Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Changing the way the picture looks.

When working in the realm of photography, there are many things that play a part in how the picture looks in the end. Lighting, the resolution of the camera, what camera is used, what type of lens, the speed of the exposure, photo editing, and probably a dozen other things that I've never heard of, not being a particular buff of photography myself. The point being that, depending on any one of those factors, the end product, the visual is different.

Noticing the factors that change our ultimate picture is a very important skill to develop in life, particularly within relationships. Who hasn't had the experience of having a poor day at work, then returning home feeling snarly and irritated, and taking it out on the people that are closest in your world? Who hasn't had a partner bring past baggage into their current relationship, totally unaware of it at the time? Or, more challenging, aware but unable/unwilling to change the way they are filtering what is happening in the here and now?

I recently had an unpleasant experience where someones past relationship stuff was strongly felt enough that I became a proxy in the here and now, target of their anger and unresolved issues based on some triggering behavior. This isn't even someone within my social circle! It really brought home to me how insidious such things can be, where someone who thinks they are viewing a given situation clearly can still be running entire sections of their life through an overwhelming filter, changing the picture they are dealing with into something entirely different.

For me, this is useful in looking at my relationships with others, myself, my child, my partners, even my clients. If I catch myself using a "lens" that distorts what is happening in reality, it can help me identify an underlying area that needs some additional processing. I may choose to back away from a given conflict, to say something like, "Today, I do not have the resources to see this situation clearly. I'd like to schedule some time with you next week/tomorrow/later today to work towards a mutually agreeable resolution with you."

Where it gets really hairy is when you have two or more people that are processing issues that dovetail with each other. This can either be a recipe for amazing growth, or disaster, depending on if each party involved is aware, willing and ready to put the work in to peel a conflict down to the "real" picture.

Many people seem to choose partners that are really talented at bringing their baggage to the surface. One of the most useful things I'm learning to do is to recognize when a particular person isn't going to be a good choice to work on my stuff with, and step away from that "bang my head against a wall" opportunity. There's my recommendation of the day!

1 comment:

lynelle said...

i like how you think. ;)