Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Reflections


There's something that I'm wondering about: Do relationships that are connected to your own, either directly, or via a metamour or friend, "reflect" on each other? If one relationship is going well, does that impact those nearby, that aren't directly linked, positively? Does the inverse happen, when a rash of breakups or restructuring seems to sweep through a node of the larger community? If so, how can we be conscious of that trend to mitigate damage, and maximize happy outcomes?


It seems like this might be related to the support system that we cultivate within the poly community. If someone we know and care about it going through a challenging time, we're there to help, to lend a listening ear, to provide a shoulder to cry on, give advice, or whatever is needed. That energy then goes home with us, to our partner(s). What if we haven't taken the time to clean it up? All of a sudden, it gets easy to project what's happening to someone else onto our people.


That very sense of empathy that works in our favor when we're supporting another can lead us to see issues that might not exist within our own relationships, because we put ourselves into someone else's emotional shoes to be a good resource for them.


In the inverse, when our whole circle of acquaintance is healthy and strong, it is easier to feel optimistic and energized about what is going on within our own relationships, because we see positive examples modeled all around us. There is a "full cup" feeling that is apparent when our emotional surroundings are full of support and enthusiasm. This seems like something to cultivate!


Ironically, the very steps we take to support others through tough times, meant to help us all get to the "good stuff", can lead down a much different path, if sufficient conscious attention isn't focused on keeping "my stuff" separate from "their stuff" during difficult times. Have any of you experienced this phenomena? If so, what helped? What didn't?

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