This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
(Rumi)

Everything and everyone reflects energy information back to us. This is because each relationship that we’re in forms a shared field that can be sensed, read and ultimately cleared. When we spend time with people, or even simply think about them, we may notice sensations in our body if we pay close attention. We usually attribute such feelings to something inherent in the other person, particularly if the sensations are unpleasant. We may say, “She has bad energy.” Or, “He irritates me.” Or, “She’s so depressing”. Or conversely, we may feel really good around someone and come to the conclusion that, “He’s such a warm positive person”.

Light and Shadow

This is the energetic principle of harmonic inductance at work. The inner body sensations that are activated by others, both pleasant and unpleasant, are reflecting what already lives in our physical and energy bodies. Everything we sense is a reflection of ourselves, both our light and shadow sides. Our light side expresses evolved authentic qualities effortlessly. The shadow refers to parts of our growth that were stunted early on and that we’ve developed compensatory patterns around. Of course, we all have both light and shadow aspects to our being and we prefer being around people who reflect our light. However, no matter how hard we try to avoid our shadow, it will show up. In our closest relationships, in fact, we are often aware that the same person can activate many different and often opposite feelings in us, from deep love to repulsion, or from tenderness to rage. This is because the strength of the ever-evolving Soul is constantly exposing energies, emotions and patterns that no longer serve us so that they can be liberated.

Self-inquiry in the shared field

When people activate our shadow, the common response is to find fault in them, tell stories (to ourselves, them or others) about how they should be different, put a lot of energy into trying to help them, experience an uncomfortable sense of distance, or feel like a victim of our circumstances.

Engaging in a process of self-inquiry around what is being activated within the shared field in relationships can be quite liberating and imbues the process of Soul growth with an elegant quality as opposed to the struggle that is so common.

For example, let’s say your partner and you both get angry when you feel stressed. Not only that, but when one of you gets angry, the other gets triggered, defensive and angry too. You feel saddened by the damage that this pattern has created in your relationship and deeply want greater intimacy and mutual gentleness. You commit to creating space for anger to appear in your meditation practice. When it does show up, you greet it with as much openness and curiosity as you can. You welcome anger into your experience and bring more and more awareness to the details of the sensations that come with it. You connect to the Presence that lives in you that is truly compassionate in the face of anger. Many memories come up as the energy of anger moves through, and you let these come and go, recognizing how much you’ve been storing in your body and how afraid you’ve been of anger for much of your life. You realize through your inner experience that your relationship with anger has been informed by your upbringing and culture, and you develop not only a broader perspective, but also a much more understanding one. You notice that there are other layers of emotion beneath the anger, like sadness, shame and fear, and you let yourself feel those too.

Then one day, your partner is feeling stressed and annoyed. You recognize the intense energy through the shared field, but because you’ve developed a greater capacity to be still in the face of anger, you don’t react as you once did. Instead, you feel compassion for your partner and his humanness, just as you did for yourself in those early morning hours in stillness. You’re able to be present, and your capacity to do that creates a safe space within the shared field for your partner to relax and acknowledge what is really going on.

Through your willingness to tend to the shared field, the jewel that lies hidden within every emotion has been revealed. This benefits you, your partner and beyond. Because we are all part of the shared field of humanity, everything that each one of us does to liberate blocked, repressed and stagnant emotions elevates the overall consciousness on the planet.

Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty it of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
(Rumi)

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