Creativity Over Co-Dependence - Re-examining Our Assumptions
When we are overwhelmed, constrained, and stuck, it reflects too much input. If not external, then it is a voice in our heads that is constantly concerned about everything. During this overload we do not want to engage anyone. It all seems too much, too fast, when we experience this type of discontinuity. During this period of COVID-19 social distancing, the swings towards complete isolation and being asked to do too much amplifies panic attacks. This reflects an inability to adjust to the extremes of our circumstances. We need to establish our own pace, process our experiences before speaking them and build greater autonomy by being selective about what we believe.
One of these extremes is a demand for energy and attention when we do not have enough for ourselves. Another is the time it takes to address differences between people's needs, making it impossible to first take care of ourselves. Most critical is the perception that we are selfish when we take care of ourselves first, when any flight attendant will tell you to put on your own oxygen mask before others. We cannot be of service unless we first take care of ourselves. Being conscious of our situation is required before we can choose to support others effectively. Having the ebb and flow of the relationship to guide our demands upon it allows us to be more spatially sensitive (both in feelings and emotions) to others. This greatly reduces the stress of new input and change.
We need to honor the autonomy of our energy, time and space, because when we are out of balance we tend to dump or react to others’ resistance. When we do not have enough energy for ourselves, we need a stillness break where we can regenerate. When we are frenzied and fragmented due to demands on our time, we need to say no and exert some solitude to regain our balance. Finally, we need to recognize that feelings and emotions are the foundation of great relationships. They guide and reveal the meaning of relationships to us. When we try to be accepted in a false way that amplifies our goodness, we need to recognize that it is not our partner’s business to acknowledge us. We need to learn to recognize what is true in us and be it without needing acknowledgement. We need to be honest about our need for self-validation or we will project what we do not accept on others. The informed solution is to see how our partner’s lessons conflict with our idealized ending. Silence (with them) is the appropriate conclusion. Lessons are not naturally aligned when we have defensive differences.
Affirming, acknowledging, and accepting others, because they are co-dependently doing the same, is how we get caught up in compromised frameworks of misused energy, time, and space. Being autonomous and creative breaks down false expectations, defenses, and idealization patterns so we can experience real beauty, truth, and goodness. It opens up the door to greater power, passion, and joy. Instead of limiting an experience to keep from losing it, let us open ourselves up to our self-validated complete experience. This course breaks down false assumptions and beliefs, and allows us to redirect our coping mechanisms so they do not get in the way of life, light, and love. This is an experiential class, having two partner practices and a creative visualization process, for applying this work to our lives.