The good news is that there is a middle ground between being powerlessly open and powerfully hardened. We can make choices that will allow us to guard our heart while keeping it open to life-giving people and experiences. We cannot avoid all forms of relational pain but we can impact our reactions to it. If we re-focus the energy spent on maintaining a hard-heart-shell we can use it to access our "Big S, Self-led" resources (the guidance and wisdom that emerges when we align with Spirit within).
I want to forgive but they consistently reject me and don’t respect me at all.
I need to let go but I’ve been hurt more times than I can count. I never feel good enough.
I should love but after each interaction I end up feeling burdened and worse.
I need to heal but they continue to mentally, physically and emotionally abuse me.**
Our ability to forgive, let go, love and heal seems non-existent; instead of being filled with peace, compassion, love and gratefulness we feel full of resentment, bitterness, and anger.
There are key differences between guarding and hardening in relationships. Guarding is energized by discernment. Guarding focuses our ability to sustain Self-led qualities regardless of any decision or change the other person makes. Hardening is energized by judgement. Conversely, it requires the “bad” qualities of the other person to go away before we can open our heart again.
Guarding is "Big S, Self-focused" while hardening is other-focused. Guarding does not require the other person to change to make you feel better, instead, it allows you to use the dynamics of that relationship to learn more about your Self and form a stronger alignment with your Spirit.
Hardening: “I want nothing to do with you because you are an awful person.”
Guarding: “I am learning that when we are together I am not my best self.”
Hardening: “If you would just change, our relationship would be perfect.”
Guarding: “I recognize my power to align with Spirit and make choices that give me life independent your actions.”
What is one judgement you hold about this person?
How can you transform this Hardening, other-focused judgement into a Guarding, "Big-S,Self-focused," statement that focuses your ability to align with Spirit and make Self-led decisions (hint: the statement will focus on the only thing you can control...yourself!)?
Can you think of other questions, beliefs or opinions that keep your spiritual streams flowing in hurtful circumstances?
Comment below! I'd love to hear from you!
Read Strive To Be Self-Centered: 4 Tools For Internal Peace.
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