Playing with new tools of making sense of internal processes and relational dynamics and communication has been fascinating. Congruence and incongruence have been centered in revisiting of past and analysis of current experiences.
Slowing experiences down to a crawl, sending them through new layers of inquiries into subconscious perceptions, subtle projections, and distortions. Acknowledging meanings of my creation and the feelings these cause, observing feelings about the caused feelings. Analyzing and clearly naming defensive behaviors and their underlying stories or fears. Giving the subconscious visible and tangible form to observe, know and play with consciously. Adding new layers of awareness to the original meanings and watching them transform, reframe, and create new feelings which no longer create internal conflict or blockages.
Aspects that were vague come into focus and are more susceptible to transformation through new data and the compassionate and loving gaze of consciousness.
I am gaining more clarity about what exactly triggers my survival patterns and have more choices in responding to them from a more congruent, integrated, and whole state.
Now I see why for the longest time the words of people too afraid to take a stand, have boundaries, express their principles, beliefs, and opinions carried little weight in my perception and feeling. Their praise often weak and inconsequential, their words feeling strangely empty and not worthy of attention. Lack of integrity and self love translates as a lack of truthfulness and trustworthiness to me.
How can someone who doesn’t love, stand up for themselves, live in true integrity or wholeness?
How can someone like this be trusted as a friend or more?
Will their capacity to abandon, betray, manipulate and lie to themselves not inevitably become the way they relate with me?
The child in me was surrounded by many incongruent people and could not have survived without several survival patterns. Yet survive she did- and has grown stronger and wiser from struggling with incongruences.
It feels great to have new tools to dismantle the mental and emotional residues of this aspect of past trauma. Intuitively guided and paced I am unpacking patterns ready for change. Teaching myself new practices to resource myself well for these inquiries and seedings of more congruence. Congruence, I have always sought and appreciated wherever I found it, even if expressing in ways I do not concur with.
Incongruence, even when expressing values and perceptions I share, has always set off my warrior into a protective or hostile stance. My senses are acutely attuned to picking up on incongruence, as my system sees it as the hallmark of the worst of relational harm and pain I experienced. Even if I do not comment on it, I pick up with ease when the spoken words are in conflict with the body language or the frequency of another has the distortion of contradictory or conflicting stances expressing concurrently. I might not interpret their meaning correctly but I do sense the lack of congruence, which takes away from my trust in the person and lets me take their words with a huge grain of salt. Thinking to myself I shall believe your words when I see them in consistent embodied action.
Now I also realize that incongruence was not addressed and healed in most NVC practitioners I have met. It might be helpful to get some there eventually or serve them in gaining a practice of empathic relating. Yet it misses its point to me when the underlying incongruences of the person stay invisible and unaddressed. And the formulaic approach- using another layer of artifice to rectify what at its core is an artifice just does not resonate or make much sense to my being. Don’t get me wrong, I support people’s choice in their tools of growth even if it does not resonate with me. As long as they abstain from attempts at coercing or manipulating me into lifeless artifices and what feels like stilted inauthenticity to me, I am good.
Now, I get to choose how I want to meet incongruence.
Do I even want to respond to it, and if so how?
Do I ignore it, while noting the incongruence, and move on with my life?
Do I engage in a process of making the incongruence visible to the other?
When is it appropriate to do this emotional labor, for and with another, and when is it better, for both of us, to bow out?
To do this emotional labor means to open myself up to deeper intimacy with the other.
Do I really want more intimacy with that person?
Will said intimacy cost me down the road?
Currently I do not see the need for depth of intimacy with everyone I like or love.
Which is surely owed in parts to aspects of my being who are avoidant and see intimacy as potentially dangerous, or as burdensome when intimacy is expected, coerced, manipulatively invoked. Yet there is another aspect to it for me. Time and social energy are limited in my human experience and I like to consciously choose where to invest these in alignment with my purpose and evolution. Social contracts among humans make intimacy into a sort of contract of fulfilling other people’s expectation or needs whenever they arise or hazard harming the connection by not being available for it.
For the past years I have only selectively been willing, and resourced enough, to be in deeper intimacy with people- selective on the people and the moments I am open to it. And it has done me a world of good to be deliberate and deny automatisms of habit or social constructs. I am not ready to give away this hard earned spaciousness and freedom without prompts from Spirit or seeing true value in doing so.
This is a period of stepping into a novel chapter of life for me, new skills want to be gained, integration and cohesion want to be upgraded to level up to what comes next. Not everybody can be a part or witness of this process, only select energies are supportive or aligned with this becoming.
Healing needs it protected spaces, growth needs conducive surroundings, expansion needs spaciousness. Some parts of the path need to be walked alone, some fellow travelers cannot accompany us on new paths as they have diverging paths to walk.
Maybe somewhere down the road I will be open for this depth of intimacy with incongruent people without a need for congruence on their part? I quite like that evolutionary idea…
Until I get there I shall side-step external incongruence and its draining effects on my wellbeing, while attending to transforming inner incongruence into greater integrity, wholeness and balance.