The other day my mom sent me a wonderful quote:
“A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust in not on the branch but on it’s own wings.” Unknown
I’ve been pondering this quote for the past two days, and it strikes me how often people get mad at others for not taking care of them/doing the right thing. Maybe when we feel this anger we should stop and look at ourselves, and see if we are counting on other people to take care of us because we aren’t sure how well we can take care of ourselves.
For example, women have asked me over the years why I don’t have insecurities about the guy that I’m dating being unfaithful. (Trust me, I have plenty of other insecurities!). My answer is always this: “I don’t have to trust him – I have to trust me.”
If I’m staying honest about how the relationship feels, I’ll know if there are problems and things are ‘off” between us. When the relationship is unsatisfactory to either of us, then there’s always the risk of someone cheating. So my commitment to myself is that I will stay connected to how the relationship feels today, and I’ll address any problems that come up between us.
I don’t believe that people cheat on their partners when everything is going really well (unless it is a person who self-sabotages relationships and then your relationship is doomed anyway!) So how I protect myself from a cheating partner is not to monitor his behavior, but to monitor how I feel, and how things feel between us.
Invariably when a client comes in for a session distraught because she/he “had no idea” that there was infidelity going on, the client’s spirit gently shows how the client worked very hard to “not see”. We’re all guilty of tuning out information that scares us – the evidence of a teenager’s drinking, the signs of problems at work, or the clues to a partner’s infidelity. In other words, in your heart, you always know when there’s a problem. You may not know how your partner is handling the problem (complaining to his friends, flirting with people at the gym to people, or cheating) but you know in your gut – and in your heart – that there’s a problem.
So the next time you have fears – about your partner, your child, your job – take care of yourself first. Be still and get quiet. Your spirit’s quiet voice can’t be heard unless you create the space to hear that gentle whisper. Remember that taking care of yourself means having the emotional courage to venture inside and feel what is really true for you.
It’s easy to stay restless and busy and follow the ego-mind as it rants on and on about how no one is safe. Your ego will remind you of all the times in the past when people seemed selfish, taking care of themselves and hurting you in the process. Of course your ego-mind will fail to remind you of all the times when you acted selfishly and hurt others.
The truth is that we all have egos, and so we all occasionally hurt others by tuning out to how things feel and following our ego’s desire for gratification. But instead of monitoring everyone else’s behavior exclusively, remember to monitor how you feel internally.
Your spirit is always willing to tell you the truth. Are you willing to listen?