Yoga and Reiki: A fine balance; healing, healed, healer and relationships

I was prompted to write this post as a cathartic means of self-inquiry. Anyone following my blog is probably already aware that for the past year and a half, I have been undergoing quite a transformation and as part of this, I now find myself in a role that many would label a healer.

Having been single for the major part of this process, exactly how much I have changed, how far I have come and what negative behaviours I have left behind are now bubbling to the surface giving rise to questions such as: How can we truly heal others if we haven’t ourselves fully healed? What constitutes healed? Are we all continually in a state of healing until we have reached that highly coveted position of the enlightened one, the buddha, the yogi or whatever other label we feel appropriate to use for one who appears entirely untroubled by the trials and tribulations of every day earthly life?

What prompted this self-inquiry is the emotions – often quite powerful – that I find rising within me on what I would classify as, my partner’s behalf. Yet as I write this, I already ask, why it is that I am getting so annoyed about things that affect me in a secondary way. Things that do not technically, affect my personal happiness and well being. Except that, I am getting annoyed about them so to some degree, they are. Is this a never ending cycle that could continue in any relationship since no one is perfect, no man, nor woman and therefore, no relationship entirely free from tension and pull? Or is it that, if I learned to meditate better, do more yoga and stick to my path, I will eventually become impervious to the irritations we are subjected to by other human beings?
What is it that’s annoying me so much you are probably wondering? I’ll explain and maybe we can go from there. When I met Toby, my two biggest reservations were that I knew he’d been in the army (I’m extremely anti-establishment and a pacifist) and the other was that he is ten years my junior. I evaded his advances for a few weeks on this basis but eventually, couldn’t help but be charmed by his joie-de-vivre, desire to embrace all things fun and new, silly sense of humour and beautiful green eyes. I had introduced him to a world at once exotic and unfamiliar – yoga and spirituality. It was hard not to find enthusiasm alluring as he listened attentively in class whilst I explained some of the theory and philosophy behind breathing or the importance of energy locks. He also openly told the world that, before he’d met me, all he did was work, he was taking tramadol daily for back pain and as he put it, “… a depressive cunt.”

I had also given him one or two reiki sessions around the same time. What I had observed at the time, was that whilst we were away camping, his desire to do yoga massively waned and if there wasn’t some reason to do something with his hands, he would create one (and I’m not talking about the bedroom). Returning to some level of normality after two weekends of blissful camping, Toby’s struggle with energy became apparent along with a worrying need to constantly be working and this matched his waning enthusiasm for attending yoga. Now I know that many would say – “Well, he was obviously just trying to impress you to get in your knickers Nic,” but I don’t believe this to be true. I know that his enthusiasm is still there but it appears to be overweighed by his inability to self-care. Unsurprising of someone who has ‘fought for their country’ which inevitably means putting yourself at the bottom of the barrel for whichever ‘noble’ cause the government has decided worthy.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for helping others and preventing unnecessary atrocities etc. but not at the cost of my own sanity and health. I spent many years of my life getting worked up about government campaigns that could have done so much good but instead were just a waste of money; screaming in anger at the shocking policies that various ministers concocted etc. However, I realised that all that anger was doing nothing but seeping out of me and negatively affecting those around me.

With Toby, like many partners before him, is lack of self-love appears to be manifesting in not looking after himself and his basic needs from diet to exercise and others I won’t mention. He is also struggling with insomnia (I only just discovered) which stems from being unable to sleep in a bunker overnight in Romania due to fear of being attacked/being attacked every night. And the paradigm that we cannot love others until we love ourselves is clear as quite simply, he doesn’t have the energy and time to offer. Like many others who feel they have to justify why they haven’t attended my class lately, (and just so we’re clear, I don’t mind what your reasons are, you are accountable to yourself, not me), he gives me a million reasons as to why it hasn’t been possible to eat properly, take a break, do some stretching or whatever else that day.

The tough bit for me is that I can so clearly see his symptoms and their causes but as someone who has been through the healing process, I know that he has to want to heal from within and there is nothing I can do except offer guidance and assistance when it is called for. He has to decide one day, that he is not going to accept this half-life in which he continually works in the hope that it will change the future not realising that by caring for himself, he will be changing the now.
For someone who has spent their life trying to control their environment and those around them as a reaction to fear,  stopping myself from nagging him and not being annoyed when he complains that he’s tired/can’t sleep/ feels crap/ has no energy is a monumental task but the fact that I am even able to question why I feel so strongly about this is perhaps testament to my own change of heart and healing. I am caught here in a dilemma. I know that I shouldn’t be allowing myself to get entangled in other people’s drama so what is it that’s going on with me that is allowing me to do so? I know that I am much further distanced from it than I once would have been. I have my vent  “It’s wrong to believe that we should take any job because it’s wrong to be unemployed. The government would happily have an unhappy, working class who are too tired to realise that life can be fulfilling and we don’t have to spend every waking hour trying to pay the bills. We are much less likely to challenge them all the time we are coming home from a tiring, unfulfilling job and sit in front of the TV.” But how can I expect someone who has been in the army to understand? And is it really my issue? If I’m getting so worked up about all this stuff, am I not as healed as I thought I was or is it impossible to stay out of the dramas of those who are so close to us?

So at the moment, I have my rant, my vent, my outburst and he ignores me but I don’t stay angry. In fact, it’s probably closer to passionate opinion than anger. I get annoyed but I don’t stay annoyed and it doesn’t completely ruin my day whereas once it would. The bit I’m now working on is not getting annoyed in the first place and working out how best to stay out of these dramas. I feel self-inquiry, self-love and self-care are on the agenda so in the meantime, I continue giving him reiki (a proper course of treatment this time) and as yoga has taught me, I’ll work on changing the things I can; myself and my body so I’m off to do a headstand.