“…I’m like a bird from another continent, sitting in this aviary. The day is coming when I fly off, but who is it now in my ear who hears my voice? Who says words with my mouth? Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul? I cannot stop asking…” -Rumi
What is your difficulty?
I recently had a visitor who interacts and handles boys/men/relationships/feelings different than I do, and this difference is very uncomfortable in how it leaks into our relationship. Today I noticed a lot of her words were around pregnancy scares, sex, alcohol, and men. Words like “we did the whole pullout thing, but I could totally be pregnant” and “if a man were to wear that fragrance, I would have a very hard time not jumping him.”
How are you feeling?
I felt consumed by this negative energy, almost to the point where it was difficult to experience the positive things about our relationship. Tangled in a mess of triggers, I felt guilty that I didn’t want to hear her or needed some time to myself. When I gave time to myself, her feelings were hurt. I felt trapped.
Sadness and anger were there too.
How did it affect you?
When I heard these topics expressed, this time, something inside me couldn’t hear it anymore.
What is your part or connection to the difficulty?
My part was that I participated in these conversations when I didn’t want to (not my most rewarding attempt at connecting with another human).
What are you learning about yourself, others, the experience?
I would try to change the topic when I noticed I didn’t like it. Over and over. I tuckered myself out and opened the door to some resentment.
I learned some new awareness about my behavior and a new possibility of an uncomfortable way to take care of myself, my time, and my ears; Not everyone is going to be thrilled with the changes I make; My home is precious to me, and who I invite here and how long they stay is important to me and something to keep in mind.
What can you shift in your thinking about this experience?
I can loosen my judgmental belief when I can and refer back to asking myself what happened, how do I feel about it, what is my part, what am I learning, and what can I change.
How do you choose to work with this difficulty?
Next time, I can say with kindness that I hear that she wants to talk about such and such, but I can’t talk about that right now.
I can learn to connect with this loved one in new ways over time that aligns more with my values.
Anonymous. The United States.