When dealing with paradigms and working on relationships the most important thing to consider is how to remain strong and connected. You want to create opportunities for both qualities to be present.
Being strong is both standing up for yourself through identifying and asking for your needs to be met as well as supporting the other person while his or her needs are being met. The first is more like taking or being on the receiving end and the second is more like giving. Give and take is the natural flow of energy in relationship.
Being connected is a function of using your five sense awareness as well as your intuition and communication skills to negotiate your own needs and the needs of the other person. It is a dynamic, ever-changing landscape of primary focus over time. At any snapshot in time you may find one or the other person on the receiving end of the relationship energy, support, or power – if it always is the same person then the flow of the relationship is off-balance and this may result in problems.
If, in order to remain in a relationship you have to give up yourself or your needs then that is not remaining strong. If, a person is unable to be involved in both give and take in relationship s/he is not actually participating in a healthful way. Relationships are a function of give and take in their most healthful form.
If, you find that you are always on the giving end then you need to re-evaluate how you interact with others. You may be inadvertently diminishing your own power in that relationship. Here I am using the word power to describe empowerment not power-over. Some people think that this makes them a better person that they do not have needs in a relationship – or that they are always understanding the other person and giving in. In reality this is not a stronger or better position, (and this is tricky), it is actually a weaker position and also a behavior that will degrade the relationship.
Relationships prosper with boundaries. Knowing where you end and another begins is a sign of health being able to keep a strong sense of yourself and the other person in relationship requires no as much as it requires yes; knowing when to say which is a function of an internal balance as well as the qualities of strength and connection.
This is especially true if it’s a parenting situation, this behavior may actually result in a child not developing their ability to give – s/he may only take because s/he hasn’t been taught to do both. Children don’t give to the parent in an equal way; it’s about negotiating perspective, time, focus and interaction – developing the skill of paradigm understanding and shifting.
This is not just true in parent/child relationships but partnerships and friendships too.
This concept of energy flow in relationship is similar to balance.
Give and Take in relationship need to be in balance if the relationship is to remain sustaining and growth promoting over time. Here balance is the concept of equity, not necessarily equality but equity. So under certain conditions one person may actually give more, let’s say if someone is sick or in a naturally dependent situation, like an infant or toddler, but if that behavior continues beyond the circumstances then the behavior may begin to skew its energy and throw the relationship off-balance.
It’s good to have a habit of checking on this over time, to evaluate how energy is dispersed and dealt with in all the relationships your life. Re-evaluating how to best create balance in each of these relationships based on the idea of balance in give and take, helps to maintain healthy relationships where both strength and connection are valued.
See you tomorrow.