I have often wondered why it is that otherwise strong, kind, generous, smart, wonderful women and men get sucked into relationships with abusive partners, or partners who are needy, narcissistic, arrogant, or mean. Obviously, I am not the only person who wonders this, as there are a huge number of self-help books devoted to the topic. But after a long conversation I had with one of my clients the other day, as well as my growing understanding of Polarity, I finally came to an "energetic" understanding of the mechanism, and what we can do to overcome the tragic mismatch.
We often hear it said, and see it to be true, that opposites attract. Think fair and dark; extrovert and introvert; tall and short; May-December; thin and not-thin; James Carville and Mary Matalin. I believe that we seek to balance ourselves, or rather our perception of ourselves, by our choice of friends and partners.
Our energetic boundary is a semi-permeable membrane. Some things go through easily in one direction, but not so easily in the other. For people with a strong natural tendency to be care-givers, it is much easier to give care, affection, and love than it is to receive it. In fact, they (we) are notoriously difficult to compliment (as most compliments are deflected) or to buy presents for (because we feel that we don't deserve them). I do not know if this aspect of high care-giving potential arises from or gives rise to a low sense of self-esteem, but somehow they seem somehow intermeshed and probably self-reinforcing. I call this type of person a strong emitter. They may be highly empathic but not know it. This is the person who always volunteers to take in strays of all sorts, donates a lot to charity, and will pitch in to help a neighbor, a friend, or a complete stranger. They have a high vibrational level.
|kirlian photography from inspiringhealth.net|
Then there are other people who give out very little of themselves, but are always ready to receive. They are like a vaccuum for money, resources, gifts, time, feelings, energy, and even office supplies. No matter what or how much you give, it is never quite enough. They are always wanting more. These are the people that appear to be doing little but can never spare the time to help you out. They are the ones that make you tired to be around, even if you can't pinpoint the reason why. Their lives would be perfect "if only…"
While some people call them "energetic vampires", I prefer to think of them as a black hole. The 'vampires' take an active role in their predation of your time and energy, but the black-hole people seem to be unaware of this effect they have. They just know that they are not happy within themselves and must fill their needs externally. Their vibrational level is much lower than the emitter.
So what happens when the strong emitter meets the black hole? At first it feels like each has met a soul mate. They seem to fill each others' needs so perfectly. THEY ARE POLAR OPPOSITES. This chemistry of attraction can last for years, but inevitably, the emitter gets completely drained or burned out, while the black hole is still unsatisfied. Much like stars, they will orbit around each other in a death spiral until one or the other figures it out (or dies). The relationship is not always a romantic one either : friends and office-mates frequently play out the dynamic.
This phenomenon goes by many names in our pop-psychology culture: addict/enabler; dependent/co-dependent; abuser/victim. And the truth is that the behavior can be so subtle that neither person recognizes it for what it is, but as the years go on, it becomes not only entrenched but more extreme. The power dynamic becomes terribly unequal. Ultimately the relationship will end, either due to a drifting apart or an active break by one of the parties. Sometimes the end will come violently, as the abuser/black-hole acts out his or her frustration and dissatisfaction with fists or weapons. I think more often it comes in the form of verbal abuse, which is more insidious, much less obvious to an outsider, and psychologically every bit as damaging to the victim.
The thing is, it can be truly difficult to recognize the black holes for who they are. They can be very charming, flattering, and seductive, especially to a person who has a poor self-image and diffuse boundaries. The idea of helping a fellow human can also be a powerful seducer for the emitting person.
The trouble is that we are stuck until we WAKE UP and become aware of our own energies as well as those of other people. THE ONLY WAY TO BREAK THE PATTERN IS TO BECOME AWARE. Our true love comes both from within, and from the Universe. And if we are fortunate, we might find a partner that is on our same wavelength, our same vibrational level. And then we don't just double our powers: our powers and energies grow exponentially. Then our lesson becomes not how to give, but how to receive, how to accept, how to allow -- and thus be in service to Spirit as our energetic flow increases ever more.