I’m embarrassed to admit that all these years of inner journey, meditation, therapy, and various forms of inner work, most of the time I’m opening to the basics, simple stuff that it seems like everyone already knows. Forgiveness in one example. I pretty much breeze right past any topics on forgiveness. I don’t know how to relate.
My ‘WOW’ happened today.
I’ve becoming coming to a head internally on a relationship that I’ve struggled with. The relationship pattern has been toxic. This is how it plays out. The other person uses their ‘power’ over me to put me in my place. I become victim, and the other becomes the abusive person. As a child, I understand that lack of appropriate boundaries and ‘protection’ left me feeling distressed, powerless, and having to recycle those toxic energies internally. It also meant taking on the projections in toxic relationship patterns.
I carried this into my adult life. Unconsciously, I’ve recreated scenarios with others in some position of power, who played their roles and I played my familiar role. Now, I did grow some. When faced with those situations, I have worked hard, very hard to shift how I’m relating with people whom I’m having a troubling dynamic with. I have used all kinds of spiritual practices to shift the relationships and have found success at times. At times, I’ve been ‘released’ from toxic relationships or released my victim-relating in those situations.
However, I’ve held on to the template of the toxic relationship pattern. The universe, of course, continues to provide many opportunities for me to become victim, or to awaken. I’m caught and the only way to free myself from continuing this cycle is to free myself.
The ‘WOW’ is in order to forgive another, I have to stop taking on the projections from the other that result in harm to myself. I’ve practiced this in situations that have transformed, but never actually realized it. So, when another situation has arisen, I haven’t remembered that it is the first thing to do.When I take on the projection that results in harm to myself, I’m also creating Karma. That is, I tie and bind myself to the relationship, and create an unconscious bind for the other to be forgiven by me since something they have done has harmed me. If I don’t take on the projection, there is clarity and completeness in the interaction, since no harm has taken place in the relationship. No new Karma is created in the relationship.
If I take this first step of not taking on the projection or releasing the projection, then I am able to open up witnessing the other person doing what they need to do, whether it is a tantrum, expression of rage, or making aggressive or passive aggressive comments. The key is witness, not identification, not contracting myself. I’m not defending against this person’s expressions, which would serve to fuel the feelings. If fear arises or pain, I get to feel myself. When I do this, the universe opens up a stream of seeing deeper patterns playing out in the other person. That person is not an adult raging, but a young child who is stuck with strong feelings that could not be completely felt and expressed as a child. They too are put in a situation with me that is a recreation of past painful pattern that is coming up to be healed and awakened. This witness is a form of compassion.
If harm has been done in a relationship, it is important to commit to healing myself and what I’ve lost of myself in the harm. Again, this is a way of releasing Karma created in the relationship as well as a crucial act of self-love. I want to live from the brightest, most magnificent self that is within me. For me, I stopped receiving from this universe in response to past experiences of pain. So, allowing myself to receive and have abundance, love from this universe is forgiving others and what contractions their egos expressed that I took on. I can take it another step, that I choose to love others by allowing myself to be abundant because that is when I tap into the deeper love that binds us together instead of identifying with the contractions of the ego that are the current binds.
Lastly, I’m not saying to continue in abusive relationship dynamics. There are people we can let go of with whom we have unhealthy, toxic patterns. However, this is my realization of shifting this pattern that I need to awaken from and stop the cycle of recreating it. If I do this inner work, who knows what will shift in those relationships that I am bound in for this lifetime and here to learn from.
How do you deal with toxic relationship patterns and with forgiveness? Feel free to comment. I’d love to hear your responses.