Paying Off Relationship Debt

I was taught years ago by Stephan Gardner much more deeply about this.

The actuality of debt in a relationship. 

Simply put, relationships are like psychological bank accounts where your mindbody keeps tally constantly of who owes you and who you owe. Not financially, but emotionally and energetically. Some people you feel owe you, and well, you’ll experience emotionally more resentment. And for those who you feel you owe an emotional debt, guilt and shame are the result. 

We all know what it feels like to be owed money. You start feeling a little anxious, you think about the person, you feel levels of irritation, anger or resentment, and essentially they take space/time in your bodymind, and in more extreme cases, impacting your energy and your overall well being. 

And well, on the flip side, don’t we know what it feels like to owe others. If it goes on for a bit, we may start to avoid them, withdraw, think about them more when we wake up, or during alone time, and once again begin to feel various levels of guilt and shame. This too, affects our overall well being. 

Besides thinking about it, the inner workings of this are mostly unconscious.

Accept, and this is big, it shows up in our behaviour from day to day. 

And sometimes these unconscious debts create this agitation inside that we have a difficult time to put into words, just because there is an ongoing debt we have failed to recognize. 

Most of us might think we choose our actions. 

Most of us think we are in control. 

We are to a point…yet these debts play a major role in how we operate in our life, with our environment. 

While we are consciously deciding to drive by an ex-lover’s house, we are unconsciously doing it because we are pissed off and are hoping to see them and get an apology because they “owe us one for what they did and said.”  

While we consciously initiate a warm embrace with our lover, we are unconsciously balancing our equation of guilt for not writing a letter on our anniversary. 

While we consciously extend out toward doing some volunteer work cleaning a building, we are unconsciously repaying a debt of shame from vandalizing buildings when we were teenagers. 

So debt on either side of the fence places us in a position of in-authenticity. It places us either in a minimized persona or a maximized persona, either a guilt/shame persona of less than, or a resentment/anger persona of greater than. Debt, in the psycho emotional sense (which everyone has some), disturbs our highest state of energy, awareness, and authentic behaviour. 

In a way, it can really waste time, energy, and our lives as we dart around our day looking for repayment or avoiding paying back. 

It’s bigger than you may think. 

Way more prevalent than you can imagine. 

Keep a watch out for yourself. 

Here’s 3 discovering questions to start: 

  1. Is there anyone that I feel out of alignment with?
  2. What do I think they “owe” me in terms of support? (love, understanding, appreciation,…)
  3. What do I think I “owe” them in terms of support? (compassion, caring, acknowledgement…)

It’s a fun way to begin to look at your relationship with your environment, and an incredibly empowering way to quickly and swiftly identify where you are out of balance with the world around you.