When in a relationship, every moment becomes an opportunity for growth. Today I will write about a recent observation I made about myself with regards to my moods.
Is it common for us to search for something outside of ourself to have reason to feel upset?
I’ll restate. How easy is it to feel upset or moody and find something in our partner/lover to blame it on?
A couple of nights ago I witnessed myself looking for something to get pissed off at in J. I made some poor choices throughout the day that led me to feeling too hungry, too irritable, too rushed, unclear, and ended up choosing to see a tear jerking movie (with J). Needless to say, I was not in a very good mood. In fact, I started to cry within the first 30 minutes of the movie and didn’t stop until the credits. I was emotionally vulnerable and reactive.
After the movie, we went for some food. I noticed on our walk that I was searching for something in J to get angry with. I have enough self-reflection that I was able to watch myself, it made me curious to see my mind search and search for something, anything, to explain my upset. The self-reflection didn’t stop me from acting this way immediately, however I could see exactly what I was doing. I was in wonderment about how far I would dig to find something that I could project my moodiness onto. This is dangerous, and I don’t think I’m the only one to do this, but I’ll stick with my own experience for now. I observed that the more I tried to project, the more disconnected from myself and J I became. How far would I go?
I wanted a reason for my upset.
Instead of just feeling moody, angry or upset due to lack of food and poor planning, I became too uncomfortable to own that state of being. My mind wanted me to move outside the sensations of the feelings and find a reason to blame my sweet tolerant man. I have a feeling that the root of many conflicts in relationships are due to this exact experience. Perhaps we are in constant reactivity to our emotions and states that we automatically need to project it onto our loved ones so that the feeling may have a cause or reason to exist.
Why is it so difficult to accept that feelings are coming and going- constantly- for numerous reasons? Why do we need to put blame on those we love?
When we begin to see this process and how reactive we are to our various states of being, we begin to see how little we truly desire to take responsibility for ourselves. I watched myself search in J in order to root my upset. I found nothing. I knew that I had to own what I was feeling. I told him that I was feeling upset because of the poor choices I had made earlier and was in reaction to the consequences of those choices. He understood and consciously and lovingly gave my feelings right back to me rather than engaging in them. Smart man.
I had a client with Borderline Personality Disorder. I gave him the suggestion of not processing any feelings or emotions after 10:00pm. I explained, that when we are tired our emotions become heightened and our ability to gauge what is real and what isn’t diminishes. Processing any feelings or relationship problems that late at night is begging for a good fight. I remembered my client in this moment with J. Perhaps a great agreement to have with him is that we do not process anything emotional when we are hungry, angry, lonely or tired. In many addiction recovery programs this becomes a commandment for the person in recovery. However, sometimes we are not self-aware enough to know when we are in these states.
Is there something relieving about projecting our miseries onto our lover? Yikes. I suppose it takes the edge off of having to deal with something uncomfortable alone. It helps us to escape from the pain. Like an orgasm finding its way out of our body and into the ether. Sometimes we just want a release.
I am thrilled to be able to have seen this part of me. My goal is to let go of reactivity and to grow. Even through the discomfort of feelings that I don’t particularly like, there is pleasure in taking responsibility for what is mine. Here is a suggestion I’m making to J and to anyone that may be interested.
Let go of control and be open to J to help me notice when I may be hungry, angry, lonely or tired. In return, I will do the same for him, if he desires. If we can’t trust the person closest to us to point something out before it takes us under, than what are we doing in relationship with them?
I have total faith that my beloved wants me to grow. I can trust him when I’m having trouble trusting myself and my emotions. I just have to be open enough to the possibility that perhaps what I’m feeling isn’t the whole truth. Gently and with love, J and I can help each other entertain the possibility that perhaps we just need a sandwich before we discuss the root of the expression- ‘douche bag’.