Sunday, March 29, 2009

Building Relationships

My observations of the lessons from a lizard have continued. As shared in a previous post, Monty, my sons Giant Sudan Plated lizard, has temporarily taken up residence in my home. Since he moved in, I have gravitated from resentment to acceptance, to curiosity and more recently to connection.

You may find it hard to believe one could connect with a reptile. Believe me, a month ago I, too, could not believe that was a possibility for me. Instead, what I am noticing is Monty and I are developing a trusting relationship.

At first, he hid whenever I walked by his aquarium. Gradually, he would stay and take my presence in, warily at first, and then with an apparent growing ease. I can only imagine, just as in our human relationships, we both needed time to learn and experience trust.

In conjunction with trust in creating a relationships, another component needed would be a lack of judgment. I know I had judgments of Monty, as he probably did of me....considering of course, that faculty is present in reptiles.

I realize now that my judgments were simply based on fear and a lack of understanding. Isn't that true in human relationships too? We tend to judge or condemn that which we don't understand. If we can manage to be open-minded and less fearful, a basic open curiosity can shift us from a negative stance to a positive one.

Perhaps my judgments of Monty were due to my not liking how he looked. He's scaly and not of a texture typically find warm and inviting. That is not his fault, he is what he is. My judgments of him were more about me and my fears about his being different.

I now find myself appreciating his uniqueness. I enjoy watching him do "his thing", that which is his normal reptilian activities.

Yesterday, a turning point in our relationship occurred. When I removed the top screen to feed him, he did not hide. He stayed out in full view. I decided to test our trust and reached in to pet his head. He calmly received my affection. He did not try to bite me or whip me with his long tail.
It was touching to experience this mutual trust.

So as I take in this experience of growing trust, I can see what my growing edge is in my human relationships. Letting go of preconceived judgments and fears, being curious, allowing the other person to be who they are, without my trying to change them, creates a space for true trust to grow.

I encourage you to pay attention to those relationships that are not fulfilling and do not hold trust. What is it that you need to let go of to open the door for more trust in your relationships?

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