Being in relationship with others is what I do for a living. Trying to interact, communicate, connect, and be with others with as much presence, patience, and compassion as I can. And the key word there is ‘try,’ because, while a lot of the time that work is rewarding and wonderful, there are other times that I end up feeling like an emotional punching bag. Working in the service industry, interacting with hundreds of people a week, you will inevitably come in contact with people who will unload their inner turmoil shit on you at the slightest inconvenience. And maybe that’s wrong, and maybe I’m not the one to judge, but recently this has really been weighing me down. I come home feeling bruised and tender and vulnerably small. But I am also trying (again, trying) to see this as an extra mindfulness challenge, because so often I grasp on to these interactions, make them personal, and let them install themselves inside me. And then I bring them home and my partner ends up the emotional punching bag, and the cycle continues.
So my question is, how do we hold space within our own boundaries for others to have and process their shadow stuff (because, trust me, we’ve all got it), but NOT hold onto it or try to hold it for them? How can we allow these rough edges of connection to smooth and polish our common sense of human-ness? How can we create reminders for ourselves that we have all experienced suffering, and inevitably will again, and that we really are all in this together?
I don’t have the answers to these questions, but I said I wanted to be more intentional here on this platform, so I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’re willing and comfortable sharing them. ✨