Ok, so I'm a little desperate, having a touch of performance anxiety and maybe I'm slightly caught up in the results, But, still...
I love to be real and I love writers and teachers who are deep-in-the-bone real. Jeff Foster, and Annie Lamott, two of my favorite authors, come to mind. I'm not interested in the kind of communication that comes from the mind without ever passing through the heart. Even though my inner critic says “I should be writing more from a clinical perspective and I should absolutely leave myself out of the equation!” I just long to share what is real in me and to hear what is real in you.
Another noticing as I begin this blog and another opportunity to be 'real' is that I've spent years being a “techno-phobe” but something has changed, split open inside me. At the beginning of the year, I had this radical idea “I want to make technology my friend this year.” I truly did not think this was possible! I have been at war with technology since the first computers came out.
And now here I am excited to have the possibility to be connecting with folks all over the world. I get to share my deepest heart, put it on Facebook, learn to Twitter and OMG I can even see some podcasts in my future. What a 65 year old surprise!
My experience of relationship is that the more I can attend to my own “felt” experience and my partner can also share his own experience, the more intimacy we can create together. I see authenticity as the bridge to intimacy and I believe that one of our primary purposes in this world is to learn to love and be loved.
Often when couples come into my office, they think they have a communication problem. What I discover, most of the time, is that they actually have a self-awareness problem. Since they don't really know what they are feeling, they cannot be vulnerable with one another on a feeling level.
Many couples do know what they are mad about and are often in the midst of blaming their partners or themselves. What they usually don't know about are the vulnerable feelings underneath the criticism. They don't know about their true wants and needs. They don't know how to communicate kindly and respectfully.
When we externalize(blame someone else) or internalize our pain(blame ourselves), we push our partners away. What is oft underneath the anger are more vulnerable feelings like fear or grief or perhaps a longing for a deeper connection. Many couples have no idea how to create that.
When these couples are WILLLING, sometimes with my help in a couples counseling/coaching setting, they begin to know themselves and their deeper feelings better. Once that happens, they can connect and thus feel more fulfilled in their relational life.
While working with a couple on the East Coast this week, I noticed that when the man misses his wife, he gets really cranky. Then, she feels attacked and hurt. She moves further away from him. What we discovered is that he doesn't know how to say “I'm feeling lonely and I miss you.” When he shares his deeper experience, she then draws closer. This is a beautiful thing.
We wrote a workbook, with our close couple friends, which is called “Couples Supporting Couples.” This workbook is only available on special order. The book is about how to communicate authentically so that intimacy blossoms. Using our own relationships as examples, we created many processes within the book to help couples get to know one another more deeply, to communicate more clearly and to work through conflict. The book is a DO IT YOURSELF, and with another couple, manual for healthy relationship.
ALL HONOR TO YOU ON YOUR JOURNEY,