|Image: "Cumbria: Hindscarth from High Spy" By Tim|
Blessed. Copyrighted photo. Used by permission.
Deeply fulfilling. I spent time with a good friend for sev-eral hours. Tough, but good. We were both nurtured.
Honesty, com-passion reigned. Our needs for intimacy, connection and integrity were met. We ad-dressed buttons that could have been pushed by either of us.
Kindness radi-ates in the relation-ship. We are filled with the warmth of affection. Usually, at this stage, we com-mit to each other.
Sounds good, doesn't it? It isn't. It is best going through power struggles, first.
In reality, these troubling issues are not what they appear. Con-flicts allow us to know areas needing healing, our vulnerabilities. When maturely processed with the other person, our ability to communicate deepens.
Nothing gets healed when ignored.
It is less aggravating if we stop our plans on changing the other person. Conflict in the relationship allows us to develop consciously as a couple. It is a chance for personal growth.
Wounds are healed. Foibles are remedied. Our character strengthens, both of us become more whole, and authentic.
We are less susceptible to default patterns that no longer serve us.
It lets us move beyond vexing issues, the problemed areas we had before entering any relationship.
Processing any source of pain between a couple permits the two to evolve. No need to amputate the differing person from their lives. Usually, the problem isn't with the other person.
We are the problem. The Hunchback of Notre Dame of our vulner-abilities and baggage surfaces in the relationship. This ogre creates the discord that disturbs the other person.
Working through troubling issues strengthens relation-ships. It enables us to move beyond the narrow sense of who we are and our Victim Story (See #8). It avoids finger pointing. Sometimes this requires outside help.
Addressing areas of pain or confusion leads to transformational growth. That happened today. I was stunned.
I marveled at my friend's maturiy. Her humility drew us closer. We worked through a triggering area. Healing happened.
We enjoyed deeper intimacy, commitment. It was the harvest of toiling under the sun of honesty. A deep, healing and meaningful time resulted. It was the fruit of transparency shared.
When being authentic, we say things that feel awkward. We take risks. Because we did today, our relationship deepened.
I understand her more clearly. She has a better view of me.
Transcending beyond power strug-gles causes some-thing to happen. It creates a "we system." We become interde-pendent.
This is the offspring of honesty. Just like childbirth, this process can be painful. But worth it.
If attracted to someone, the passion of infatuation is not enough to guarantee permanence. It may have the same flash as when a pile of leaves is lit on fire. But it will be as ephemeral.
Authentic communicating improves a relationship. It evolves the dynanic engaged in it. True connection is the branches needed for creating a more enduring fire.
We relate with compassion and empathy. Everyone is better understood. We are emotionally naked.
There is no cause for shame. We are present with each other. This is the stuff of genuine intimacy.
Commitment with another before working through power struggles usually ends up hurtful. The relationship is less likely to endure. It is leaves without roots. It is form without substance.
Working through painful feelings requires work. But the results of doing so contributes to a warmth, authenticity, and permanence of relating not found any other way.