Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Bids For Connection

Trying to hammer our points home, we try and try. Is part of the puzzle the way in which our words are used? Are we received in a way that feels genuine-- after all, mostly, we have a few simple wants at the end of each day. There is a longing for connection, to be felt, to be heard, to be seen, each of which is to be loved. To be loved more for who we are than what it is we do. Each of our lives has its own inherent dignity. How are we treating each other in any given moment?

Writer and thinker, John Gottman refers to these moments as bids for connection. And he says they are as much physical as they are spiritual. We want the one we are speaking to to turn and to listen to us, but we also want their heart to receive and consider our words. For it is deep within that our lives are in part made; while a first attempt may reduce the tension level, it doesn't always lead to the genuine heartfelt connection we often seek.
 Feeling safety in the prospect of vulnerability is possibly core to the ways of genuine spiritual connection with our self first and then others. Writing in his book, The Science of Trust, Gottman says "we can define the very nature of trust as having our partners best interests at heart, rather than just self-interest. Trust is the opposite of a zero sum game." Or perhaps another view is, that I can trust you to be as you are in any given place at any given time.

When we at first react to others, sometimes it's in 'wounded' mode so we can't really receive their message due to our perceived need to hang on tightly to our sense of effrontery or insult to our dignity.
And talk is cheap. We often, unconsciously even, regard others by what they do moreover than by what they say. And then no one wants to be the first to 'give in.' Finding the courage to be the one to make the first move, to overcome the very human reluctance to level, to be neither better nor worse than any other, can be scary.

 There are always risks to our daily interactions, and keeping in mind that love involves both giving and receiving, finding the courage to take the risk, to make the move is actually a very sacred gift to oneself as much as to others. These two essential elements, giving and receiving are the building blocks of the loving connections that we so often seek.
In bidding for connection, one may discover something that feels a whole lot better than fighting, and that together you are capable of producing something that's so much better after all.

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