Everyday I wear many hats- we all do. I am proud to be a mom, daughter, wife, sister, teacher, student, and friend. With each of the hats I wear I get the opportunity to look inside to that aspect of myself that defines me in that role. Each responsibility and role connects us to a part of our essence that can only be expressed uniquely in that way. For example, I get to show my silly and fun-loving side with my best friend, but it would be completely confusing and off-putting if I acted that way with a stranger! Knowing what is appropriate to each relationship helps us define ourselves.
There is a reason why we have so many types of connections to others - Our divine essence is too vast and complex to be expressed all at once! It is through each individual relationship that we have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of how we are in relationship with ourselves. I can express my serious side with some and my goofy side with others. I like to think of it as a bundle of heartstrings. I may express one or two aspects of my heart in a casual friendship, but the closer I become with someone, the more strings I share with them. The very rare and precious people that we share all of our heartstrings with are truly our soul-friends because they give the greatest insights into our very nature.
The beautiful thing is that we are more than the sum of all of the parts. Every relationship I have is a gift that brings me closer to knowing my whole nature and offer myself (from my essence) back into the relationship. It is through this reflection that we can discern if we are in alignment with our true nature. This is yoga. It is how we yoke ourselves to our life as authentically and as skillfully as we can. For us to have loving and nourishing relationships, we need to first look into the mirror and ask what hat we need to put on. It is from this place we make appropriate choices of our intentions, words and actions with others and ultimately tie our heart strings closer together.