We commonly confuse closeness with sameness and view intimacy as the merging of two separate “I’s” into one worldview. Harriet Lerner, “Dance of Intimacy” (1989)
I wonder what would happen if shoes didn’t come in pairs? Imagine that you were free to allow each foot to express itself by choosing its own style. If shoes and clothing styles became an expression of the fact that each foot, leg, arm and hand was not simply a duplicate of its partner, but were individual and unique, it could effect how we do everything.
Now, the truth is that if each partner were always demanding its own way, it would create chaos. Therefore, what might need to happen, so they can function as a pair, would be cooperation, flexibility and synergistic partnering built on mutual respect.
Each pair would need to decide when it is appropriate for them to function together, and also stay aware that functioning as partners doesn’t mean that they must give up their own identities. It would require that no one took the other’s willingness to compromise for granted and also that some deeply ingrained habits would have to be explored.
Though couples rarely look like each other physically, being paired requires certain sacrifices for the good of the partnership. What if you have too easily assumed that being a partner means that you each must align your preferences exactly or something is wrong? Perhaps, you are more dominant and verbally expressive than your mate, and therefore assume that because you “see it and say it” your way of doing things is the way. Are you aware of your partner as a unique person, and therefore, do you continue to learn new things about him/her?
Just as it is easy to assume that each foot, leg, arm and hand is basically the same as it always was and therefore, as long as it functions and does its job, we can take it for granted, we can be numbingly unaware about the significant people in our lives.
We curb our curiosity and interest in our partners, close friends, or family members because it is easier to take them for granted. Each of us is a swirling mass of random thoughts, feelings, aspirations, dreams, goals, plans, disappointments, loves and hates, contained and often held deeply inside and out of sight.
It takes being awake and aware of our own complexities and preferences to become open and receptive to the not-so-obvious aspects of others.
Resolve to listen with a kinder and more attentive ear this week. Open to the subtle clues that surface, if you let them, by deciding to be both curious and respectfully interested in others.
Perhaps there are tender treasures to be discovered and uncovered by deepening your intention to really learn anew about your own wants and needs, as well as the hidden dreams and aspirations of the people that you love.
Susan is the author of: BEYOND INTELLECT: Journey Into the Wisdom of Your Intuitive Mind. Contact her at: susanvelasquez.com or (949) 494-7773.