Over the past few weeks I travelled to several different countries and cities for work and to catch up with friends. Even though I do this regularly, I’m always delighted to reconnect with people around the world in what often appears to be a seamless way. It feels like the time and space dissolve and these precious relationships recommence as though they were never interrupted.
Interestingly, the subconscious mind has a lot to do with this – we can see the same thing happen with people, places, habits and patterns – with both those that support us as well as those that derail us.
It’s always here
There’s a saying, “wherever you go, there you are.” It speaks to the idea that no matter where we locate ourselves, our inner baggage travels with us. The new sights and faces may distract us. New obstacles and issues in a new location may daunt or challenge us. Yet the issues and strengths that we had in the last place are carried with us. Sometimes we forget how to tap into our attributes and skills in a new setting. And sometimes we aim to hide from our problems in the hope that a new locality will suddenly ‘disappear’ the concerns at hand. This often doesn’t happen, because our mind doesn’t really care where we hang our hat.
It’s always now
Similarly, the subconscious mind doesn’t have a concept of time. While it’s impeccable in waking us up just before the alarm rings (in an attempt to save us from the jolt of a buzzing clock), there is only ‘now’ in this part of the mind. We see this all the time – when we react strongly to a situation or someone who pushes our buttons, it’s usually buttons that have been activated in the past that come forward to our present to add to the emotional load of the ‘similar’ (to the mind) event. As famous hypnotherapist Dave Elman wrote, “We live our lives in the light of reflected action. The things we used to do, we’re still doing in our minds.”
So what does that mean for us? When we are involved with positive, supportive relationships, we can bounce from meeting to meeting, ‘connecting the dots’ and picking up where we left off in a worthy way.
When we don’t resolve issues in the past, we carry them with us now… and now… and now. To break the link that chains us to the past in the present, we may need to let go of our emotional involvement, reflect on our changed situation and needs, and tap into the powers we possess to move past the patterns that hold us back.
Birds of a Feather
I remember meeting someone at a party and thinking that he was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Taking a moment with the host, I mentioned how much I liked and admired her guest. She replied, “well you should – he’s the male version of you!” Sometimes we are attracted to people who share our sensibilities and perspectives, or our likes and interests. It’s natural – we have some connection, some common conversation, and some shared viewpoints. We don’t have to ‘try’ so hard to find a collective concept which allows us the energy to put even more into the relationship. However, there are some cautions of these ‘easy’ relationships that we need to take into account to allow them to be positive guides in our life.
Firstly, it’s important not to assume that ‘we’ are exactly the same. Without being inside someone else’s head or history, it’s difficult to know where someone stands on every single subject. To maintain these close connections, we need to question and explore for differences in meaning so we don’t get caught by surprise when our definitions are not exactly the same. The subconscious mind likes linking things together so it will tend to hook up on every point rather than assume differences exist.
Secondly, we need to be aware that surrounding ourselves with people who think very similarly to ourselves may prevent us from looking at the many splendored options that exist. We can sit in our comfortable piece of the pie, without looking at the full plate of options. While different may feel unfamiliar at times, it can widen your scope in valuable ways.
At the same time, some of my most loving and valuable friendships are with people who are polar opposite from me. Where my weaknesses are, they have strengths, and where they fall behind, I blast forward. In the infamous words from the movie Jerry McGuire “you complete me”. Yet some of these relationships need extra care so that the, at times, contrary world views don’t hurtle into different universes.
In spite of differences, there were complementary reasons you connected. Maybe it was to combine forces for a greater good, so look at that greater good as the connecting and common force. Sometimes you’ll need to search and discover more links between you so that you can learn to relate regardless of your seemingly dissimilar positions.
Make sure that your differences aren’t ‘make or break’ issues. If someone doesn’t remember birthdays (through habit or on principal) then they might have a challenge with someone who insists that a good friend recalls and acts on the yearly celebration. And if there’s an issue that is important to the other person and easy/minor for you, would it be worthwhile to change, just a little, to maintain the value of the whole?
It’s a Small World After All…
I appreciate my friends who share (fabulous) traits with me and cherish their support in a way that I can recognize immediately. I value my friends who contribute different assets to my life and work. I may not be ever-present or consistent in their lives, yet I carry them with me every day. And their ability to jump through time and space to relate in the here and now makes my heart and subconscious mind sing. Thank you.