Relationships fail and suffer in silence not because anybody is at fault, or that no one is good enough. It takes a little bit more than love, common interest and passion to sustain or nurture a relationship and I do mean all kinds of relationships which includes spousal, parental, friends, colleagues and etc. The one core ingredient that is most important but also mostly, unpractised by many in life, let alone in relationships itself is—visibility.
People get into all kinds of relationships for many reasons out of their preferences of choice and there is no right or wrong in such choices although that choice may be perceived as such by the society. It is like, if I wished to have a child; it is likely that I would find someone who would also like to experience the same thing, having the same objective in mind. Likewise, if I wished to play a game of tennis, I would find someone who enjoys a game of tennis. In that instance, both are in sync and in tandem with each other, moulding in togetherness towards the specific direction of such experience. Yet, at any one time, when one falls of out sync or decides to experience something else, it is natural that both parties may move away from each other and may find it difficult to ‘meet’. In areas of those of couple relationships, such change of direction can lead to a separation, not to mention that one that may end up in pain and resentment. Yet, in my experience, the pain or the meaning of separation itself is hugely misperceived with a lack of awareness on the part of the self in terms of neediness based on fear patterns. Although this example seems to imply those of boy-girl special relationships but if you were to ponder deeply, it happens to almost all kinds of relationships/friendships.
I used to wonder why is it that one of my siblings is able to experience such intimate relationship with my dad and yet I find it difficult in doing so. I later realised that my sibling’s deep understanding of my dad was because he not only listened to my dad’s expressions of what is in him but also found ways to communicate with my dad to how he truly felt inside over certain matters important to him. The relationship is truly inspiring as there is much honesty and authenticity to the point that my sibling is open enough to point out dad’s errors and dad would just listen. For that, their relationship is constantly nurturing each other from the space of love, understanding and truth.
Clearly, it is my own error for not having the courage to express authenticity or even daring to be visible about what and how I truly feel inside. I usually just did my best to do whatever he wanted me to do, or simply stay away when I knew that state of mind did not allow me to be who he wanted me to be that day. No wonder, the ‘afar-ness’. And all this while, I felt that he was the one who did not understand me when it was an arrogant thinking on my part that I understand him reasoning why it is better just not to let him know how I felt inside. In truth, it was my own limitation and lack of wisdom in carrying out my message to him that wouldn’t allow him to understand and see me. This is also a similar pattern carried in almost any kind of relationships. And guess what, we just kind of concluded other people’s sense of maturity!
Yet, visibility is not about revealing everything about us but rather, being necessarily honest and transparent enough in expressing and revealing that part of ourselves to people that we love. Quite contrarily to the thought system that ‘if I tell him/her this part of me, I will hurt him/her; or he/she will dislike or leave or not love or not accept me’, such authenticity and honesty actually nurtures the relationship in allowing another to understand you at an even deeper level. It is about being visible to another so that the other can finally see us clearly rather than playing the guessing game. Do you not find that it is much easier to be with someone whom you know is entirely honest about how he or she feels about things? It is like there is no pretence or feeling of hiding. Else, it is like playing a game of hide and seek and the aim is to never be found!
Hiding creates bondage in the mind. In fact, it adds on more to what is already in the mind especially when there is a hovering issue in the mind. Yet being visible in a relationship, as threatening as it may sound, actually brings the relationship to a higher level of trust, openness and love.