DEAR FRIENDS- Are you struggling to understand a recurring conflict in a deeply cherished relationship? Are you and your loved one trying to connect and communicate- but something keeps getting in the way? Don't hit the panic button yet- here is some insight that may prove invaluable. Keep reading!
The most powerful hurt and sorrow stored within us always originates from early in our lives. The wounds and losses, the betrayals and abandonments we experienced during infancy, childhood and adolescence are suppressed and stored in our bodies and unconscious minds. People universally "transfer" the emotional power of these stored-up feelings onto present-day experiences- and especially our relationships!
These unconsciously-held feelings are our "emotional buttons". In moments of difficulty with people our "buttons" amplify/intensify our reactions. For example, when we feel abandoned or misunderstood by our friend, the unreleased sense of rejection we may have felt with our Mother rises up and adds to the pain of the current situation. Or when we are angry at our spouse our stored-up anger- perhaps at Dad- is triggered and "feeds the flames".
There is an old saying that describes what we all experience, to some degree, every day- "the arrow fits the wound". The uncaring, inconsiderate or hurtful behavior of others hits our unconscious "sore spots".
Of course this doesn't mean that we should tolerate disrespectful or damaging behavior! But becoming aware of and responsible for the extra "reactivity" we carry is a major strength in keeping our communication positive, open-hearted and centered.
Our "buttons" make it very difficult to stay out of the "blame game" and the quarrels that drain the closeness and joy of being together. We believe we are arguing with each other- but we are really arguing with the ghosts of our past!
One of the greatest spiritual awakenings you will ever have is to realize that you are responding to other people and life through the "lens" of painful conditions and events that occurred long ago.
So many people truly love each other but that love fades because the emotional reactivity of our "hot buttons" wears the feeling of love and connection (including the sexual connection!) down. But there is good news: IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY!
Here is what you need to know. When your relationship gets "stuck" in a repeating pattern that you and your friend/lover/spouse can't seem to resolve, this is likely due to its connection to the unhealed pain of the past operating in both of you. Each of you then needs to look deeply within- in your therapy, meditation, journal work and other self-awareness practices- to see how you have been unconsciously re-experiencing (and unintentionally re-creating) the pain/dysfunction of your childhoods.
With this deeper awareness you will gain the freedom to respond to the previously "stuck" situation in new, constructive ways. For example, it becomes easier to stop blaming each other and move forward when you see that neither of you intended to cause the other pain, but in truth were being driven by conditioning that you didn't even realize was there!
Seeing your "buttons"- and the original pain that created them- renews your compassion for yourself and each other. And enables you to write a new and happier chapter in the story of your connection.
If you have a friend who is struggling in his/her relationship I hope you will share these insights. It could make all the difference! LOTS OF LOVE- BRYAN