When someone criticises or says something that puts us down, we feel attacked because we are not present and centered. We are not being – we are either thinking or feeling, feeding our ego’s old narrative and tapping into what Eckhart Tolle calls ‘pain body’. That’s the moment we spiral downwards and we enter into a vortex of negative emotions and painful beliefs.
We get triggered, and if we don’t wake up to what’s really happening, we probably end up depressed and let ourselves be consumed by anxiety and our core insecurities. If we try to stop the madness, however, and we bring us to a present state, we start to see that we allowed ourselves to be slaves of our beliefs and emotions. We begin to question the narrative we told us, and we become aware of other layers of reality which we were oblivious about because we didn’t have a different perspective.
When we are overwhelmed, we can’t love and we can’t be love. And we make it harder for others to love us back too, especially when they themselves are overwhelmed. In other words, we must strive to be as balanced as we can as individuals, because that’s when our heart opens and our mind finds stillness. That’s when we can co-create loving relationships by seeing others and letting ourselves be seen by others, which is the magic of embracing vulnerability.
It is important to understand though that love is about equilibrium. It is a dance between two people’s energies. We live in duality and we haven’t made peace with that reality yet. We tend to want everything that is good and positive, and not so much what is challenging and scary. We haven’t grasped yet that it is only normal to experience both highs and lows in life. This is something I, myself, struggle to accept and deal with, when I’m the one who has to listen and see what someone else is reflecting back at me.
Human relationships – and love for that matter – depend on our effort to accept and live through such duality, knowing that our mission as human beings, and relationship partners, is to move closer and closer towards integration. First within ourselves and then with others. This movement is only possible if we allow ourselves to be mirrors but also reflections. We can’t demand others to accept our shadow if we snap at them when they are the ones reflecting our own shadow back.