In our journey of ascension, spiritual evolution, enlightenment, self-actualization, personal growth: we come upon a practice that helps us to manage the relationship conflicts in our lives and keep them in the proper perspective. The practice teaches us that every relationship conflict we experience is there as a teacher, revealing to us our own unhealed wounds. With this practice, instead of lashing out at or projecting blame upon the other person in the conflict, we STOP and take a look within: What is being triggered in me relating to an unhealed wound or unacknowledged fear? What can I do to help support the healing and release of this wound/fear? This practices invites us to ask the question, “What is mine in this?” while freeing us from the temptation to harbor resentment, blame, anger or to entertain thoughts of retaliation toward the other person in the conflict – owning what is ours and taking care of our own sh.t. This practice also frees us from the temptation of wanting to “fix” or “correct” the other person in the conflict, recognizing that we are only responsible for our own healing and leaving them to work on themselves (if they choose to do so).
Holding ourselves accountable to our own part in relationship conflict is a profoundly freeing practice. It facilitates our own self-awareness. We experience healing and release of fear and the wounds that are still haunting us. We are able to enter into a place of detachment in our inter-personal communications – freeing ourselves from reaction, blame, projection, resentment, hurt and anger. We are also able to grow in compassion toward the “other.” As we realize our own woundedness we become more sensitive to the unhealed wounds of others, allowing us to have empathy for those who have not yet found healing.
This practice of self-reflection and self-scrutiny is a powerful and important step in our individual journeys toward wholeness and while we should never NOT engage in this practice, there is one grave danger we must be conscious and aware of:
As we engage in the practice of self-scrutiny and self-evaluation in our relationship conflicts, it is easy to fall into patterns of taking all the blame for the conflict and neglecting to hold the other person accountable for their own unhealed wounds and unacknowledged fears. This over-responsibility shows up in subtle patterns of self-blame, shame and sometimes even evolves into self-loathing. To put it simply, we find ourselves always questioning our actions, motivations, roles in relationship challenges and we neglect to REMEMBER that the other person is AT LEAST 50% of the problem. As it is said, “it takes two to tango.” We feel these patterns inwardly as a sense of heaviness, feeling burdened, even depressed or slightly angry or resentful.
When we find ourselves bearing the full burden of blame in any relationship conflict, it is time to TAKE OUR POWER BACK! Yes, it is important to enter into self-evaluation, acknowledging our part in a relationship conflict, but it doesn’t end there. It is critical that we also acknowledge (to the best of our ability), the other person’s role in the conflict. We might even know them well enough to surmise the unhealed wound or unacknowledged fear that caused their part of the conflict. Whether we are able to do this or not….it is IMPERITIVE to keep the responsibility where it truly lies – and at least 50% of that burden lies on the shoulder of “the other,” and that is where it should remain. In taking back our power, we acknowledge what is ours and do the work of cleaning that up, and we leave the rest for the other person to deal with. Whether they deal with it or not is none of our business as the only person we are truly responsible for is ourselves – and that is work enough on its own!