Monday, 9 February 2009

Being Discerning in the Beginning of Relationships

In relation to my previous blog entry, I have to say that I am still in great shock of how quickly encouraging words can turn into the opposite. I think it's normal to feel thrilled when someone tells you how wonderful you are because of your kindness and how happy they are to know you because you help them to understand themselves better. You open up and trust a person who does that. But then you start to feel that something is not quite right. There is so much talk about what makes the person in question feel comfortable and how difficult it is when people don't meet with expectations on that level. It seems that you're alright to the extent that you support and help the person reach his private goals. Ok, sometimes it's all very well. But how can you know that this nice person is not just projecting outwards what they have established about themselves? People have shadow sides, and it's in the nature of these denied parts of the self to be unkown to the conscious self. Usually other people trigger us so that we have an opportunity of becoming aware of this part of the self. I tend to trigger people a lot because I'm quite perceptive and intuitive. It has ruined many a friendship, mostly on the internet where everything is intense and open in a kind of scary way.

I'm very sad that so few people think along such terms. All relationships would be smoother if people realized they are mirroring their own issues in the other person. They say they want to grow but do they really know what that means and how painful it can be at times? I made the recent mistake of thinking that someone who seemed to like me a great deal would understand that I was about to go through some painful issues and would be there for me. The more I tried to explain myself, the more I found myself in an impossible maze that shouldn't have had to come about in the first place. Had I only been allowed to talk and had this person only lend me an ear... well, things would sure be very different right now and I would be proud to call this person a friend. As it was, I was shunned and ridiculed. There wasn't much this person actually said. Maybe he was, after all, polite enough not to, or he simply didn't have a solid case. Or he was the "cold war" type who rather stay aloof. Or maybe this guy was scared that his shadow side was being exposed? I don't pretend to know, as I don't pretend to be all-knowing. I can only say that somehow my expectation that the attempt to go through the emotional process in a controlled manner wasn't met (bad me to have an expectation!) and so I found myself in a state of even greater anxiety. Funny thing is, everything that I was submitted to was like an echo of things that I had heard this person saying he had been subject to by others. Relationships are indeed very often a mirror where things we experience as unpleasant to us in the external world are in reality a part of our denied self.

Someone posed the question whether we can save the planet or not, and this was my response: "This is a pet question for me. I think it's ludicrous to save anything at all. That's really ego speaking, since it wants to feel good about itself. Most people talk this way about the planet as well as their peers, and it can be hard to deal with at times. However, taking care of things is quite different. That comes from the heart and not an exaggerated sense of self-importance. Only our higher selves can know what the best action to take is at any given time.

May I add, that it's my understanding that many spiritually minded people think that by saving others from their misery and "faulty" attitudes, they are helping to save the planet. It's all about the critical mass etc, which in my opinion is a way of intellectualizing a process that will probably happen anyway ("let nature take its course..."). Therefore there's a lot of pressure on both sides; on the one hand those who offer a million solutions and methods of saving people must be rather stressed out (and usually give it away by getting nasty) and those who are subject to manipulation or attacks to conform to other people's idea of what is the right thing to do feel stress too. I think we should have a little more trust in the higher powers than this! Of course we shouldn't just sit back and get lazy, but (in my opinion) exercise effortless efforts by listening to our hearts and our intuition."

No, we cannot save other people. And we also don't have to try and support someone who is dragging us down. But to give up on someone out of convenience and almost no knowledge of the case at hand at all is in my opinion truly cowardly and pathetic. There, now I said it! I'm sick and tired of hearing about how compassionate we should be and then have the same people spit at me because I'm trying so hard to talk to them in an honest way and it doesn't suit their level of comfort. What is life if we don't stretch out of our comfort zone a bit sometimes? By honest I mean real and sincere, but also respectful at least to the extent that I am able at that particular moment. Sometimes we faulter, but it's human. Little slips can be rectified. You don't ban a person on a site just because they are having a bad day unless they are blasting at you. Come on; that's being highly egotistical. Give people a chance. If they have violated your boundaries it could be that they didn't really know what boundaries you had because you acted differently in the past. To resort to that kind of excuses when it's handy is hardly fair... It's equally silly to encourage openness and confidentiality in the form of rants and then suddenly when it's convenient use an excuse such as "I can't process all your issues, it's just way too much".

I also think that different cultures have very different concepts of a person's boundaries. Of course it's not only cultural, but personal as well. In my own case I'm very particular about boundaries but in one case (that I know of) I may not respect that of others and that's if I really need to talk about a problem while the other person is withdrawing. I simply cannot deal with such stress. On the other hand I once had to break the friendship with someone who was borderline because it was too stressful on me (my boundaries were constantly being violated). She might have thought of it as betrayal but I could easily have discussed it if she had wanted to. Betrayal to me is when people don't allow me to explain my feelings. I have to try and estimate my own capacity since so far I have a limited amount of energy to spend. Who do I spend it on and why? I am certainly not going to spend it on someone who only wants to be encouraged and appreciated but doesn't really want to accept me for who I am when it comes to real issues in life. A guy from the other side of the world can be super sweet talking but if he doesn't consider that I am staying up throughout the night in order to chat with him when it suits him the best, then he's a jerk. I'm sorry, but there are things that should be obvious. There are also little things that give a person away. I suggest you observe these signs and find out whether they mean something that is being covered up with all the beautiful compliments he's smothered you with. Oh and one more thing; if he thinks you're in love with him after a week, then run!

Artwork: "Emotions 2/6", handmade collage on paper, all rights reserved 2002

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