By Suna Senman
“In order to explain the balance of “you-me-us” concepts, we need to be mindful of schemas. Schemas are the emotional and experiential attachments we have to words or objects. For example, “attachment” may stimulate feeling of sticky confinement or it may generate an image of an adoring, cherishing mother-infant bond. Those two schemas are very different. So when a person with one schema talks about attachment with a person with the other schema, misunderstanding and conflict occurs. Therefore, it is important to listen beyond words-to listen to the heart. Both schemas exist and are acceptable, but hearing the intention of the conveyor of a message- listening to the heart-is where understanding is created. Hearing the heart of a person provides a mindfulness of reality. A good therapist listens to the heart beneath the words.
People often say one thing but mean another, as if they are leaving clues or simultaneously want to be heard and not heard. What do people really want? We all want to express truth, love, and beauty so that it is received and reflected back to us. Sometimes people want to express lies, hurt, and ugliness, because that’s what they have seen. They both want and don’t want to see that reflected back. The experience of lies, hurt, and ugliness is unpleasant. And yet, a person wants to be seen. If a person has allowed lies, hurt, and ugliness to penetrate their being, these factors becomes part of their being that they need to express. He or she will continue to express everything that is in them-a mix of lies, hurt, and ugliness along with the truth, love, and beauty of his or her original, natural state.
These contradictory qualities coexist until the person cleans house and lets go of the garbage. Because we always express what is inside of us, it is also the mix that will be reflected back. We see what is inside. Therefore, when a person sees jealousy, greed, gluttony, or any of the “sins” in others, the wise person will recognize that there are at least crumbs of those things inside him–or herself.
Attachment and detachment are key concepts to understand in order to navigate the complicated “mix.” If you can clean house often (even several times a day), you practice healthy attachment and detachment. If you are mindful of the things that approach you through the day and are discerning of their core (love or ugliness), then you can let go of the unwanted ugliness quickly so that you can practice filling yourself with truth, love and beauty.
Some people love playing in ugly messes. When I have tried to engage people in expressions of truth, love, and beauty, they are often eager to engage, yet, unwilling to let go of ugliness. Some people get attached to the concept of “ownership.” At one time, a friend felt that she owned me and tried to prevent me from expressing a part of myself that evoked a feeling of dishonesty in her. She had talked herself into believing that her lifestyle was beautiful, but my expression of truth triggered a realization that she contained ugliness. Her reaction was to discredit me and push me away instead of doing some “housecleaning” or making her own necessary changes. She was afraid of change.
In her ownership attitude toward me as her friend, she insisted that I don’t speak about some of my ideas. What she tried to own slipped away. I detached from her instead of detaching from a part of a truth of my being.”
Suna Senman LMSW, CSW, CTIM, CED is a life transformation facilitator who specializes in wellness counseling, childhood development, peace education, and diversity training. She blogs on topic for The Huffington Post; she has published articles on topic in periodicals such as Metro; and she is the author of Being: A Process. Through her work, Suna helps people expand their sense of self, release their illusion of separation, develop nurturing partnerships, and consciously design a harmonious life path. Her writing has included interviews with supermodel Tyra Banks, celebrity violinist Miri Ben Ari, and relationship expert Paul Brunson.