Container Relationships

Unearthing the Sacred: Melanie Stevens

Ever have a “relationship” in which everything may seem okay on the surface but, eventually, you realize that though you are a full participant in the other person’s life, they have yet to be one in yours? If you haven’t, I envy your luck. I know someone who seems to operate this way. We probably all do. As an alcoholic, every one of his “relationships” appears to be like this. Every Saturday (if not more), you can find him at his notion of Cheers – his home away from home. Here, he finds his “friends” and, no matter any other perceived relationship, these are the ones deemed of the highest importance. They are the ones he dresses up for and must see each and every week no matter the cost to anyone else in his life. They are also the ones he never talks to or sees outside of that one evening. They aren’t the ones he texts or has late-night conversations with. They aren’t even the ones he claims to love.

However, they’re the “safe” relationships – the ones that will never hurt him because, technically, there’s no emotional investment. Where there’s no emotional desire or need, there may be no failure or pain.

To compound this, he places investment only in that which does him zero good. What I mean by this is if it’s meant to destroy his body, mind, or spirit, it’s deemed as important. I do not say this lightly or facetiously. Being out of work for several months, without any income, loans were racked up specifically due to his alcohol and cigarette consumption – not because of his bills. He also made purchases that were quite unnecessary and wasteful. In every relationship he has with emotional ties, he demands allegiance but does nothing to cultivate and foster love or loyalty. Plants he grows only include weed, tobacco, and a handful of herbs – nothing sustaining. What he consumes mentally only consists of the ills of the world, never the goodness.

In all that he does, “safe” and “love” have become synonymous with pain and hurt. In his upside-down world, he has attempted to isolate himself emotionally by his requirement for others to show love but his need to contain his. He does this by never participating in another’s world. He may, in order to keep you in his life, eventually ask questions pertaining to your life but will quickly move on to topics that interest him – which always expresses negativity and rarely any good. If you want him to join you for something, there has to be a benefit to him.

On the surface, everything he does implies narcissistic behavior. Personally, though, I see it as the final stages of a true diagnosis. A genuine narcissist has succeeded in containing themselves also. He has yet to do so and fails in exhibiting the typical traits of egoic display and demand. More so, he’s like a lost boy who never was given the tools to climb out from emotional childhood trauma. Containing relationships offers the facade of safety. Someone who hasn’t succeeded yet in a full, narcissistic diagnosis desires emotional safety, not absolute control.

When I think of narcissists though, it would be someone whose heart I can no longer have access to. Empaths will know what I’m talking about here. If an empath, we can still find access to that heart place. We respond to the heart and when the heart does not match up with the behavior or speech that’s operating under the mind’s command, we know we are dealing with two entirely different “truths.” The persona being displayed is purely an egoic facade and not a very good one at that. Stemming from childhood trauma, this individual has yet to deal with the emotional damage from that destruction. Everything they do revolves around the pain of that moment as a means of “protection.” There will be no reasoning here though. Everyone who has had any amount of trauma in their life may make decisions based on that experience but most people can discern the difference between what’s not working and change their behavior for a better outcome. Even true narcissists can change their behavior at will. This person doesn’t have that capacity. They operate solely on reactive automation and haven’t developed the ability to control those reactions – both physically and emotionally. The more need for that change to occur, the more this person will entrench themselves in whatever control mode of operation driving them – whether that be rebellion, limitation, manipulation, or abusive behavior and speech. As a progressively downward spiral, there seems to be literally nothing for the observer to do to get them out of this tunnel vision (which remains extremely narrow in its scope). This is a person purely operating in survival mode.

I realize the extremely thin line I’m walking here between narcissism and my idea of the not-quite narcissism. But, I think there’s a point to be made about the difference between someone who isn’t beyond being helped and someone who is.

The Universe is a spatially coherent network interconnecting both time and space in a manner that transcends human understanding. Our external world offers a construction of not only the personal but of the collective’s desires (both the wants and the do-not-wants, depending on our conscious focus). At any given moment, our present external existence always expresses the configuration of our past. That means the negative actions, thoughts, emotions, people, and places existing at this moment were purely constructed from our past expectations (both, again, the wants and do-not-wants, depending on conscious focus). What does this all imply then?

One of the greatest things I was taught was what I call the Shall-Be Revelation. This is a forthcalling of God’s vision for our or another’s inevitable culmination for the mind/body/spirit journey (whether achieved in this lifetime or another). When I ask God for someone’s Shall-Be and it becomes revealed, it offers me two gifts:

  1. forgiveness
  2. the opportunity to hold the Light

In the first, seeing another’s Shall-Be reveals how far removed they may have come from their path and where they have gone wrong. Alternatively, it may reveal where I am misreading them. With the second, and the most important, in seeing someone’s Shall-Be, I am being given trust to maintain this future vision… as if having already occurred. The Law of Attraction will be in full employ here. In maintaining the vision, we inevitably must maintain our own energetic vibration for the other person to rise up to meet. This in no way requires us to physically be in this person’s life.

Prayer (which, in its fullest expression, is in the knowing of the Shall-Be) emanates a frequency that surpasses both time and location. So, when we have done everything we know to do mentally, emotionally, and even physically to help this type of lost soul, we still have the opportunity to hold God’s Light by blessing them, sending love, envisioning them at their best, and thanking God for their generous, compassionate, and loving heart as well as for them finding their truth. It’s amazing how powerful prayer can be. It won’t be an overnight transformation as they may fight tooth and nail to continue the path they’re on but it is a good exercise in maintaining our Light. Praying for someone who neither would pray for us nor has even tried learning how to care for anyone, much less himself, extends no offering of return except in learning how to love more.

Sometimes, I like to use a specific Bible verse as a mantra when praying for another which I find to encapsulate the essence of what prayer is. Lamentations 5:21 reads, “restore us to yourself, oh Lord, that we may return.” Not only does it ask for a restoration of Selfhood but requires our own participation. Sometimes we forget that the wellness of the Collective requires both our active involvement (yes, prayer is active) and also our conscious, conjoined Light.

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