Relate from Your Center
“…your relationships will keep reflecting back to you exactly how far your understanding is progressing.”
̶ Richard Rudd
Human beings are by nature relational creatures. Our initial love relationship is with the heartbeat of the universe. From the moment we come into existence, we have an innate desire to replicate this same love connection with ourselves, other people, earthly creatures and this planet we inhabit.
Threaded throughout our DNA, are the seeds of our universal love connection mingled with the worldly relational seeds of our ancestral lineage and the cultural history of humanity. As we grow and develop, we are like fertile soil. We absorb how relationships work in the world from what we experience, first through our mother while still in utero, and then as infants through our caregivers and families.
As our social networks broaden and we interact in school, our neighborhood and greater community, we continue to gain understanding of how to relate to others and ourselves so we can fit in. We learn what is and is not acceptable to communicate. We learn what works and doesn’t work to get our needs and desires met. We also learn how to establish our value in society, so we can share our unique contributions with the world.
FacE Your Relationship Shocks
Since we each come in to this world with an open and loving heart, it is a real shock as we begin to understand that we have not entered a totally loving world. We get our first relationship shock at birth when we separate from our mother and take our first breath. Our nascent awareness has to reconcile our sense of being at one with the universe in total love, innocence and purity, with the feelings of separation and harshness that come from entering into physical form.
Even when we have well meaning caregivers, as infants we continue to experience this separation and harshness in small and large ways. We may feel separation anxiety when one of our parents goes away on a long business trip. We may get a really bad burn when crawling up to a hot stove. Or we may feel ongoing torment from being picked on by an older sibling. Whatever the cause, mingled with love, we also experience emotional and physical trauma. The emotional wounding and searing Primal Pain we feel during this tender period of our life, even when not consciously understood, become major building blocks in our psyche that can influence our relationships into adulthood.
As we continue to learn about relationship dynamics in our childhood and teen years, we receive painful jolts to our developing psyche. In an effort to lessen our suffering, we generally try to protect ourselves in one of two ways. We either lash out at others to push the pain away or withdraw within ourselves to bury it. When another child takes a toy away from us, in our unvarnished anger we hit the child over the head. When our best friend inadvertently hurts our feelings, we say something mean in retaliation. When our classmates laugh at us after we forget our lines in a class play, we vow in our embarrassment to never again perform in public. When one of our parents verbally abuses us repeatedly, we feel such deep shame that we question whether we deserve to live.
As adults we may experience even deeper shocks when we realize that the very underpinnings of our families and culture that claim to love and support us, actually inhibit many of us from flourishing. Financial systems are designed to maintain economic inequities. Gender roles attempt to keep us “in our place,” so we don’t disrupt the power dynamics. Racial discrimination stokes prejudice and hatred in an attempt to elevate one group of people at the expense of others. Industries pollute the environment for short term profits, even though it clearly endangers the very survival of our planet.
Through all of these painful experiences, we build armor layer by layer. In a self-perpetuating cycle, the more we become armored, the more armor we put on to defend ourselves. This armor, however, weighs us down and hampers our ability to live from our center. It also shapes our future relationships and impacts the story we tell ourselves about who we are and what life is all about.
Whatever the painful shocks we have experienced in life, they can also become our wake up calls to go deeper within where the universal love we have in our heart finally can be reconciled with the suffering we experience in our earthly existence.
Wake Up to Your Relationship Gifts
The universal love we’ve held deep within our heart since the beginning of our existence, is a powerful driving force in our desire for real world connection. After all, what good is having this deep love to give, if it remains protected and bottled up inside of us? And how can we transmute our suffering when relationships (including with ourselves), fall short of our expectations?
Asking these questions can get to the crux of our internal dilemma and helps us understand why relationships can be so challenging. Seeing each relationship as a gift helps us solve this dilemma. Looking for the gifts reorients our thinking and opens us to experiencing our relationship journey as a powerful educational path back home to the center of ourselves, but in a transformed state.
From this perspective, each time we encounter other people, our interactions reveal where we are in our own evolutionary development, regardless of how evolved we wish we were. Our interactions also tell us where other people are in their personal development. This awareness allows us to practice responding from a clearer and more authentically loving place, no matter what the circumstances. Embodying the love we know is inside of us is ultimately what dissolves our suffering and allows us to be more compassionate with those who are still learning their own relationship lessons.
Practice Relating from Inside Out
“Like the iceberg, our true worth lies hidden beneath the surface. Our intentions, our unconscious attitude, and our deep sense of purpose all dictate the outer life. And to access the inner fabric of our reality we must turn within.”
- Richard Rudd
Learning to relate from inside out is NOT a matter of changing ourselves. It is more of a clearing process. As we clear out our misperceptions, conditioning and pain that have been deeply embedded within us, we can then relate to ourselves and others from the innate love and wisdom that have been laying dormant within us. Once the truth of who we are is activated, we are liberated from our limited perceptions. The internal crustiness begins to break up what has kept us from operating from a more enlightened (lighter) place. We then have more space within to expand and explore how we can creatively give our unique gifts to the world.
This internal clearing process takes dedication and it will not be without challenges. It may take us to some dark and scary corners of ourselves we have avoided for years. It may require that we face difficult truths about ourselves and others that will be uncomfortable and lead to difficult conversations or taking actions that will require us to step out of our comfort zone. Whatever the outcome, each time we willingly dive into the challenges, we affirm a more profound love for ourselves. We prove to ourselves that we have the heroism within to learn from our relationship challenges. We become more loving with those already in our lives. And we open ourselves for new relationships that better reflect the love and wisdom we are embodying.
There are a myriad of practices you can use to clear away what no longer serves you. Here are a few ideas to get you started. As you implement your personalized clearing process, notice how it gets easier and easier the more you practice.
Do Your Emotional Housecleaning
Emotions are a sophisticated inner guidance system that tell us the truth about what we are feeling. Interacting with others can trigger strong emotions within us, positive and negative. When we feel a negative trigger and we commit to doing our emotional housecleaning, we move one step closer to understanding the relationship gift under the trigger.
Step Out of the “Trauma Drama” Whirlwind
Emotions by nature are dramatic. Nowhere is this more true than when we feel caught up in the whirlwind of the Trauma and Drama Zone. While there will always be events in our life that happen out of our control, if we find ourselves frequently in the Trauma and Drama Zone, it may be a sign that we are addicted to living there. When we access our calm Center in the eye (“I”) of the emotional hurricane, we are not touched by the emotional upheaval.
Release Yourself from Unconscious Contracts
From the time we are tiny infants our conditioning sets the tone for our lives. Some conditioning creates a healthy life and other conditioning leads to unhealthy ways of relating to ourselves and others. As adults, it is up to us to examine whether we are still operating on old unconscious contracts that are not healthy for our current relationships. By becoming aware of these unhealthy unconscious contracts and tearing them up, we release ourselves from outmoded conditioning.
We’re Here to SUPPORT You
While you have a unique heroic path to follow in life, you don’t have to do it alone. We support you through Life Guidance Mentoring and Leadership Development Mentoring.