Today is Valentine's Day and I've been reflecting on the polarity of
independence vs connection. When we are single, we can enjoy in
our freedom and independence and yet long to have more intimacy
and connection. When we are in long term relationships, we can
feel a yearning for more independence, more freedom.
In polarity work, we say that we need to have the ability to integrate
and flow between both poles in a polarity. What I find happens when exploring love,
relationships, being single is that this polarity and places where we
get stuck or trapped are really highlighted.
So when I was single, I loved my freedom but I longed for a
relationship. I think if I had done more of this inner work to
explore how I could integrate the two poles of independence AND
connection I would have saved myself a great deal of stress and worry
(hindsight is a wonderful thing!) similarly, in a long term
relationship, while I feel anchored in the pole of connection, I can
find myself chafing, yearning for more of the pole of freedom.
This Valentine's Day provides us all with a great opportunity to
explore this polarity. A way to do this is to explore each pole - so
take a piece of paper and write all the things that are good about
independence, what works for you here. Then write down all the things
that don't work so well here - what doesn't serve you. Then do the
same with connection. Once you have done that, see if you can find a
metaphor or a landscape that represents each pole in the polarity.
Then, ask yourself, what would it be like if I stood in the pole of
connection AND was able to pull in the best bits from independence.
And visa versa.
If you want to find out more about polarities and how to work with
them, an article that I wrote with a colleague 'Polarities in
Executive Coaching' has just been published in the Journal for
Management Development - you can go
to this link to find out more about it!!