Tangled Relationships

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All sorts of preparations are going on as we anticipate the release of Disentangle. I am finding that as I am getting ready for talks and interviews, I am re-visiting some of the core concepts and issues in Disentangle. Simply defining a tangled relationship is a good place to start.

A tangled relationship is one in which I feel very caught in my interactions with the other person. Various parts of me may be caught: my thoughts, my feelings, my behaviors. The other person may be doing things that encourage this tangle with them, but my work here is to look at the me that is prone to this loss of self in the other person, the me that does this to my self.

Tangled relationships push and pull on each other. Rather than each individual speaking for their self and listening so as to understand the other person, at least one individual in a tangled relationship is trying to get the other person to say or do or be something they want them to say, do, or be.

I push on the other person to be different than who they are. I pull on them trying to get them to like me, to love, me, to be pleased with me. I get caught up in these unproductive processes and forget about my self.

And then I start feeling bad. I may be upset or agitated. My focus narrows on to what I am trying to get out of the other person. I start neglecting things important to me. My feelings and thoughts may even be consumed by these unproductive interactions which can come from trying to control what I can’t control – in this case, the other person.

In the same way that a knot does not become undone by thoughtless pushing and pulling on it, so it is true with my interactions with this person with whom I am entangled. Finding and retrieving my very self is the key to my release from this knot, this entanglement. When I connect with how I am feeling, what I am wanting, and what I can control here, the tangle starts to loosen for me, and I feel freer, stronger, and better able to breathe and think and figure out what is best for me.

Love it!


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