Recently I’ve heard the word, mutuality used in a unique way. When I think of mutuality, I think of it being the condition or quality of mutual reciprocity, a mutual dependence. And mutual as two sides having the same relationship with and toward another. So, when mutuality was used in relationship to the aspects of love and anger in relationships, I was intrigued. 

What I found even more interesting was how mutuality was applied. 

To begin, mutuality in both love and anger was to identify how important it is for both parties, though never having the same exact same understanding, to have an equally reciprocal awareness that blends and balances with the other.  

To begin, most people accept the importance of mutuality when in a love relationship. Yet, how many people really have a mutual grasp of how the other person processes a reciprocal awareness that does mutually blend with their own? Or do so many make assumptions? 

Looking at my own relationships, I realize how often I make assumptions or give way from my mutuality to make the relationship easier. Though sometimes I am in personal integrity adjusting my desires and expectations, to give a relationship peace over what I want to happen. There are times when to keep peace I do not honor myself. And at times by giving in to another’s direction, I am at personal peace. I am acutely aware of how I am with each decision by how I carry the results in my heart, mind, and spirit. However, most often, in the close relationships in my life, I do have a mutuality. In my heart, mind, and spirit, I do have a sense of authenticity and personal integrity. How I choose to respond and what I expect from each situation is a personal choice. As well, my part in each situation with all those different people I interact with is a balance for me between me and how I perceive the other person and what I want for a desired outcome. Balance, adjustment, and knowing myself helps keep me in my integrity.

I also need to make a choice whether I choose to continue in relationships that are out of my mutual balance to the point where there is such a level of imbalance that I need to discontinue connection with another. When I think of mutuality, being too imbalanced with another and not believing the other person has an interest in achieving mutual and reciprocal respect and balance with me or me with them is my signal it is not a relationship I want to perpetuate.  

It’s important to know, honor, and respect how you define and perceive mutuality in relationships that have any level of love. Does this relationship have a mutual, reciprocating awareness of and for both parties? When a relationship does not, you get to decide what you want to do that has an honor for your authentic self. 

The other side of this mutuality was the relationship with anger. This was the aspect I found most intriguing. Mutual anger was not identified as the right to get and be angry, but rather how a person and parties view the anger and reason between them. 

Mutual anger was first identifying what brought the anger to the forefront. Next was being aware of how honesty the anger held. Often people become angry when things do not happen as they want. This discounts the rights of the other party. Having one’s opinion not honored in totality is not necessarily a right to anger. Or when another’s anger is being presented to you, whether in discussion or even yelling, does not give the person on the receiving end of anger the right to automatically defend and deflect the anger back onto the other person. 

Mutual anger is understanding what is honest about each person’s side and beliefs in each situation. And that includes that you do not have to completely agree with the reason the other person is angry, but rather to respect that another person is upset. And the same applies to you—the other person doesn’t have to agree with the reason you are angry. When we have an understanding that there is a reciprocal awareness of the right for another to be upset, it is the beginning and opening to be able to share views, thoughts, and feelings, and come to a mutual agreement that respects both parties. 

Anger itself is interesting. Some spiritual practices seem to imply being angry shows a lack of personal harmony or when presented with an angry situation by another, the anger is somehow a reflection of you or an attack on you. And there is the belief that anger has to be managed. 

Though I agree it’s important to not give so much power to anger that you are attacking another, I also believe there are times when anger is just and right, within reason and respect, to express. Also, when a person cannot have mutual respect for the person or situation that angered them, allowing anger to become volatile and harmful to that person or in those situations, then that person needs to learn to manage the level, degree, and expression of their anger. 

Mutual anger is simply an understanding that anger is real and at times justified and deserving of expression. When anger is justified, how a person presents their anger is critical for the mutual benefit of all parties. Anger does not need to be expressed with venom but with words and gentle actions that explain or show honestly how the presenting person perceives the situation with clarity. 

What mutual anger primarily means is, do you honestly have a mutuality or reciprocal respect with whatever is upsetting you or the issue you are upset about, with justification, especially in a relationship, to the manner, degree, and way you are handling what is upsetting you? How authentic is your anger? This is not to be judgmental. Rather, this is to look at whether you are in integrity with what you are identifying as your focus of anger. Too often, by the time a person expresses their anger, the original issue is buried under a lot more issues that are interfering with the core issue. It’s best to tend to an original upsetting issue before it adds on more things than wait until the issues have compounded and become harsher and more complex. Be in mutual agreement with what angers you before adding more onto it. 

Perhaps this is the whole idea of mutuality: be honest and authentic at the heart and core of both love and anger long before adding on misconceptions of hopes, dreams, respect, desired outcomes, and the like.

Both love and anger are right when in mutuality with your authentic self, reciprocal awareness and respect, in balance between and all other related people, ideas, and things. 

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