Wednesday, May 22, 2013

True Partners on the Path

There are so many obstacles and obstructions as we transform our lives. All of these obscurations to transformation actually help expose within us a rich terrain, full of attachments, aversions and couldn’t care less moments. For this, we should genuinely thank every obstacle and obstruction we encounter as well as when we realize we’re not engaging our day thoroughly and thoughtfully in those couldn’t care less moments. Each is a blessing, a spotlight that exposes what we still have to work with within ourselves.

Finding true partners on the path of life transformation, on the other hand, can provide inspiration, support and feedback with every step, every breath we take. These partners act to multiply our efforts, intentions and aspirations exponentially. When we are surrounded and supported by those in our daily lives, the more cumbersome aspects of transformation can be made more workable. In fact, these partners on the path help us in every step we take, and we help them in every step they take. We take steps together.

There are at least six aspects embodied in the true partner on our path. These six aspects help us be the best partner as well as understand and appreciate the true partners we already have.

With our presence
Our presence is truly the best gift we can give those in our life. What does it mean to give those our presence? This means that we are not thinking about the past or the future. We’re actually right here and right now. We aren’t being caught up in our own mental activities or in our reactivity to conditions. The true partner is completely, wholly here for you. This presence is the best gift we can give anyone.

“I’m here for you.”

With our awareness
Our presence doesn’t always come with awareness. Awareness is about openness to anything and to nothing at the same time. This is when all of our senses and our mind are open to what’s happening. Awareness can be directed externally as well as internally. Really, the awareness here has aspects of both. The true partner has complete awareness of themselves, others, causes and effects, and conditions. This is definitely aspirational. We must strive to be completely aware, but when we’re a partner for someone, our awareness is focused for their benefit.

 “I’m aware for you.”

With our openness
Our openness is our honesty, our sincerity. The people in our lives deserve that level of respect. We have this wealth of experience that we can offer to others. We also have this amazing capacity for empathy with someone. Sometimes, we need to be able to touch those gut-wrenching emotions. Show them we not just hear what they say, but we deeply feel as well. Other times, we can talk about our own experiences that parallel others. The true partner is one who can expose both thoughts and feelings openly. This exposure must be guided and focused about the present.

“I’m open for you.”

Without judgment
Judgment is different from discernment. We must create an atmosphere around us where we don’t judge others. Anything someone has done or said, thought or felt is understandable. That doesn’t mean it was the best action, the best words. We have to understand that no one gets to what they’re doing all on their own. Countless and compounding lessons based on ignorance were learned over time.

We must also be careful to not judge the projections of others. This is difficult. Sometimes, people are desperate to project their thoughts and feelings onto anyone in their vicinity. We have to be strong in these moments, understanding the reality of our own internal world, differentiating it from the projections of others. It is understandable that people project onto others because so many do this daily. It’s a defensive mechanism, and, therefore, is understandable.

The true partner never judges us, even when we judge them in the throes of our emotional and mental pain and suffering. Their consistency and vigilance during all of the storms of life, both real and projected, will become a beacon we learn to trust.

“I won’t judge you.”

Without reservation
We must do all of this without reservation. We can’t second guess ourselves or others. This is being honest, sincere and genuine. We have to allow ourselves and others to be mistaken. When we hold back with those closest to us, we’re not being honest. We should tell them what we think and feel about what they’re experiencing. We have to do this without thinking about how we are perceived. We will learn about their perceptions through our vigilance of presence and expanding awareness.

We cannot do this with everyone. Sometimes, people have so much near instinctual reactivity, that they cannot handle this sincerity of heart and mind. Understanding this doesn’t make it easy to hold back with those we love. In fact, it can be deeply painful to come to this understanding about those close to us. True partners on the path can handle us being mistaken, just as we can handle their mistakenness.

The true partner never holds back. Never holding back doesn’t mean we lose our presence or diminish our awareness. This is a constant balancing act. True partners are not perfect. It is only through not holding back that our mistakenness is slowly ventilated.

“I won’t hold back with you.”

Without regret
As with not holding back, we must also not regret. Missteps are part of being a true partner. We must allow ourselves and others to be mistaken. Regret is filled with guilt and shame, and there can be none of this between true partners. We may realize our mistakenness, and that is a blessing. We may see ourselves more completely, and that is a blessing. We acknowledge our mistakes, learn from them and then we continue moving forward on our path.

The true partner never regrets being honest and sincere. The true partner tries to always be present, aware and open, without regret. The true partner is relentless, without regret for the mental, emotional, physical or spiritual resources used in progressing forward.

“I won’t regret.”

Being a true partner is not something we just check boxes on some scorecard with or about someone. Being a true partner is about all of these aspects. It is not what we do; it’s how we do it. It’s about our intentions as well as our actions. In fact, in a true partnership you cannot see daylight between intention and action, these become synonymous.

These aspects are not simply aspirational. Each is tangible and truly matters to those on this path called life and living. We may make mistakes, we may not always be the perfect partner, but together we strive for being our very best. When we find true partners on the path, we are truly blessed and we are a blessing simultaneously. Partners on the path work to bring the best out of each other while working with anything that presents itself as obscurations to transformation.

When these path partners shine the light of presence, awareness and openness upon us, we can feel completely exposed and vulnerable. This exposure and vulnerability is allowed to be ventilated in a relationship free from judgment, reservation and regret. Finally, we have someone by our side, on our side. Finally, we help each other move forward, one step, one breath at a time.

Dear Partner,
I'm here for you. I'm aware for you. I'm open for you.
I won't judge you. I won't hold back with you. I won't regret.

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