“I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.”Fire
 – from the Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

About a year ago my boyfriend and I had our worst fight ever. At that time I wrote From the Muck. My business manager challenged me to share From the Muck with an accompanying piece unpacking it. It took me 6 weeks and 5 different attempts to write this – the companion to that other post.

How on earth do I unpack this?

It’s hard to be clear from within a relationship.

During the past four attempts, I found myself in my head. I want to navigate this with more distance and clarity than I had at the time – back when I wrote From the Muck – while still remaining in my heart. Capturing some sort of truth. Conveying some sort of deep (or light), universal human experience.

I’ve been asked why I want to share From the Muck: because I feel called to. When I share my posts it’s from a very intuitive place. I feel called to and so I do.

What’s the lesson? Oh boy, I’m not sure. Some thoughts:

At the time I was in process. Processing is vital. In general we humans suck at it. We try to step over it or skip past it. Or worse, we push everything down, suppressing until it explodes. Going into the muck, feeling the feelings, allowing them to move through, processing our lives (like I did with From the Muck) is not easy to do – yet it is essential. It’s why I became a coach. It’s why I’ve shifted how I write my blogs. To process through writing and let everyone see me – in all of my RawThentic, messy, humanity. Doing that for myself can help others in ways I can’t plan or predict.

So, as I unpack, what else do I want you to know about that fight?

In a fight, everyone is to blame and no one is to blame. It takes two to tango and it takes two to fight. And blame isn’t really the point. Blaming doesn’t create growth.

Neither of us, during the fight, were stepping into our best selves. In the moment, neither of us were calling forth the best in the other. We both took a couple of steps backward. We both reacted (perhaps from our lizard brains) rather than responding from our highest selves.

Fighting doesn’t mean its over.

It’s very important to both of us that we have a “yours” a “mine” and an “ours.” Three separate and equally important realms.

The “mine” and the “yours” were in conflict. We struggled. We experienced the dark side of creative friction.

We are both artists. We both understand and embrace creative friction when it comes to our art forms. We are both human so, at times – in our personal lives, the creative friction feels like a blazing fire. We are going to rub up against each other. There’s going to be friction and fire and processing and tears and heat and passion and hurt and anger and love.

If we’re in relationship with other people (from partners to relatives to friends) we’re not always going to see things in exactly the same way. The friction that is created by “yours” and “mine” isn’t bad. The friction helps us to emerge (eventually) to more and more evolved versions of ourselves.

I always dreamed of a relationship with an equal who helps me grow stronger. When I first met my partner I thought, “Oh yeah. We totally call forth the best in each other.” Do we do that in every single moment? No. Yet, in the long run, we absofreakinlutely do.

What I’ve learned is that the actual path through that creative friction is not smooth or direct. It’s a bunch of steps forward and then a few back (and the steps back always seem to happen at the WORST possible time – don’t you think?)

Neither one of us communicated from our highest selves on that day. On that day our growth was messy and painful.

In this case it’s what happened as we recovered that really matters. We stayed. We leaned into each other rather than running away. We were (and are) “all in” – and together we moved through the fire.

With passion & love,

PS – Are there times in your life when you fled the fire and regretted it? Are there times when you found someone to stand in the fire with you? I’d love to hear about it. Take a moment to comment below.