- Meatball Fulton, founder of ZBS Productions
The Mirror of Relationships: We Are What We Behold
By Joel & Michelle Levey
“The cardinal rule in bringing harmony to your relationships is to remember that your work is on yourself. It is not about changing, coercing, or manipulating others. Over the course of a lifetime, we have the opportunity to learn from and grow within the context of many different relationships. Lessons learned in one relationship will offer valuable clues for other relationships. As we learn and grow, we change, and as we change, our relationships change. On the other hand, many of us have learned by now that though we may leave a relationship with someone, the same difficult issues we had with that person may keep showing up in other relationships until we work it out in a balanced way. If you have a lesson to learn and you don’t learn it in one relationship, it will certainly keep resurfacing until you get it.
So it is crucial in all relationships that we ask ourselves again and again: what issues or qualities in my own life, attitudes, or beliefs are being reflected back to me in the mirror of this relationship? Is this relationship asking me to be more patient, more honest, more mindful, more loving, more lighthearted, more focused, more present, more caring, or more generous with my time and attention? Look, listen, and feel into the relationship for what is really being asked for in order to realize harmony and balance between you. Deepen your empathy to know and understand both what is true for you, and as best you can, what is likely true for others. Balance both reasoning and intuitive intelligence to discover what is most alive in each relationship.
With this in mind, when certain themes arise in your relationships, if you are mindful enough, you can chuckle to yourself and say, “Oh, I get it. The irritation that I’m feeling around this person is asking me to look at and work with my impatience. The important message here is for me, not for them. Thank you for offering this mirror for me to recognize what I need to work on. Let’s see how well I can do this time!” Or, “Ah, I get it, this isn’t about your fashion preferences. You are really reflecting back to me valuable information about my own judgements and intolerance. I’m more comfortable focusing on what’s wrong with you than taking a hard look at what could be working better in my own life.” Or perhaps, “My withdrawal from the intensity of your love and caring for me is challenging me to open my own heart, to feel worthy of your love, and to accept myself, rather than rejecting you as I have tended to reject myself.” You can see how, at the simplest, most basic level, our relationships are about teaching us how to deeply listen to, understand, befriend, and love ourselves, and then how to deeply listen to, understand, appreciate, and love each other.
In extending love to others, the key point to remember is this: though the people with whom we live and work maintain an air of having it together and having their life in control, just like us they all carry deep wounds from previous experiences that lead them to act in ways that are difficult for us to understand, even if we think we know them. This simple yet challenging fact of life creates a learning laboratory in which we are constantly being invited to learn more about ourselves and one another as we dance together in life.”
Quote from “Living in Balance: A Dynamic Approach for Creating Harmony & Wholeness in a Chaotic World” by Joel Levey & Michelle Levey
Order the book from http://cafepress.com/livinginbalance