The Joy of Consciously Relatingsam
By Deborah Fairfull
Relationships can cause us our greatest pain or our greatest joy. Generally speaking, no one wants to create a life of pain and hardship. This type of life is created unconsciously! Learning to understand your unconscious allows you to live in an aware state, enabling you to create the life that you want in a conscious way.
Everything starts and ends with your relationship with yourself. If it is a kind and loving relationship, that is generally what you will experience with others. To create this type of relationship you have to develop the awareness of what is going on in your internal world in terms of your thoughts and feelings. Your thoughts and feelings are the same thing. What you think affects how you feel. For example, if you think, “I love my life, I love my life,” you are likely to feel great and exude an air of happiness about you wherever you go. It is common, however, that the challenges of life or our unconscious thought patterns can create thoughts such as: “I am not good enough” or “life is hard,” causing us to feel upset, sad, angry and, in some cases, anxious or depressed.
When you constantly oscillate between feeling good and bad, it can create an endless cycle of suffering. Indian spiritual philosophy refers to this as duality, where we get caught up in the opposing nature of things such as pleasure/pain, right/wrong and joy/grief. For example, when you feel happy you feel good and when you feel sad you usually strive to make yourself happy again. The dance between opposing forces usually involves struggle and pain, and the ego (sum total of our defense mechanisms which keep us from experiencing happiness) likes it this way, as this is what usually keeps it alive.
When you learn to go beyond your thoughts and feelings by using your awareness, you can start to live your life in a new and conscious way. There are many ways to do this, including:
- Focusing on the spaciousness within you, breathing into it and feeling it “grow.”
- Focusing on silence and stillness gets you really present with your internal loving nature.
- Meditating, observing all your thoughts and feelings with love, letting them “flow” through the body.
- Going for a walk in nature, really focusing on the leaves, trees and grass.
- Participating in sports where you are focusing on a common objective rather than focusing on your individual thought patterns.
- Swimming can help you develop your awareness if you focus on your breath and the sensations in your body, such as the feeling of the beautiful cool water.
- Appreciating life around you.
- Doing work that you LOVE is one of the BEST ways to achieve a state of awareness. You know when you are in this state, because work seems like play and you completely lose track of time because you are so engrossed in your project. When you learn to master your work and are living from a state of mastery, you begin to automatically live from a state of awareness because you have gone beyond the mind to do the work that you love.
You will know when you are in this state because you will feel loving, strong, stable, limitless, full and complete. If you communicate from this state you will create beautiful, deep and meaningful conscious relationships. Even when confronting difficult topics, if doing so from a place of love, the person you are talking to will be more likely to “hear” you.
To consciously relate to others it is essential that you take responsibility for your reactions. It is common for people to blame others when they have a reaction, however someone else cannot make you feel something; a feeling is an internal process going on for you. If someone “triggers” you or pushes your buttons in some way, take this as an opportunity to see what your body is trying to teach you. When you have a reaction, observe the feeling by focusing your awareness (loving state) internally. The feeling could be anything from fear, anger, sadness and hurt. By observing and accepting the feeling in a loving way, it will allow it to flow through your body in a healthy way and help you to live in a more expanded and aware state. If you take responsibility for your reactions and let other people take responsibility for theirs, it will allow you to relate in an emotionally stable way from a place of awareness rather than your emotional hurts clashing against each other (often escalating the conflict).
When forming relationships with others, it is paramount to remember that people are always doing the best that they can with the skills that they have. People do not go around consciously creating grief and havoc. These patterns of behavior are created unconsciously. Judging others is not helpful and accepting them lovingly as they are is one of the best gifts you can give them. Compassion for yourself and others will ultimately help our world grow to one of peace and love. If you focus on developing your awareness and living live in the most loving way you possibly can, then you are more likely to inspire others to do the same.
Deborah Fairfull has been both a student and teacher of psychology and philosophy for over 20 years and is the author of Bliss Every Day: A Practical Guide to Find Peace and Happiness (available on amazon.com). For more information, visit www.Deborahfairfull.com or follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/deborahfairfull.