Mastin Kipp of The Daily Love says constantly, “relationships are containers for growth.” It is such an empowering concept!
Essentially, no relationship or interaction is a waste. Every contact with another is meant to be a practice in knowing yourself.
While this can be viewed as a somewhat narcissistic practice, the alternative of not learning about yourself has more narcissistic repercussions. See, if you don’t look deeply at who you are and your role in every interaction, you risk detriment to the world through your thoughts and actions.
This works in romantic and platonic relationships.
Being part of two very contrasting communities, the legal world and yoga world, inevitably creates difficulty in my relationships. Others judge me for not fitting into either world fully. I judge others for not speaking my yoga/legal language. Though, when I turn the relationships around–from stagnating, hurtful interactions into containers for growth–I gain a deeper understanding of myself.
It’s like the practice of a growing, bilingual child. Funny, yes. Hear me out…
As a bilingual child grows up, she has to learn two languages. In the beginning, there is a major learning stagnation–she has to learn twice the amount of words and concepts as the monolingual child. Eventually, there is a major learning curve and she begins to learns with ease. Even more beautiful, she is able to use her knowledge of both languages to deepen her understanding of the words and concepts.
When you wear multiple hats throughout the day or even try to relate to others who don’t speak “your language,” you have to broaden your words and concepts. Similar to the bilingual child, it is easy to get stuck on the contrasting words or views. Here is the potential for the learning curve: the interactions can become an opportunity for a deeper understanding of you!
Why is this person in your life? What can you learn about yourself from this interaction?
Begin to notice how you relate to others. These interactions are not meant to break you. They’re meant to deepen the language you speak of yourself.