On the radio, I heard interviews this week with people who had recently split up from a relationship. They all said they had a good network to support them, and that they did not look for another partner. They did not want to make compromises anymore and enjoyed their freedom. I felt an undertone of sadness in their voices. It made me wonder if now they had spread out their compromises – a little bit with each friend, for a limited amount of time – in order not to feel it that much.
This is not to say that you need to be in a relationship to be happy; I see it more as a matter of attitude. As long as relating is associated with ‘compromise’ and ‘giving myself away’ or ‘getting the best deal possible out of it’, how can you be happy? You have made your happiness dependent on someone else.
Viewed from a Human Design perspective, we learn from each other through the way we mutually influence each other. The vast majority of us have a mix of colored and white Centers in our Chart. The colored ones we call defined. They define us because these Centers and the way they are connected (through a Channel) show how we express life energy and how this influences our environment. In the white Centers other people affect us, we are receptive to their energy. The question is: how do we deal with that in a graceful way? There is an art, or rather a knack, to it.
How to stay free while relating
To live is to be with people. Unless you hide yourself in a cave, you will be exposed to other people’s energies. There are three ways you can take this, two of which can give you a headache, while the third one is the smart-ass way to go.
To begin with, remember this energy is not yours, it comes from outside. Now you can:
- Accept it thinking it is your own truth
- Keep it out best you can
- Dance with it
- Here you take what comes to you as the authority, the way things (or you) should be. This is called conditioning in Human Design. You do not live your own energy, you let it be determined from someone else. As a child, we often let this happen with our parents, teachers, or other people who give us care and love.
- This is a reaction, a no-reflex. You do not want to compromise anymore! We often do this in our adolescence. And later, when we have children of our own, we are determined not to repeat the same mistakes our parents did to us, only to find out that somehow we pass them on to our children. Did you ever have that experience? Other people go as far as avoiding all contact, or trying not to let anyone affect them. It’s not a very happy lifestyle; moreover, does it really work?
- Realizing that what comes in is not you, and that the choice what to do with it is yours. This is the smart way. Influences in your ‘white centers’ come and go, like clouds on the horizon. You can benefit from them, take what enriches you, letting go what does not serve.
It is easier said than done. The things we have taken in, or which we refuse, feel like they constitute our identity, whereas that third one ‘dance with it’ looks like some kind of shifty, new-age stuff. Awareness is the way to go here: once you recognize behaviors, thought patterns and even emotions as not-really-you, a certain relaxation happens around the idea who you are. You begin to trust that you are OK as you are, without the need for outside improvement, and from there you can let influences come in and then let them go again. It becomes more interesting than threatening to experience different people and environments, and often life will give you more of those events now.
Does this apply to close relationships? In my experience, yes. When both partners have less need to defend their turf, they can allow themselves to be permeated by the other’s energy. We can have an area of melting, while still retaining our individuality. In fact, this applies to all situations: in business, at the workplace, with family and friends. The process originates within oneself, and when you are with a partner who is open to your growth, she or he is the perfect person to practice, so to say.