Just the other day I was looking for a card for my sweetie Todd. We had gone through a little bit of an upset in our relationship and I wanted to bridge the gap between us with a few thoughtful words.
I ended up coming across one of those "quoteables" cards that said:
"Everything will be alright in the end. If it's not alright, it's not the end." -Unknown
And this got me thinking...
Todd and I have been together for four years this October, and it's been absolutely blissful until just recently. Throughout our relationship we've had a few flare-ups where he is irritable and I take it personally.
Even though, I'm told time and again that his irritability is not my stuff -- it's his -- and I need to let it go.
But an unconscious reaction is an unconscious reaction.
These things happen.
And according to one of my favorite personal transformation experts, Aleya Dao: "We will do the opposite of what we intend to master until we've mastered it."
For Todd, his irritability is a sign that a boundary has been crossed, not held or respected (Aleya Dao, The Flip It Sheet). To overcome his irritability, Todd must master honoring his boundaries, so that others can as well.
For me, my emotional reactivity to his irritability is a sign that I am holding responsibility for his "stuff" (Aleya Dao, The Flip It Sheet). To end my reactivity to Todd's irritability I am asked to open my heart and have compassion for him.
Not exactly the first thought that comes to mind when we're in the heat of the moment.
But I've decided to give it a try.
In fact, when I look back on our relationship over the past four years, the reason it has been so blissful, was because I have always done this. Todd would be irritable -- and I would be compassionate.
But lately, I've been so overwhelmed with trying to make a living as an entrepreneur, which meant that I've had way less capacity to be compassionate when Todd really needs me to be.
Hence, our recent flare-up -- That really was a doozy!
Using your relationship as your spiritual practice.
I've always believed that relationships are the best spiritual practice we could ever engage in. Just like I've demonstrated above, we trigger each other and show each other where we most need to grow.
And the thing I love most about relationships as our spiritual practice is that you get to grow and evolve with the one person on the planet you love and adore most.
How awesome is that?
Reflecting on these recent events, here's what I know for sure:
"Everything will be alright in the end.
If it's not alright, it's not the end."
I am opening my heart to allow greater compassion to come through me in every moment.
Should another flare-up occur, and I react just the same, well then I'll know that I haven't yet mastered what I've intended to master. It's not yet the end of my emotional reactivity - I have more compassion to be, feel, and express.
If you were honest with yourself:
What have you been doing that is the opposite of what you intend to master?
Follow Colette Kenney on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@colettekenney