid to love and relate again. In other words, I let go of some stagnant emotions (Kapha) and heaviness. This is a practice that is healing year around, but perhaps even more poignant in the Spring–spring cleaning your heart.