Feeling Felt Making appropriate commitments BY: Troy Murphy
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Communication is essential for healthy relationships; yet too often neglected. True communication requires more than rattling off words but through a connecting of souls, leaping thoughts and feelings from one person to another—a deep commune between spirits where words often fail.
Struggling people missed this lesson in childhood; often missed because there were no skilled teachers available. We are a bundle of emotions first; long before the words escape in a weak effort to convey some of those emotions to another. Conveying emotions is complicated when we barely know what we are feeling—we ache but don’t know why; so we blindly react exploding to trivial triggers. Lost in blindness, these relationships express with manipulations, projections and heated words—but not open communication.
Beyond the words, there must be understanding—understanding of feelings. The feelings felt often get lost in the words that vaguely convey the underlying personal experience. We want to be felt. We want to be accepted. We don’t want to emerge victorious from a battle of words. The win is meaningless if we still feel unfulfilled and unnoticed.
A hidden theme beneath our communications is, “Can I count on you?” While unspoken, the search for attachment and acceptance strongly bonds with all human interactions, especially with intimate partners and family. The search for compassionate acceptance gets smashed against the wall of despair when small concerns ignite a heated battle of wills. Instead of a quick response, or defensive reaction, we must try reply to the bid for safety, instead of the hazy words trying to express a want.
Open communication solidifies bonds and builds trust—required for intimacy. The healing salve of connection isn’t won through stinging remarks, words that pierce the cold heart of a lover. We build connection through a much deeper form of communication—in a smile, in a touch, in understanding. The feeling of being felt heals wounds and binds heart.