Relationshiops (Love Part II)
There’s something in the air right now…I’m not sure if it’s this whole business of Venus crossing the sun but it seems to me that many people are going through a bit of a time of it – particularly with their relationships, or in the relationship they have with themselves.
From what I’ve been reading, in terms of an astrological perspective, Venus in Transit would appear to influencing things for sure. And perhaps because this is a relatively rare event – we only get two transits of Venus about every 120 years, and they come in pairs at eight years apart – I’m learning that the astrological impact is relatively strong. Here’s what one in interpretation suggests (Darkstar.com):
“The overall picture emerging is one of facing up to reality in our relationships. If you have been deceitful in some way, been playing around or have an addiction, then you will likely face a lot of hostility from your partner or even close friends. If you are with someone whose addictions are putting a strain on your relationships, whether gambling, infidelity, drugs or porn, then you may reach a stage where you cannot let it go on. The great intensity shown in this chart means that any built up frustrations, resentment or anger, which has been poisoning a relationship, must now be released. It might get ugly, I can’t think of an easy way to deal with such things, Sun and Venus square Mars is conflict.”
It seems that astrologically, Venus represents our relationships with others. Whether you believe in astrology or not, there’s no denying that communication is a major factor in all of our relationships, and apparently this is a time for an advance or shift in communication. According to one site, “Whenever Venus eclipsed the Sun in past recorded history, there was a major breakthrough in communications. For example, at the time of the last Venus eclipse in 1874, the Transatlantic Telegraph Cable was completed that created the first intercontinental communications by wire between the East and the West.”
For me, ultimately it appears that our relationships breakdown more than anything because we are not communicating effectively. Sure, we can be talking, sharing, laughing and engaging with each other but are we saying what needs to be said? Are we sharing what profoundly impacts us? Are we taking time out to honestly ‘talk’ with ourselves and examine what we’re not saying, what we’re not sharing? Or worst still, are we simply assuming things about our partners without finding out the facts?
The thing is I don’t believe communication should in anyway be confused with love. Loving someone, even being in love with another still doesn’t mean you’re great at talking and communicating. In fact, sometimes I would argue that we’re rather blinded by our love and affection. We don’t want to rock the boat by saying something that might upset the person we cherish, and so we don’t share those thoughts. And then resentment can build and this might layer up with yet another unexpressed thought and before we know it, we feel a whole pile of emotions that then burst out – usually at the wrong time – or are expressed completely ineffectively or inappropriately. Their foundation is true, sure but because they have been left to fester within, they just come out wrong. So the recipient of the tirade hears anger, frustration, pain rather than what’s underneath: the actual words. Sometimes this dissatisfaction or annoyance comes out in more petty ways such as a little digs or a jibes, or a moodiness…We’ve probably all been there as the receiver and the person acting out our unexpressed ‘stuff’.
So, what’s the answer? I’m not sure that there’s a single ‘this is it’ way to communicate or share. But I do know that in the end, it will come out – sometimes when it’s just a bit too late, when too much of the other behaviours have gotten in the way and other aspects of the relationship gradually breakdown to a point of no-return. And perhaps, that’s exactly where those individuals need to be. Possibly the relationship has run its course and the time has come to move on and learn from the experience. But maybe, just maybe communication is what will allow that relationship to be built upon again. In that open, honest, ‘what else can I lose?’ space, we find it in our hearts to really share what we mean, and say everything that needs to be said because that’s just what we feel. It’s all out there then. Nothing is hidden and perhaps some clarity returns, even a little hope and new paradigm for how that relationship works going forward.
Here are just a few ways you might like to communicate:
Write a journal
Be a coach to yourself and ask yourself questions a friend or coach might ask – listen to your answers
Take a walk alone and pay attention to your internal dialogue
With your partner:
Corny but works, have regular date nights – preferably where you get space to talk
If you’re busy, make the time for each other and commit to it. Perhaps it’s choosing a weekly slot – even 10 minutes. You get 5 minutes each (time it) to say what needs to be said. The job of the one not speaking is to really listen and not have their internal dialogue going off. As Epictetus wisely said, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”
Find different ways to communicate to each other. If you feel your partner isn’t listening, even when you do share, change how you say it. Write it down, sing it, play a song that expresses what you can’t, deliver the message in a more engaging or new way so your partner doesn’t hear ‘blah blah blah’
Share what you feel but don’t make the person ‘wrong’ – these are your feelings, not theirs
Be aware of whether you are projecting – we often see our own faults in others
Think about the timing. Immediately before going to sleep is not a good time for major discussions; or when someone has just come back from work; or if you or the listener is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In fact, probably the best time is when you’re having a great time, when things are good. It’s tempting not to spoil the moment, but in those happier spaces, we can deliver what we need to say with compassion and love.
Not all communication has to be verbal. Find ways that work for you both, and respect each other’s different ways of sharing.
“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” Anthony Robbins
Here’s something I wrote to express how the process of honest communication can pan out.
To bare one’s soul
And offer up
An honest cup
Of words once unsaid
Perchance buried and old…
Yet a gift no less
Of insights and illumination
The receiver hears
Though listens not
To verbal pot
Of collected issues
Patchwork quilt of the years
And then… A chink of light
Penetrates the dim
Illuminating a spot within
So hope is born
Heralding the end of the night