The distance between where we started and where we hoped to end up become further and further, and took longer and longer. Not because of wrong turns, missed exits or confusing directions, the distance was an illusion, the experience of time was an experience of exaggerated discomfort.
The conversations went through several highs and lows, mountains tops and valleys of emotion. Every time I thought I was on my way up, or even possibly at the top I quickly found myself tumbling back down, down, down and plop at the bottom. Shaken and frustrated I allowed myself to shutdown, and in the Gottman term allow myself to stonewall from any further conversation.
In every relationship I have ever had I find myself unable to proceed when someone I respect begins to dish out what I feel to be unnecessary criticism of my passions. Being labeled an idiot for being excited is inappropriate. Combined with being frustrated I tend to default to settling into the feeling of unwelcome and unaccepted.
There was a time I was certain God was listening 24/7 to prayers. More times that I can count, I begged for wisdom to know how to be welcomed, heard and accepted. My prayers were never answered.
To this day I ask mentors for all kinds of guidance. Thankfully they are generous with their ideas and solutions. However, they all struggle with one topic, one I feel is mission critical; the art of repair. Could this be the secret to having relationships that empower and remove labels others placed of insecurities? Possibly. Could this be the magic key that allows me to share my true thoughts, feelings and share my passions? Wouldn't that be amazing!
Maybe I should have been more specific in my prayer requests, "How do I learn to be a master of repair? Will being a master of repairing relationships give me the wisdom to be accepted, heard and welcomed?"