Communication is what the listener does.
Upon calling for support and receiving an instruction of, “Press 1 for English, 2 for @#$%^&*”, we select the language of greatest comprehension. We want to hear and understand the solution to our situation.
Do we offer the same in our interpersonal communications? Or, do we launch off into a discourse that is foreign to the ears of our partner? When they seem puzzled, do we simply ‘turn up the volume’ and give them another dose of @#$%^&*?
When discovering the concept of Imago Relationships, my first thought was “I’m-A-Go” — that’s cute. It reminds me of a Space Shuttle lift-off. Many of our relationships are desirous of going go to a higher level.
These quotes from the article are a few of my favorites:
Partners cross a bridge into each other’s worlds, motivated not only by the Receiver’s desire to ‘hear and understand’ but also to meet the Sender’s need to be ‘heard and understood’ — with a commitment to slow down our lives and devote specific uninterrupted time to our relationships. Ultimately saying to the other, “I respect your otherness — I want to learn from it. And I want to share mine with you.”
Discovering two distinct worlds — whenever two people are involved, there are always two realities. These realities will always be different in small and large ways, no matter what. And, the reality of the other person can be understood, accepted, valued, and even loved — but, not made to be identical to our own.
Your conflict can be the very fuel for the fulfillment you seek.
Being aware of ourselves is the key — it changes everything.
What we need to understand and accept is that conflict is supposed to happen. This is as nature intended it. Everything in nature is in conflict. Conflict is a sign that the psyche is trying to survive, to get its needs met, and become whole. It’s only without this knowledge that conflict is destructive.
Regardless of what we may believe, relationships are not born of love — but of need. Real love is born in relationships, as a result of understanding what they are about — and doing what is necessary to have them.
A ‘conscious’ Relationship itself is the practice you need to restore your sense of aliveness.
Clear communication is a window into the world of your partner — truly being heard and understood is a powerful aphrodisiac.
Without change, there is no growth — we are confined to the fate of remaining stuck in our unhappiness.
Change is the catalyst for healing.
I call the process by which we alter our entrenched behaviors to give our partners what they need: ‘stretching’ — for it requires that we conquer our fears and do what comes unnaturally.
Finally, we learn to see our partners for themselves, with their own private world of personal meaning, their own ideas and dreams, and not merely as extensions of ourselves — or, as we wish they were. Our approach becomes, “I want to know how you think.”
A conscious relationship is a spiritual path which leads us home again — to joy and aliveness, to the feeling of oneness we started out with. We learn to express love as a behavior daily — in large and small ways. In other words, in stretching to give our partner what they need, we learn to love. The transformation of our relationships may not be accomplished easily or quickly — we are setting off on a lifelong journey.
In the game of Football, team members ‘huddle up’ to have the opportunity to ‘hear and understand’ the next play. If it’s a passing play, it is only successful if the receiver catches the ball.
Next time we have the opportunity to quarterback a conversation, let’s call plays in a language our receiver understands. Then, as they run the route, let’s give them the opportunity to catch what is thrown.
After all, the only goal that, really, matters — to be Heard and Understood.