These are difficult and uncertain times for all. Stress is a typical byproduct of change in normal situations. Our times are anything but “normal,” so the possibility for and intensity of stress is dramatically increased. How does this affect relationships? That will depend on the parties involved, but obviously it has the potential to be disastrous.
So how do we handle these trying predicaments to create and encourage deeper connection? How do we support relationships that are hurting, stressed-out, in danger of failing apart? We need to go back to basics, relationship 101, that most skipped, or slept through, or were secretly afraid of.
Let’s refresh these principals. The basics are openness, communication, honestly, and love. Love is the foundation naturally, but love alone is not nearly enough. “How do I love thee, let me count the ways,” is great as the foundation for connection, but it is ego-centric, being about “how I feel,” not the give-and-take, the dance of relationship. When I was young I used to dance freestyle, now I only partner dance (ballroom). You may ask what this has to do with relationships; an understandable question. The answer is—a relationship is a partner dance. When I was young I didn’t know how to dance with a partner, so I “freestyle” danced. I had “one-night stands” too. They were distracting, fun, but ultimately unfulfilling. I did not want to commit to a relationship as truth be told, I was afraid and didn’t understand how. Men are accused by women of fearing commitment. That’s because men are not as indoctrinated as women in the relationship models represented in fairytales. Women seem to know exactly what it takes and if men would only play-out their assigned roles as princes, all would be good—or so the princesses think. From the success rates around us, men and women rightfully fear entering something they don’t know how to do. I had no real understanding what a relationship inherently took to make it work. I have a better understanding now. Allow me to share what I have experienced and learned.
First, stop freestyling. That is the secret. You will have to learn how to partner dance. You will need to let go of the ego-centric illusions of me-me-me, and move into—us. Not us as it serves me, but us as we serve each other.
What does it take? Communication is primary, but communicate what? Most communicate what they want, desire, and are not getting enough of. Being in service to each other is not usually included and may never have been. And also mutual attempts to serve may have been missed by the other party. Communication would help both understand these attempts. Now, here is the big one, especially in our times, we must communicate all that we feel like: our fears, uncertainties; as well as thoughts like: how are we going to make it, I feel like a failure, and am angry at the world for wrongs it has done to me, etc. This is more difficult for men, who have been taught to “suck it up,” be a man, don’t show your fears, or you will be judged as weak, inferior and undesirable (unlovable). Women need to understand this and be open to helping a willing man to access these feeling. If he is not willing, is hunkered down in his bunker, you will need gobs of understanding and patience. Trying times will make it more difficult for him to face his fear of being a failure, as he as a man is supposed to be the strong one for his woman. He fears he will let her down by admitting his fear. He also fears she will look for a stronger rock, better provider. This is not an impossible scenario, is it? Now you can better understand his fear, feelings of vulnerability, and lack of communications. This does not excuse it, only shines the light of understanding on the actions of men that many women have expressed objection to. Read MEN-THE GODS OF LOVE FOR MORE.
Importantly, the secret to communicating that most don’t understand, more so men, is that by honestly sharing these deepest darkest emotions, they don’t become true, they actually lose their charge, becoming easier to bear. This is because emotions that are held in, repressed, are negatively energized by the act of repression. Releasing them releases the charge. Then life can be dealt with more easily.
OK, so now let’s get back to today. Many are losing or have lost jobs, homes, retirements, savings, etc. The word depression looms in our minds, yet is treated like the pink elephant that no one wants to talk about. I know, I feel it too. So what do we do? We communicate and support each other no matter what economic hurricane hits. It too will pass. We acknowledge with gratitude our divine spirits that enables us to connect. We must tend this like a gardener, with the fertilizer of love, truth and communication. We don’t give up on us, even if we have to give up on certain material things. We continue to love, grow, and evolve even in adversity with mutual support. We seek new pathways of creation, new ways of doing things, while we acknowledge how we blindly choose to be led astray. Out of the fires the phoenix WILL BE REBORN. This I promise. Feel it inside, you know it too. Blessing to us all as we walk the hot coals.