They say misery loves company. Which is probably true. Whenever you want to share your sadness, the frustration at your job, the differences with your partner, or the lack of one, or crib about the state of the world, it is not difficult to find company. The pain, the drama – it all triggers the resonant feelings and parallel memories that we share. Empathy and agreement can be supportive, or it can be self defeating. Unless carefully steered to a meaningful conclusion, there are chances of these interactions reducing to habitual pity parties.
And what about celebrations? How easy is it to find company that shares equally in your joys and milestones? Not the superficial, congratulatory kind, but the genuine ones – whose hearts burst with as much happiness as yours, who can be moved to inexplicable tears by your contentment? Under the masks and games that we play, we often sense the skepticism, the resentment, sometimes the outright envy that can be as startling and unexpected to both, the one who is jealous and the one who is jealous of. Feelings of jealousy and envy are often taken personally. But in reality have little to do with the person it is focused on. It is the sense of incompletion, of not having received what they feel is their due or their own sense of lack and unworthiness that fuels the one experiencing it.
To be observant and accepting of such underlying currents is what enables us to address them and let them go. To see the self pity under the ‘empathy’, the feelings of emptiness under the ‘jealousy’ and hence not perceive ourselves superior in some way for our caregiving, nor put ourselves down for seeing the stab of discomfort in another’s happiness – can be an enormous gift of friendship.
Many of our hidden facets are more easily revealed in the context of our relationships. They serve the purpose of being our mirrors. So when both parties are conscious and committed to this understanding, all interaction becomes a blessing that reveals our truth. But for this, there has to be an effort at building and maintaining trust, of being rooted in love at all times and not taking any dramas (that turn up for either one) personally.
Kahlil Gibran said, “Let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.” I could not agree more. This implies a high degree of awareness and a deep commitment to revealing our true nature. There are few who prefer this extent of authenticity and vulnerability, feeling safer in the realms of more socially acceptable, external pretenses of popularity. But for those of us who choose this path – true friends may be rare and few, but they are the only ones you really want to be with.
Are you conscious of the intent of the relationships you are choosing in your life? Because that is what will determine the vibration of your interactions.
Image Source: Sketches in Stillness (FB page)