(Flashback to 3 decades ago. Relationships may be the toughest things on the planet. Such has been the case for me, especially in my 30s.)
The question was how could I connect to my partner in this dried-up stalemate fight? Was it even worth it? Did we even care?
Offensive barbs blocked our way.
Our weary bond felt like a ruin of thorns.
Nothing but thorns.
Please help me find a way out of this darkness, I prayed as I drove to work. Whatever You do, don’t let me cry in the middle of my hospital shift like I did yesterday.
I moved down the corridor, making first rounds on my patients.
I left the sleeping woman alone.
I helped the ancient one to the bathroom.
Next was a solid guy who reminded me too much of my husband. Same body type, rounded facial features, bristly attitude.
His thick brows drew down the moment I said hello.
Things had gone from bad to worse, he growled. They’d kept him on a hard gurney in the ER most of yesterday. The X-ray excursion had torn the skin off his arm. They’d screwed up his meds.
My feet ached to pull away from his tangle of complaints.
His voice tied me down while my workload piled up, all the way down the hall with unmet patients.
How could I escape?
And this, and this, and this, he rumbled.
His barbs forked into tangent upon tangent.
I was trapped. Stuck. Suffocating.
Something inside me said, “Breathe.”
With a sigh I surrendered and let go.
I let go into his tightwad face, into his stormy eyes.
And this, and this, and this, he snapped.
I was Breath. Air. Space.
This, and this. His cheeks slackened.
Peace: in my lungs, in my blood.
Feeling good now.
Thank you, Source.
Feeling balanced and centered. No worries.
The redness in his face lightened up to pink.
He rambled on.
I saw a subtle shift in his eyes.
“But,” he said, slower now. “The food hasn’t been bad.”
“Well that’s something,” I replied, surprised at his softening tone.
His face opened. “And you nurses. Except for that one bitchy night nurse, most of you have been – exceptional, really.” His eyes glistened.
“I’m glad to hear that.”
Curiously the thorns melted away.
Some kind of energy passed between us.
“Yeah, and you listen. You’re great.”
Whoa. That listening thing. That was exactly what my husband said I did not do.
Wow. Help me absorb this.
I shifted to peace for my own lifeline, to withstand his blustery onslaught.
I stood in his storm.
I didn’t take it personally.
I wasn’t going to fix it.
Was that listening?
He blew it all out, and I did not go defensive nor fight back nor run away.
Was that listening?
I did hear him, I guess, but how could it be as simple as breathing?
Somehow he was my new best friend for the day . . .
Have you suffered an impossible conflict that somehow opened into connection?
This mystifies me. You?
Listening is a lifelong art. I don’t claim to have mastered it – still trying.
Listening is healing.
What are your thoughts?
Diane Stallings RN does Biofield Tuning, energy healing, health coaching, and gives you practical ways to lift your wellbeing. Make a appointment in Phoenix or Fountain Hills. Inquire about our healing class, Tuesday evenings in Phoenix, and free meditation Monday classes in Fountain Hills.
(Thanks to pxhere for this scream image.)