Hello and Welcome ! The foundational work of relationship is to maintain a connection and alignment with self while simultaneously connecting with your partner. It requires a thorough understanding of yourself to do this. You have to have a sense of what matters to you, your goals, your talents, and your limitations so that you can negotiate the common ground of the relationship or partnership with your partner.
This is harder to accomplish than your may think because humans have a tendency to hide information from themselves or distort truth in order to feel accepted or to feel approval or fit in to their chosen group. This tendency to hide internal needs may, in one’s youth, assist in avoiding difficult situations or even surviving difficult environments – but the habit later becomes a powerful deterrent to a successful partnership.
Seeking internal guidance and developing an image of your self that coordinates all of the necessary components of your being into a congruent and coherent whole is the first step.
Seek first to know thyself; this suggestion is centered in the understanding that through self-knowledge you can attain your highest goals easily and happily. Once you have an understanding of who you are you can then begin to connect with another in partnership. When you begin the connection process you need to have a certain knowledge of yourself and then you can focus your attention on understanding the other. Through this investigative process you develop the connecting points of your relationship. The better developed your hearing and listening skills, the more facile your capacity to develop relationships.
When beginning a self-discovery, first be willing to accept yourself precisely where you are – it is only through this acceptance that you will have the strength, understanding, and compassion to love yourself. And through love you can then determine if you have things you would like to change in yourself. Self knowing is a starting place for self-development, and relationship development.
One common problem that happens with hearing in relationship is that people get into a habit of hearing what has been said in the past or hearing with a historical negative energy – so that they aren’t actually listening but rather already preparing a defense to what they think they heard.
You may be able to discern this is happening if you are surprised by your partner’s response – for example you say something innocuous and they respond by yelling or with a very negative attitude – using your listening skills you hear the dissonance between what you meant and what was heard by your partner – before mounting your own defensive action I suggest you first ask this question” what did you hear me say?” This will get you and your partner refocused into the present so you can communicate more clearly. And then you can each listen to each other more fully, respectfully and lovingly.
This is true for love and work relationships.
Listening and speaking in a thorough manner when developing the expectations in any relationship will assist both parties in getting what they truly want and connecting more deeply.
This of course is the basic description of mindfulness. Discovering another’s paradigm as well as your own and then shifting these to see the connecting threads is the place of true intimacy, love, and relationship.
This requires attention to subtlety without judgment and with a focus on connection and clarity with acceptance, compassion, and dispassionate observation. It requires hearing and listening both – hearing being that component of noticing when something is off, changes in another’s tone, and tenor – and listening being that component of content, meaning, and feeling that we need to listen to from within us and from the perspective the other.
When I am hearing another I feel their meaning from within me and when I am listening I am aware of not just what I perceive but their perspective as well.
Hearing and Listening to another is the ultimate gift of care – it reveals visibility. From this deep connecting point many negotiation paths are available for relationship.
This is especially true because our world is one of language and verbal, cognitive symbols so that being heard directly relates to being seen and therefore being real. It is why in the reverse many are drawn to do things against their nature through words that drag them away from their true center.
By focusing our attention on truly listening and hearing the true meaning and perspective of another we can develop powerful and sustaining relationships as well as avoid those that seem good on the surface but are without sustenance underneath.
Listening and hearing are fundamental tools in relationship.
May your true spirit be heard wherever you go. With the tone of love and light, Beth.
May 23, 2012 at 7:31 am
“One common problem that happens with hearing in relationship is that people get into a habit of hearing what has been said in the past or hearing with a historical negative energy – so that they aren’t actually listening but rather already preparing a defense to what they think they heard.” So true!