I recently had a stirring conversation with Shaughna Born, a colleague/teacher/friend of mine. We were discussing the trait of loyalty. I shared that I had been wrestling with a relationship in which I feel that trait has been a detriment. Loyalty has always felt like a double-edged sword. When I’m loyal to someone, I feel compelled to remain in a loving space even when trust is broken. Sometimes, that feels like the worst kind of double bind. Do you hold that space or do you walk away?
I’d like to share what Shaughna said to me. It helped me so profoundly and perhaps you might also benefit from hearing it.
“Loyalty is a beautiful and valuable thing. It requires discernment. Make sure you invest it wisely. It is one of the most unbreakable powers of all.”
I realized that having discernment doesn’t mean that I lose that person or the love I have for them, if I choose to remove myself. It means I can keep holding that healing space open, and hold my loyalty to what will surely be a better place for us in the future, whatever that looks like. Now, my power to wield the purity of loyalty remains a positive characteristic, and not a weakness. The trick is, the discernment must be made in power, not in anger or hurt. This keeps my loyalty and love intact and allows the other to step into their own.
I can’t say that I have mastered this. But I now understand the power of loyalty as a strength, and I choose to wield it from this perspective, with discernment. It feels correct to me. And I am grateful for the freedom of now reframing how I use and where I invest my loyalty, instead of just throwing it away.
~ C. Braunwarth, Level I Teacher