Yesterday, my beloved presented me with a box of cards he’d had printed, just for me. “Made with Love by C.C.” contains 50 beautiful 4″ x 4″ square cards, each printed with a lovely message from him.
“Words of Affirmation” is my love language. It is not his. Yet, there he was, speaking my language, giving me a gift that sang to my heart’s desire to be seen, heard, known, connected.
“I didn’t write all of the messages,” he told me. “I wrote some myself and used their suggestions for others.” The company he used to order them provides suggestions and you get to pick and adapt.
He adapted well.
What was uncanny, and beautiful, about his gift is that one of the cards speaks to my tendency to enter into the ‘tough’ conversations.
The timing was perfect.
I am about to go off on a weekend with my youngest daughter to a remote mountain lodge. There is no cellphone, no internet, no way to connect with the outside world except through the Satellite phone at the Lodge — and that’s just for emergencies. (And yes, I am super excited to spend this time in the backcountry with my daughter).
Before leaving, I wanted to have a conversation with my beloved about something I needed to share. To share it, I needed to create safe and courageous space for both of us to hear one another without triggering our individual narratives around why having these conversations is not fun — and sometimes best to be avoided (They’re never best to be avoided but the critter will attempt to convince us they are!).
When these conversations go off the rails, it’s generally because I get into my “I’m Right” position (which immediately makes him wrong — and that doesn’t go over well!). Riding roughshod on my high horse of Rightness, I forget everything I know about loving conversation and go on the attack, or the defensive, or simply shut up and sulk.
Reading this card reminded me of the power of vulnerability and the need to always come from the heart.
“I’d like to have a conversation with you and want to ensure you know this comes from a place of Love, of wanting our relationship to be stronger. It’s not an attack. It’s an invitation,” I began…
And we talked.
The heart only knows “I” language. As in, “I’m feeling…”, “I notice myself going into a place of [confusion/anger/rejection…] when I…”, “I need to tell you what happens when I….,”
The heart does not speak in the “You” As in, “You need to….,” “You always…,” “You make me …..”. “You’re so wrong to…”
The heart does not blame, condemn, criticize or complain. The heart does not compare.
The heart speaks its truth, lovingly, respectfully, compassionately.
The heart does not speak about the other’s wrong-doings or misdeeds.
The heart knows only Love.
And we are its imperfect emissaries. Flawed in all our multi-faceted transmission of its messages, we sometimes try to bend the light to fit the picture we’d prefer to have as our truth. And in our efforts to make ‘the truth’ fit our perceptions, we miss the power of Love to create space for all truth to be heard.
My beloved and I had a heartfelt conversation last night. It was joyful. Beautiful. Connecting.
My heart is happy. Content. Peaceful.
We don’t always get these deep conversations right, (we are oh so human in our beautiful flaws and multi-faceted imperfections) but when we are willing to risk our imperfect expression of Love in the liminal space of our desire to be closer, more initimate, connected, magic happens.
My beloved gave me a gift yesterday. It opened my heart up to the power of Love to transcend my human flaws and imperfections to create space for what I want most in my life to grow stronger. Loving Connection with those I love.
I used a Gelli print pad for this project and inserted the words at the bottom in PhotoShop (the insertion of words took me beyond the half hour, but I wanted to see what they looked like on the painting versus not there).
here’s the same painting without the words at the bottom.