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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Looking for the good first

Sometimes, my multitasking pays off. Like when I am perusing articles on my phone through a morning of speakers at a conference and find an article which inspires me enough that I'm still thinking about it more than two weeks later.

The article in question is Olga Rasmussen's entry on Bias for the Good in relationships in the District Kula blog. I am constantly inspired by how the teachings of Anusara yoga can be applied to all aspects of our lives. One of my is the idea of looking for the good - instead of immediately nitpicking and finding fault, take a step back and look for the universal, the highest in everything and everyone.

"At some point, during the first day (of the intensive), John (Friend)
encouraged us to “always give the benefit of a doubt in a relationship. That’s
First Principle. You must be biased for the good.”" ~ Olga Rasmussen

What a beautiful idea... and how sad that we have to be remided to look for the good in the people we care about. If you love someone, it just makes sense to always believe that person is coming from a place of love. Trust that they have good intentions and would never deliberately try to hurt or upset you.

We've all been in the other place - that relationship where the benefit of the doubt does not exist. I know I have. When I'm with someone, I tend to assume anything hurtful was done by accident. With the person in question, I would bring up my hurt feelings in an effort to be open and honest. In return, I was accused of being scolding, belittling and insulting, and usually I ended up being the one who apologized.

In an instance when I hurt his feelings completely by accident, instead of telling me how he felt he lashed out, insulted my intelligence and refused to answer my phone calls for an entire day. He basically assumed that if I hurt his feelings I had done it knowingly, which was never the case. I never like to drag up dirty laundry on the internet, but I think this is worth mentioning because it seems like these days, a general sense of mistrust and passive-aggressive manipulation are a far too common in relationships that are supposed to be loving.

It's been a long time, and I haven't thought about that person for quite a while -but reading Olga's blog I couldn't help comparing that relationship compared to my marriage. Looking for the negative and assuming someone is working against you is out to get you is toxic, not to mention exhausting. I found myself constantly on my toes, defensive, wondering if something was real or if I was being "tested" to see how I would react - I hardly knew how to be myself anymore. I cried a lot, and the littlest things would set me off. I just felt...very small.

With my husband on the other hand, I have complete trust. I can honestly say I have never for one second doubted him or thought that he was being anything less than straightforward and honest with me. I can't imagine him ever doing anything to hurt me deliberatley and vice versa - which is why, if either of us ever raises an issue or accientally hurts the other's feelings it is immediately met with profuse apologies and never turns into a fight. Trust is scary, but it is beautiful. It makes you believe you can climb mountains.

The first principle of Anusara, "Open to Grace", encourages us to look at the whole before focusing in on the details. Remember the highest reason why you are there - in a pose, in a job, in a relationship. Anger and suspicion tends to breed more of the same, and this surely builds up over time. I'm not saying you shouldn't tell your boyfriend/girlfriend/sister/roommate you're upset that they forgot to call, didn't remember to buy milk or whatever - tell them for sure. But remember that they love you and in turn, make sure your words and actions come from a place of love.

Either way - there is a lot to unpack from the first principle, and this is just a tiny nugget of what surfaced in my mind after reading Ms Rasmussen's blog entry. The layers just keep coming. This has been a cheesy yoga relfection by yours truly. Peace out. Happy Tuesday.

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