Sunday, March 27, 2011

Speaking from the Heart

What are you really saying when you’re saying what you’re saying…..          
  
Ah, communication. Is there anything more necessary, and yet more convoluted as honest communication? We have so many ways of expressing our unhappiness, our needs, our longing – yet for the most part we choose an unauthentic and fearful way to say what we really want to say. This kind of communicating usually results in us not getting our needs met, building resentment, and greater and greater obstacles to loving, respectful, and supportive relationships.

Couples often present arguing about a specific situation: money, child-rearing, sex, yet almost always, the underlying issues are about attachment.

“I don’t trust you about money” can be translated into “I’m scared you won’t be there for me”.
“I don’t want you near me” can mean “I am so hurt by what you have done”.
“Fine then, do what you want!” often means “I feel helpless and don’t know how to fix this”. And so the dance continues.

It happens so often that we lash out when what we are really asking for is our partner to draw near, to connect – but how might they be able to do that if we are asking with bared teeth and boxing gloves out!?

I’ve also noticed this in interactions between parents and children. Sometimes we ask questions: “What are you buying that for? Why are you dating him/her?” when what we are really saying is “It’s hard for me to let you go”.

Miscommunication also happens in the receiving of messages – so that when we say to our children “That’s not what I would have done!” our children hear “You can’t make any good decisions at all can you!?” – and so it goes, the long and winding road of misunderstanding.  

In your next conversation, might you be able to challenge yourself and speak from the heart? What might be the barrier between authentic communication and the tension-filled accusations that serve as “talking” now? Is it riskier to say “I need you?” or “I’m scared” than it is to begin that old argument about who is going to pay what? Humans have a tendency of confirming their own worst fears. Ironically, we do that when we don’t communicate effectively, and then take the response to that as proof that our partners have the worst intentions.

What we don’t realize is that once we begin speaking authentically, it snowballs into a connected and respectful conversation that allows you to be heard and understood, and allows you to listen and understand. You can only grow from there.

Speaking from the heart is not a task for the faint of heart!  

Monday, March 21, 2011

What does love look like to you?

What did love look like when it first came to you? Was it anxious? Was it cool and remote? Was it warm, protective and soothing? Was it chaotic? Was it overwhelming?

I have been pondering of late what happens to us as we grow up with our different models of love. Do we seek out the same? If the love that you received as a child was wrapped up in anxiety, do you recognize that in your adult love relationships? Is your present day love interest aloof – like your caretaker in your youth may have been? Sometimes we find ourselves in relationships in our adulthood that are “comfortable”. Sometimes we say we “click” with someone, it’s like an old glove, it fits, we “know” this. It’s often when that happens that we believe we found the “right” one. But what if it’s a function of comfort, of not having experienced something different in order to know that difference? Time and again people tell me that they keep finding themselves in similar, dissatisfying relationships. After some work, time and again, people realize that the relationship seems to echo something they knew as children.

So what might it be like to step out of our comfort zone? For those of us who grew up with chaotic love for example, what might it be like to experience a calm, centred love? My guess is that off the bat it would feel “boring”, like something is “missing”, not exciting enough. It would feel uncomfortable because we don’t “know” it yet, we don’t really trust it, can’t predict anything. Sometimes the devil we know ….

And what if we challenged ourselves when we met a new kind of love? What if we decided that I am going to try to see past my discomfort? I suppose the challenge is how to bring together the heart – which doesn’t recognize something different and the head which is saying something different could be good and healthy for me.

I wonder too if just the act of pondering what kind of love I grew up with, and what kind of love I have engaged in in my adulthood, might shake up my inner world enough to make room for change to happen. We all deserve a healthy and nurturing love.

News! Launching of new site!

Hello one and all. Today marks the day that I am launching my new website! My absence here on the Blog is largely due to the time this new endavour has taken up. I am very proud of the new site and want to thank all those who helped as well as offered their opinions and feed back. For all those who are seeing it for the first time - I welcome your thoughts, reactions, and of course questions should you have any.

Many thanks.

Heidi