Communication in Relationship

Do we come from separation or connection in our communication?

In communication with others, especially loved ones, we can come from separation or from connection. When we come from separation, we come from a place of trying to prove we are right and the other one is wrong. We come from a place of fighting, arrogance, judgement and feeling better than the other person.

This is obviously not a place to get closer from. What is important to understand is that the separation is coming from a place of being touched in our old wounds. We are identifying with those wounds and react from them. We actually believe the other person did something to us, and we hear everything they say through that lens.

What is happening is that we get touched in a very vulnerable place and immediately a defender comes up. The defender starts to lead us away from those vulnerable places, usually by attacking the other person. Or by blaming or by playing the victim.

Those young places can be so painful and so shameful that those defenders will do anything not to have to go there. Once our defenders actually helped us when we were small and defenseless, by being the opposite as the part that was shamed. Independent instead of needy, easy and sweet instead of angry, etc. But now we are grown up, we need to take responsibility for them, because they can be quite destructive in their quest to avoid feeling the shamed parts.

We can learn to get enough distance from our triggers to at least say “Hey I think I am triggered, let’s take a moment.” Then we can take some time to feel into the vulnerability underneath the parts in us that fight and blame.

To be able to really get to connection we need to feel deeply in those vulnerable places, accept them and then share them with our people. This is not easy because it feels like dying, since those are the places where we got separated. Also, there is usually a lot of shame and that is why just feeling them is not enough. By sharing about those places with people who are supportive, we can burn the shame and accept ourselves deeper.

Once we accept our own shameful places, we see the world not anymore through the lens of right or wrong or ‘better then’. We realize that, what we are deep inside, is this Godlike Love that holds everything. The love that accepts everything exactly as it is, and that loves unconditionally. And we realize that everybody else is that too. We appreciate the difficult journey that everybody is on, trying to accept their wounds and trying to love themselves. The more we are open to people, the more we see how everybody is love itself. And we see how everybody has their wounds and their unique beauty.

So the world becomes a place of souls on their way to love and we feel in no way better (or worse) than anybody else. We simply feel compassion for their particular journey. We are open to learn from and understand everybody we meet. When we talk, it is not about trying to suss out who is better or ‘further along,’ because we know there is no such thing. It is about understanding their experience of the world. We realize that all experiences are equally valid and important for the whole. We see love everywhere. We see how each one of us is trying to get back to that love. All we want to do is help each other and be vulnerable so we can stay in that place of love together.

A  few things important to realize

In the end it is only about what is closest to truth. To what is actually happening. Since love is the actual reality of everything, the further we stray away from love, the more we are out of reality, or in illusion.

Everybody actually wants to be close. There are many ways we can turn from that and identify with parts of us that feel not close. But underneath in our most innocent vulnerability, everybody simply wants to love. Not even to be loved -we only want to be loved so we feel safer to love. In the end everybody wants to love because that is what we are.

The most important thing in a relationship is that both people can feel safe. It is the feeling that the other person always has their best interest in mind.

When we don’t feel close to a person, when there is any kind of judgment, it is ALWAYS us being touched in a wounded place. It is never about the other person. Nobody can make us feel any one way.

If we insist on the other persons responsibility for how we feel, we are projecting. For example if you say that your partner is not supporting you, chances are that you haven’t supported yourself enough. You maybe haven’t been able to be vulnerable or clear enough to explain how much you need support. Or you find it difficult to ask for help. In that case you are letting yourself down by not asking for what you need. Instead you expect your partner to take responsibility for your inability to be vulnerable.

We each are responsible for our feelings and our boundaries. ‘This behavior is not ok for me, because of what I went through in the past. Is there a way we can make an agreement about that?’ So we negotiate what we need from the other person to feel safe. We don’t demand it or expect it without exposing ourselves.

In conversations when one or both get triggered and feel separate, it is very important to stop the conversation. It is easy to get sucked into an argument because the other one is attacking and we want to explain that it is not true. But when we are triggered, we won’t be able to hear the other person because we come from separation.

When we have reacted from a place of separation and hurt the other person, it is important to acknowledge the hurt and apologize. This is not an admission of being wrong or flawed. It is simply an acknowledgment that we understand that what we did was hurtful for the other person, because we were not coming from connection. This way you keep the exchanges save.

The other reason for apologizing is that it makes us humble. The defenders are by definition not humble and ‘feel better than,’ so the humbling is a way to put the defenders in a more truthful place.

As I said, we are not responsible for how other people feel. So blaming somebody for our feelings is not ok. But it is important that we show the other person that we care about how they feel, if somebodies’ feelings got hurt by what we did. It is their shit but you didn’t mean to make them feel this way.

In relationship it is easy to project your stuff on the other person. They are too this or too that. But it is good to realize that it is always a projection of you not accepting yourself. Otherwise you simply will keep attracting partners with the same ‘faults’.

Ideally in a relationship we help each other grow. When somebody makes a jump in understanding themselves, it is a chance for the other person to step up and also get a deeper understanding of themselves. When the relationship stops growing it usually finishes, unless both partners prefer security over growth.

Vulnerability is the key to intimacy. If we don’t know ourselves, it will stay on the level of “You did this to me” which is destructive and ultimately boring. If we want intimacy, we need to be willing to look into ourselves and feel what is there. Because intimacy with someone starts with intimacy with ourselves. This is not a rational process. It is actually a slow process of feeling into oneself and staying with what is uncomfortable. It is not easy because we are so conditioned to turning away from ourselves the moment things start to feel uncomfortable. But once we get to know ourselves, we can expose ourselves to others, so our defenders can be humbled and get less prominent.

In this way conversations become about sharing our experience instead about what you think the other person did to you. It is about sharing your particular experience of the world and it becomes an interesting and even fun thing to share with each other. “Oh really, you felt that I was distant, my experience was me being super needy!” And the better we get to know each other, the safer it is, because then it is way easier to have each other backs.

The more we get to know ourselves and expose ourselves the less defended we get. We get more open to each other and to life itself. We embrace life as it is every moment without any demands or conditions.

The way to get there is through relationship, because that is where we got hurt initially when we were little. We are all walking each other home.