How do you image relationships? If you close your eyes and envision yourself connected to your intimate life partners such as family, spouse, and friends, what connects you? What “thing” joins you to them? Do you see something abstract and more conceptual based like “love?” Do you see something physical like a bridge or the branches of a tree? Do you see colors or hear sounds? What metaphor connects you to others?
I wonder how many of us see chains…
On September 10, 2012, I reflected on the numerous changes occurring simultaneously in my life. One area of drastic change was in my relationships. When envisioning how I am or how I was connected to someone, the first inanimate object that I saw was (dramatic pause) a chain.
A chain is neutral; however, a connotation of chains is bondage. Chains constrict and restrict movement. Chains do not allow for fluidity. Chains require stagnation or, at best, limited movement if the chain is to be maintained without breakage. This image is apropos for someone whose childhood consisted of damage and brokenness to the self and soul. Hmmmm…chains correlates to a place where I once existed. Not where I am NOW.
The Spirit offered a new image: energy. I should envision light flowing from me to others and vice versa. This is healthier because energy does not restrict. Energy converts; therefore, it is not static. Energy cannot be destroyed only re-appropriated.
The energy flow between self and others will change. The change of flow is both normal and necessary. The way relational energy flows is contingent upon the season of life individuals are living into. In its purest form, energy is simply and profoundly neutral and full of power! Energy as a “negative” force or a “positive” force is a result of an individual’s intention.
When I consider the shift in energy between myself and others, I no longer categorize the difference in relational intimacy as a “loss” or “miscarriage of love.” I receive the movement as a necessary alteration for personal growth in wisdom, maturity, and character. I am responsible for the energy I produce. I am also accountable for the ways I choose to process or not process the energy directed to me from others. For example, in a recent discussion someone responded to my ideas in an off putting manner. I continued to share as if the breach in conversation did not happen. When I concluded my remarks, a companion felt impressed to make me conscious of the person’s intent, “She just insulted you! What she said was kind of like trying to throw off!” My response, “Honey, it’s only an insult if I internalize it that way!”
As a child and young adult, I did not have the tools to defend myself against negativity. I would internalize everything like a sponge. I did not make a conscious choice concerning the words, actions, and energy directed to me from others. I simply digested the trauma and the drama because I did not know any better. But time is filled with swift transitions ya’ll! And before someone else’s “stuff” takes root within me, I analyze, evaluate; and then I decided to receive it or not!
This practice is not limited to that which we would identify as “negative.” There are some “positive” presentations that we should pass on as well: “I think you are the best person for [fill in the blank]”—an affirming proposition but may not necessarily be your assignment. Or “Girl, you did that! “— An offering of affirmation but you know you were not fully present in preparation or presentation!
Your internal landscape is more precious than you will ever know! Be conscious and careful of what you allow to take root!
through Love-in Light-for Life,