Debra Swersky
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Chicken & Egg

I found myself in a chicken and egg situation a few weeks ago. The chicken: Headspace and their series on relationships. (Yes, I’m still doing Headspace.) The egg: A sour(ing) relationship. But it could also be the other way around. The chicken: A sour(ing) relationship, and the egg: Headspace on relationships… it’s unclear. Maybe it is the combination of “everything happens for a reason” and “you have to feel it to heal it.”

This much was clear to me: Something in the relationship that I was in needed to be fixed. (To note, the love of my life and I are not “the relationship in question.” Thank goodness!) Through Headspace’s guided meditations on Relationships I learned: 

People come into your life to teach you something about yourself.

But, for you to learn something through this relationship, about yourself, you have to take the time to reflect on what it is that you dislike, or what annoys you, or what you’re frustrated by in the relationship. Headspace refers to this type of reflection as “resistance.” What are you “resisting” and why are you “resisting” this facet of this person? Of course you need to be present in the relationship to notice the resistance that you’re feeling instead of reacting to it. (Not as easy as it sounds…) Additional questions ask if you’re projecting something onto the other person, or expecting something of them, that isn’t in-line with how they actually are. Relate this back “your expectation vs. reality”…  Lots of moving parts to this and my head was already spinning just because of the turmoil within the relationship!

There I was, resisting the heck out of this person and our conversations. My whole body dreaded the interactions. My days after the encounters were affected. I couldn’t understand what was happening to me and why I was physically reacting to this person. It occurred to me after taking the time to go through the Headspace series that this relationship was just like the speeches or a presentations that I was forcing myself through. I recalled my A Cappella debut and the physical manifestations of stage fright that I felt upon announcing my one-night-only performance. This person, much like that performance, was out of my comfort zone (OOMCZ) and in my life to teach me about how and why I was reacting the way that I was reacting.

Only through understanding can I train my mind to “reduce the resistance” and accept the person for who they are (… I have yet to succeed). My whole being is still affected by this person and our interactions…

Recently, we had a death in the family and the love of my life said that “the only way that [he] can wrap [his] mind around the pain of death is knowing that heartache only comes when one has had the opportunity to love.” His father responded with a quote by Arthur Henry Hallam: “’tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all” and then went on to say that “those who are not willing to take the risk of giving themselves to [others] will miss most of the joy and meaning of life.” (Nicely said, Team.)

My sour(ing) relationship is certainly not a death in the family, but the words still apply. Though painful to interact with this person (currently) I know that our relationship and the heartache that I am feeling is due to the fact that I care deeply about the work that we’re doing together and the friendship that we have… what doesn’t kill me [will] make(s) [me… or us] stronger…

Debra Swersky