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The movieÂ Eat, Pray, Love raises the issue of how people tend to lose themselves in relationships.
This is particularly true of romantic relationships. It’s also the case that many lose themselves whenever they go home to see their parents, around people they work with, and with friends.
It’s often said that if you are in a relationship that endsâ??a relationship of the kind in which you lost yourselfâ??you should probably do some growing on your own before getting back into a relationship, lest you lose yourself all over again.
But does the kind of growth that’s necessary really happen this way? Do we grow in the way we need to when we are on our own?
If you observe carefully, you’ll perhaps find that people tend to do quite well on their own, seeming like they are becoming their own personâ??until they again get into a relationship.
And then they find they have barely moved forward in their ability to maintain their uniqueness while also being close to another person, if they have in fact moved forward at all.
This doesn’t mean that we can’t grow without a romantic partnerâ??not at all. But it does suggest that we don’t really grow most of them unless there are situations in our life in which we are being pushed close to someone who challenges our sense of who we are. It could be someone in our home environment, someone at our place of worship, someone in a social organization of which we are a part, or someone at work.
Only to the degree that we allow ourselves to become close to others, whereby they are invited to press our buttons on a regular basis, do we get to do the kind of growing that’s needed.
The key isn’t to be on our own. They key is to be able toÂ be our own person in close proximity to another.
How do you do this?
When someone presses your buttons, instead of reacting to them, you allow yourself to simply be with what you are feeling. You sit with it.
We have to be clear what we mean by “be with” what we are feeling. We don’t fume and vent. We don’t feel like a victim. We don’t tell ourselves a story in our head about what happened and how this person always treats us this way.
We sit, quietly, allowing thoughts and emotions to arise and then leave us.
We don’t deny what we are experiencing, but we don’t turn it into a saga either. We contain it.
Containment is neither acting out nor suppressing. It’s beingÂ present with.
When we quiet and calm ourselves in this way, our true self strengths, while at the same time our egoic false self and our pain-body diminish.
We become a person who can connect in a profoundly deep way because we are internally strong enough to do so.
We invite you to check out David’s daily author blog -http://www.namastepublishing.com/blog/author/david-robert-ord.
David Robert Ord is author ofÂ Your Forgotten Self Mirrored in Jesus the Christ and the audio bookÂ Lessons in Loving–A Journey into the Heart, both from Namaste Publishing, publishers of Eckhart Tolle and other transformational authors. He writes The Compassionate Eye daily, together with his daily author blog The Sunday Blog, at www.namastepublishing.com