Myth 2 :: No one can ‘make’ anyone else feel a certain way

“I hope I’m not driving you crazy,” an extroverted housemate said to me as she babbled about her life.

“I was crazy a long time before we met,” I said staring out the kitchen window laughing at myself, an introvert.

People, circumstances, and events often stimulate the memory of similar occurrences in the past that are unresolved and still oozing with unprocessed pain. Having the quirky personality I was born with, I truly was already my own brand of ‘crazy.’ My housemate didn’t “make” me anything; she was simply a mirror of something already inside me.

Most of the time we are not current. We live in the past replaying it constantly, projecting it onto the present and the future. When we are not present we are lost in what has already happened and what might happen in the future.

There is so much clutter inside – trauma put in storage, languishing in the dusty corners of our saturated bodymindspirits. We clear the clutter each time we allow ourselves to acknowledge in the moment what gets triggered by another person or situation. We get to actually experience our feelings in real-time, rather than stuffing them until the ‘right time’ that never comes.

Only when we become current can we start fresh with new possibilities available to us. It is not complicated, although in a distracting world that hinges upon the denial of what we do not like, it is a challenge.

When an emotion comes up, I often take a moment to simply feel it, label it in my mind, and investigate the body sensations and onslaught of stories associated with it. This usually lessens the charge, and I feel myself become calmer.

I am responsible for dealing with the undealtwith feelings I carry inside. I can (and increasingly do) let people know when they have triggered me without making them responsible for the root of the pain I feel.

When I share my vulnerabilities with trusted friends, it invites connection and sounds a reminder bell in my body to embrace my whole self moment by moment. I do this knowing that as I embrace my own healing, I can more easily hold a larger vision of collective transformation.

Freedom is a deep desire of living beings. We can practice and experience freedom everyday by freeing ourselves, and our relationships, from delusion.

Meditation: Let’s take a breath together. (aaaaahhhh….) Think back to a moment earlier today or this week where something happened that you didn’t like. (It’s okay to pick something ‘small.’) Take a quiet moment to simply feel and notice the body sensations and thoughts associated with this experience. Keep breathing. Then, take out your writing materials, dancing shoes, or collage materials, and go for 10 minutes on what’s alive in you now. If it would inspire you, write to me and tell me what happens!

Text and images by Beandrea Terese Davis. Copyright 2010. Please check with author before re-printing.

If you feel inspired by this post, I invite you to email me and say what moves you! If you have suggestions for future blog post topics, I welcome that too.

This is the second of a three-part series on Relationship myths.