Create the Life You Imagine ~ July 2019

The Practice: Self Esteem – How do I express my Soul in my relationships with others?

“Relationships and our ability to successfully navigate them are a key element of a successful life."

~ Carl Jung

In the third chakra, we let our Divine spark emerge from the heart center and into our mind, and then focused our energies on creating the right thoughts, beliefs and conditions to bring our Soul into expression. The third chakra work is solitary work. We get crystal clear about who we are and how we choose to use our life force, and then we practice a discipline of mind and an integrity of action that helps us to hold that thread of connection to our Soul. As we continue to flow from the crown down, we draw that mental clarity into our body and continue our work of expressing the power of our Soul through our second chakra. The second chakra is where we really embody our divine Self in our physical body and where we tap into our sense of vibrancy and aliveness. The words that go with this center are vitality, passion, connection, feeling, sensuality, sexuality and community. It is in this center that we come into authentic connection with life, with our bodies, with our feelings, and with our relationships. It is where we cultivate a deep sense of flow, presence, and engagement with the rich tapestry of people and experiences that are part of our life journey.

While the third chakra is solitary work, the second chakra is community work. The second chakra center is where we practice expressing our truest Self in relationship with other people, and it is through our relationships that we enter the real drama of being human. From this center we use all of our human senses to see, feel, hear, sense, taste and touch the full range of human emotions and experiences we create as we share our lives with others. We experience bonding, belonging, bitterness and betrayal; friendship, family, floundering and failing; desire, deliverance, disappointment and disconnection; longing, love, loneliness and loss. As we move from the crown down in our experience of learning and growing, relationships are the high-ropes challenge course of the work. Even when we are confident and crystal clear in our mind about who we are, holding onto that thread with poise as we enter into the full gamut of feelings and experiences that surface in our relationships with others is where we really learn about the grit and grace required to grow and thrive in this human experience. It’s easier to manage ourselves when we are alone in our room, its more challenging to hold onto ourselves when we enter a crowd.

Relationships teach us about both reflections and projections. For good or for bad, in relationships other people mirror back to us who they think we are, and we project our inside stories about ourselves back out onto the people in our relationship circles. For this reason, our relationships are fraught with opportunities to lose our hold on that thread that connects us to our Soul. From the small self we move into relationships from the narcissism and insecurity of the personality expecting others to anticipate and meet our needs, and our fragile sense of happiness, fulfillment, worthiness and self-esteem depends on how well my mother, father, brother, sister, friend, lover, spouse, partner or boss treats me on any given day. If we are fortunate enough to have a community of strong and healthy relationships around us, it is likely to support our ability to remember who we are and to hold ourselves in high Self-esteem. If we are engaged in relationships with people who are not emotionally healthy or conscious, however, we risk losing our connection to our Soul and getting drawn repeatedly into our old, small self patterns grounded in low self-esteem.

Our parents and family members are our first mirrors and the lessons and stories about ourselves that we learn in our families of origin tend to get planted deeply into our second chakra system. As we continue our life journey, we will engage in a bigger community of relationships, but remember that we take our stories with us. We will engage with friends and romantic partners who love us, adversaries who push and challenge us, and teachers, bosses, co-workers and others who support us or test us as we unfold into our most authentic Self. All of these relationships have the power to remind us who we really are and to strip away the parts of ourselves that are false or inauthentic, or to reignite our low self-esteem stories. When we hold ourselves in high esteem, we will attract and choose relationships that reflect that clarity about who we are, and we are likely to grow into the power of our Soul with less stress and struggle. If we have low self-esteem, we will inevitably find ourselves in relationships that mirror our small self stories. We may find that we attract and choose relationship partners that actively reenact and reinforce our low self esteem stories through critical or abusive patterns. Or we may find that we unconsciously co-opt others into playing a bit part in our small self drama by projecting our inner story onto someone else, and playing small and powerless in relationships with otherwise healthy people who have no idea that we are just acting out our starring role in our own small self story.

When we engage our second chakra from the small self personality of our lower triangle, we let others define who we are. Because we aren’t anchored in a deeper truth about who we are, our relationships with other people are likely to be largely unconscious and co-dependent, and we will get stuck in the same storylines over and over. Co-dependence means that we get locked in unhealthy and enmeshed relationships with another person and we lose our sense of our self as separate from the relationship. If we are locked in a co-dependent relationship, we give over control of our life energy and choices to the other person and their problems, we focus all of our energy on pleasing, protecting or pacifying the other person, and we lose our own peace by believing that we must control the other person or the situation in order to maintain our fragile sense of self inside the relationship. In co-dependent relationships we worry incessantly about being judged, abandoned, rejected or betrayed by the other person, and we fail to see the how the co-dependency pattern is slowly but surely stealing our life energy and interrupting the flow of our Soul, and how we are judging, abandoning, rejecting or betraying ourselves in the process.

When we flow from the crown down we know who we are, and our task is to live that truth in our relationships with others. We bring a strong sense of who we are into our relationships and if we stay conscious and aware, then our relationships allow us to further refine our ability to live in the truth of who we are.Conscious relationships are like looking deeply into the mir