Friday, March 30, 2012

Are you Feeling Intelligent?

I'm worried that the slogan 'Keep Calm and Carry On' is becoming a lifestyle choice!  All that British stiff upper lip and stoicism was vital during wartime hardship and got the country back on its feet, but I think it's a step too far when applied to relationships.  It doesn't get relationships back on their feet - it kills them dead.  For relationships to thrive the opposite needs to happen - we need to open up and become more understanding, accepting and intelligent around emotions.  We need to allow space for vulnerability.

The vulnerability paradox in relationship is that it is the first thing we want to see in another - it open our hearts and makes us feel closer to them - and yet its the last thing we want to reveal about ourselves as we fear it will leave us vulnerable to being hurt.  

If we decide we don't want to feel the bad stuff our brain just receives the message as 'stop feeling' and cuts off contact with our emotions, but the problem is we end up not feeling the good stuff either.  We lose the childlike joy we once had and have to work hard to feel anything at all, seeking more and more stimulants to help us - alcohol, drugs, shopping, sex.  Without full access to our feelings, we lose our ability to connect with each other heart to heart. With no connection relationships, rather than being a place where we feel loved, inspired and expansive, become a place where we hunker down and see our partner as the enemy trying to take something from us.

Being comfortable and accepting of vulnerability also allows a greater intelligence to emerge - the intelligence of the Heart, the bonding agent of Love that makes relationships strong and resilient. I have seen relationships die because of a refusal to open up to emotions.  Opening up is risky, it does take courage but when it is met with empathy, understanding and a willingness to re-connect, you create a safe environment for love, trust and intimacy to grow.

Don't just Keep Calm and Carry On in your relationship, Open Up too!  

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