We’re All Connected
Many of us in the self-improvement space are familiar with a fundamental principle: you are who you hang out with. The five people you spend most of your time with is the sum total of your values, accomplishments, finances, etc. Like it or not, we are all connected.
With almost twenty-five years of experience in the healing, spiritual, and transformational fields, I agree. There is probably no truer maxim. In fact, I’d go a step further to say that all disease and dysfunction are communal…meaning much of it can be traced to our five primary relationships. A big statement, yes, but hear me out.
Rarely, if ever, has a person become ill with zero contact with other people. The people around us are always a factor. We share mental and emotional energy with our tribe, plus we model each other’s behavior. On a quantum level, we exchange electrons with one another. Our friends and family rub off and stick with us, and we on them, regardless of distance. This dynamic is called quantum entanglement.
It’s pretty far out; even Einstein commented about entanglement being “ spooky action at a distance.” Yet, science validated the colloquial sayings like, “birds of a feather flock together,” or “if you run with dogs you will get fleas,” or “water seeks its own level.” We are all connected. And, that’s not always a good thing.
In my experience with diseases, it’s necessary to parse out or even eliminate particular relationships for the patient to survive and thrive. Together, everyone plays a role in the imbalance and condition. That’s why the entire family unit needs to participate in the healing process and change the group’s attitudes and habits. This team approach creates the best opportunity for healing to take place in the patient. Such a communal issue requires a community intervention.
People, places, and things
Considering that life is an array of relationships, this factor applies to all states of dysfunction, too. Be it bankruptcy, addiction, or relationship issues, there are people in our lives that support our imbalance. And, to heal or be free of the issues, we need to improve those relationships or let go of them, completely.
A classic example of this strategy is in Alcoholics Anonymous, the most successful self-help program to date. It empowers participants to get free of their addictions by taking radical steps. For their program to work, participants must be willing to change the people, places, and things in their lives. Notice, the list points out people before places and things. This is one of the program’s core principles and key factors for its success.
Now, I am not saying that the people in our lives are the sole problem. I’m simply pointing out that all dysfunction and disease is a group effort. Those closest to us contribute to our issues and vice versa…more than we realize. It may be helpful to audit your life.
Over the years, I’ve experienced the impact people have on our mental, emotional, physical, and most importantly, bio-energetic fields first hand. Not too long ago, when working with over a dozen extreme cases, I literally ‘took to the bed.’ To my amazement, I began to exhibit similar symptoms as my clients. Even though I knew good and well that this could happen, I arrogantly thought, “never to me.”
Since then, I’ve changed my approach.
A good example to follow is lifeguards. When rescuing a drowning a person, an important concern to be aware of is to avoid getting pulled under. The swimming rescue protocol outlines that lifeguards are supposed to put the drowning person on their back, grab them around the head-neck area, and swim backward towards safety. This approach gets the critical person to relax and keeps the guard in the safest position.
If approached differently, a drowning person can pull the lifeguard under. In their quest for survival, they will instinctively grab onto the guard to pull themselves above water, but at the same time, they push the lifeguard under water.
Likewise, we need to take precautions. Many of us unknowingly get pulled under by the sick person’s drive to survive.
Is that you?
This goes well beyond the healing and transformational fields. Everyone connected to us abides by this dynamic. In fact, those of you who are great listeners unknowingly may be getting pulled under, too.
Think about the last time you visited with a friend in pain and listened to his story or when you hung out with someone who consistently complains, gossips, and speaks negatively. Chances are that exchange drained you. These are people who are like tornadoes of drama. Once caught in their vortex, the gravitational pull is challenging to break free of.
Unfortunately, these people are drowning and they don’t know how to relax to allow you to pull them to shore. Be aware. They are fighting for their survival and can easily take you under.
Establish Your Boundaries
If you must remain in these relationships, then it’s important to set clear boundaries. This may involve neutral locations to meet, designated times, or ground rules for conversations.
With acquaintances, it is easy to exercise the 5-minute rule and limit interactions to that short time frame.
However if the issue lies with family relations, then it may be important to speak up and outline what will and will not work for you.
In the end, you must decide for yourself what are the ideal boundaries. Then, it is your responsibility to stick to your word and uphold the plan. You got this!