Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Touch, Truth, Fun

Perhaps you have an “okay” relationship, but once it was sweet and wonderful and you are wondering how to reconnect in this way. Look no further than these essential attributes: touch, truth and fun. If they are vital in your relationship, then that is going to be a good ship on which you are happy to be. If they aren’t, they are all ways back to where you know you want to be.

The good ship relationship, it can take you far, far out into realizing how big and amazing this world can be, and can take you far in, to realize how and who you are inside. Sometimes we don’t want to see that, but with humor and real truth, we are always glad, sooner or later. These inner discoveries open also two ways: to how you make yourself happy and how you make yourself unhappy. Rest assured, if you are in relationship, you will in the beginning blame your happiness on the other person, and later, if things get rocky, you’ll blame your unhappiness on them.

Neither is true. Leaning how to discover inner truth, how to speak the truth, how to hear the truth…these are all challenges to having a solid and buoyant good ship relationship. The truth is what you want from a relationship, and speaking the truth will either create the conditions for a wonderful relationship based in friend-ship, or speaking the truth will clear the air in a relationship that is ready to dissolve.

Don’t be tempted to confuse truth ( as in, ‘I feel afraid when you go off for a long time and don’t tell me where you are.’) with dumping (as in, ‘You are a stupid jerk for going off and not telling me where you are.’). Dumping, attacking, “telling it like it is,” “being straight with” and so on may have a place in certain systems (dysfunctional systems, to my mind), but here truth has its own golden rule: stay in your own business when you are communicating.

Huge amounts of “relationship” suffering happen when the people are not really “relating.” In these situations, the communication is not of the sort, ‘From over here, in my business, this is how I think, or feel, or wish about so and so.’ No, in the non-relating messes, we are over in the other person’s business, as in, ‘You should/shouldn’t…,’ or ‘You always/never….,’ or ‘You are such a …..’ If I’m in my business, I’m telling you about me. If I’m in your business I’m telling you about you. And with this agenda, what needs to be fixed is always the other person.

Wrong. What needs to be fixed is always small, and always the same: a shifting of attention. This can be a shift to touch: out of verbal quarrelling, to silence, to following the breathing, to touching by holding hands.

It can be a shift to truth, from , ‘You never listen to me,’ ( in your business), to ‘I wish you’d listen to me for two minutes without interruption,’ or ‘I feel belittled when I don’t have a chance to say what I’m really trying to say,’ (in my business).

It can be a shift to fun. Not the whoopee, let’s go shop or wreck the environment or ourselves fun, but the fun of taking an afternoon together to roll around in bed, to take a walk or bike ride, to dance a little or a lot, to putter in the garden, to read a book of poems to each other, to explore a creek, to lie on the grass and watch the clouds playing up above in the vast lazy blue heavens.

Oh, no, that takes “time” to lie on the grass and indulge in cloud and sky heaven. Yes it does. Your ( and my) life is chopped up into pretend bits of time, but moment by moment is all you and I really have and if you really want a wonderful relationship, which is what I hope you want, then you are going to have to allow yourself enough time for all three: touch, truth and fun.

(This is the preface to a book I’m writing, Touch, Truth and Fun. Know an agent or independent/small publisher? Contact info and more essays at Also, Land and Love, Tuesdays 9:30-10:30 on our own wonderful KSVY, 91.3 FM)


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