My relationship with my husband has proven to be a wonderful place in which to become more self-aware. Perhaps relationships for most, if not all of us, allow us to see powerful reflections of our beliefs and behaviors in action, and that is certainly true for us.
On my part, it is fairly easy to see the reasons he loves me. The harder realities to witness are the justifiable reasons I drive him crazy and even hurt his feelings.
This particularly happens when we are discussing events of the past that we remember differently. It also comes up when I place my needs above his, or I expect him to know my needs without telling him what it is that would help me. And it came up a lot for me when we moved our home. I was not at my spiritual best!
I’ve discovered that periodically, it is wise for me to take a closer look at how I expect him to be the way I want him to be, rather than honoring and respecting him as he exists. My mother did the same thing. So did my grandmothers.
It does not serve my husband or me to perpetuate this pattern of thinking that he would happier if he would just become the man I want them to be.
This is more than a pattern in my personal life. We see this same pattern played out on a global scale too. For example, it has become a somewhat accepted policy when the US attempts to (and sometimes does) establish democracies in countries that never wanted a democratic government, as if we know what is better for someone else. Even against the will of the citizens of a country, we attempt to change them.
If we have the courage, it can be helpful for us to consider our patterns of behavior personally, nationally, and culturally. It can be powerful to choose the patterns we wish to perpetuate because they serve us and others so well, and to release patterns that attempt to control others for our own benefit.
For me, recognizing patterns and consciously changing them helps me in fulfilling my greatest potential as a spiritual human being.
It hurts and disrespects my husband when I attempt to change him, a really good and thoughtful man, into one that makes me more comfortable. He deserves better than to be consumed in my desire to control everything. He deserves my warmth and light.
I have experienced both sides of disrespect. I am the one who has been disrespectful and have also been disrespected. When I look to the root of disrespect, what I observe is that in this energy there is a dishonoring of an individual’s (or a group or culture’s) perceptions of the world and life and an unwillingness to create space for diversity. It is a way of trying to make oneself feel better at the expense of another.
I am willing to do my part—to heal my wounds from the inside out. How do I heal this? Personally, I take it into The Holding Meditation. I hold myself in compassionate respect and will do so until it is no longer an aching need within me. When I feel my self-respect in its fullness, I know I will no longer need to play out the dramas around respect.
When I accept others and myself in our completeness—compassionately recognizing the warts and the beauty—I enter into a state of holy and sacred awareness. I use the discomfort to help me enter more deeply into sacred space.
Misa, what a timely message for me! Thank you, as always, for the courage, truthfulness and grace with which you share the challenges and insights of your personal journey. This is a very rich topic for me at this time as well. What is in the forefront of my heart at this very moment is incredible joy. It’s a joy that comes on the other side of the challenge.
I have been confronted with an issue that I have preferred to ignore between me and my partner for awhile. From that first moment of awareness, when I came to the realization that this issue requires change and spiritual awakening for which I am responsible, I began to experience great upsurges of emotion – fear, grief, sorrow, regret, anger, crazy anger, like an inner rage, something that feels like it wants to consume aspects of my partner’s being.
By embracing and surrendering to the process of change, as you describe so beautifully in the Creation Meditation, I was able to face what seemed like a monster inside of me that wanted to feed upon my partner in order to get my imagined needs met! I was appalled that such an urge was living inside of me. A dear and wonderful friend of mine once told me that every demon guards a treasure. In this case, my demon was in charge of making sure that all of my needs do get met, not by trying to make my partner into someone who is supposed to do it for me, but by learning to do it for myself.
I discovered that I wasn’t fulfilling my responsibility to myself within my relationship with my current partner. With this realization I felt great remorse to have let myself down in this way, and for not being truthful about who I am to myself and to my partner. Basically, there began a river of emotion, each one flowing into the next, until all were spent. In the calm on the other side of the raging river of emotion, I awakened to a new reality of inner joy, proud of myself for having found greater truth, courage, and above all, love.
They say that it is through loving our self that we learn to love others. For those of us who love to love, learning to love self may not always be easy. It is likely, though, that it will always be worth the effort.
My experience has been that the sooner I accept and acknowledge the challenge that requires right action on my part, the sooner I can reach that place of satisfaction where the betterment in myself and for those whom I love is the fruit of my labor. It is a wonderful place to be.
I am reminded of another aphorism that my dear friend shared with me. “You can’t get to where you want to go until you acknowledge where you are!”
In the days and months ahead, I may need to revisit this issue many times in order to fully embody all the jewels from the treasure that has been uncovered. As you have found as well, it is the compassion that we hold for ourselves through this continual breaking open of our hearts that supports us throughout our journey.
Thanks for this piece, Misa.
Selling a house (or buying one) in times like these is probably one of the most challenging experiences around. Just being in times like these is enough to test our compass, and our willingness to trust the test once it is tested and found accurate.
As I look at what you have written, the thing that jumps out at me (because it is you writing it and not me) is “…taking a close look at how I expect him to be the way I want him to be…: What I read is “…taking a close look at how I expect myself to be the way I want to be and not the way I am…” These wonderful mirrors we have all around us showing us what we can’t quite see with our eyes closed. So we ask those loved ones closest to us to “Please show me what it is that I have not yet learned to love about myself.” And then out of love for us, they do. And many times, I say: “No, not that! How could you do that to me? That is not what I asked for.” And then it may take an hour or a day or a month or a decade or two to finally “come to” and say: “Thank you, my beloved, for loving me so much that you would take such a risk of honesty. Forgive me for taking so long to wake up to that love. Let me come to you and hold you as you hold me so that I can acknowledge and appreciate the magnificent and amazing being I am, and you can acknowledge and appreciate the magnificent and amazing being you are. And in this fullness, I can truly see you as you are. This is the moment when you are truly the way I want you to be. It is the moment when I am truly the way I want to be. This is the moment when you and I become more than the two of us and truly have a gift to give to the world.” And then we chop wood and carry water again.
Thank you for inspiring me to reflect in this way.
Now here is a little lightness – a short cut to that place of bliss.
I am passing this on to you because it definitely works, and we could all use
a little more calmness in our lives.
By following simple advice heard on the Dr. Phil show, you too can find inner
peace. Dr Phil proclaimed, ‘The way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the
things you have started and have never finished. So, I looked around my house to
see all the things I started and hadn’t finished, and before leaving the house
this morning, I finished off a bottle of White Zinfandel, a bottle of Bailey’s
Irish Cream, a package of Oreo’s, the remainder of my old Prozac prescription,
the rest of the cheesecake, some Doritos, and a box of chocolates. You have no
idea how freaking good I feel right now.