At the root of every one of your loving intentions (a gift, message, act of kindness) towards another lies a truth. A truth that says “this is what I want to tell you, this is who I am at this moment, this is what I hope to accomplish, this is what you mean to me, this is what I think you need, this is how I hope you will feel when you receive it.” I love you.
And you deliver whatever it is – the statement, the gift, with this intent.
And you are taken aback when the other person misunderstands, reacts, doesn’t “get it.” Disbelief sets in because they didn’t see the love behind your message, your gift your intent. Wounded, suddenly, because what was supposed to be right and good and true somehow went awry. Caught off guard, reeling from disappointment, you have a choice. You can either locker down, draw your weapon, go into an emotional cave based on their response or you can remember the way of Grace by staying open and loving, keeping your original intent at the forefront of your mind, of your spirit.
The latter, this way of Grace requires a willingness that will have to counter any old tapes that want to play for you. It will require putting aside unhealed wounds (you may not even know are still there), messages from others back when, former mis-steps, and any feelings of inadequacy or “less than” or shame that may try to creep in.
This is not an easy task.
In order to do it you will have to know that at the root of every one of your intentions and at the core of your truth, also lies the truth of the other, the receiver. Their truth, with no resemblance to the one you may have been offering, that says “this is what I believe you meant,” “this is what I heard,” “this was what I needed instead,” “I’m not sure who you are at this moment,” and/or “this is how it made me feel.” And all I wanted was to feel loved, but now I don’t.
Two distant truths involving the same interaction, the same exchange of words or gifts or energies that didn’t go as intended. They don’t always meet. Many times the two truths are so far away from one another that there seems no way to get back to any meaning that makes sense. One or both of you become(s) lost, confused, dazed and even frightened. You feel unheard, unvalued, unloved and alone.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, there may be two loving people afraid to believe what is happening or terrified not to. Hurt and confused that the gesture one made could have been so terribly misconstrued by the other. Or saddened because the message or the gift or the answer one received did not have the meaning the giver needed it to. And all you both wanted, needed, was to feel and give love.
And then what?
At the moment of your doubt, be willing to believe that within every situation there may lie yet another truth. The one that sits right there in the middle of the other two, but is actually deep in the heart of the universe, ever guiding, ever there to gather you back into a spirit of love and light and willingness. To guide your truth closer to his or to hers.
Know that within every exchange, every conversation, there will be three messages. The one you mean, the one the other person hears and the one that the universe grasps. They are all correct. They are all right. They all have a reason. There is no threat. The Course in Miracles teaches that “Nothing real can be threatened” anyway.
Remember that inside of every heart there are wounds that will make its’ truth different from yours. There are triggers for this heart in the same way there are for yours, based on all the gestures and motives and kindnesses and gifts given or received before and hurts it has perceived correctly or mistakenly forever, that may prevent that heart from feeling, reacting, giving, expressing or receiving exactly the way that you do. Exactly the way you thought you needed it to in a vulnerable moment.
The trick in these exchanges, these moments, is to be willing to let go of the outcome. To be willing to go to compassion. To remember to return to love. To listen without explaining. To sit still in discomfort around being misunderstood, because you remember that you understand. To remember to return to love. To remember what you meant when you gave the gift or made the gesture in the first place, even if they never do. To be brave enough to let the other person tell you what they needed, what they hoped for and what they want in a way that doesn’t diminish what you thought they needed, hoped for or wanted.
To remember to return to love. To hear the words and let them sink in and stay OK. To stand still in your love, your sacred love. The unconditional love you have found for yourself first and then for them. To Hold on and Let go. To keep on taking the risk to give. To return to Love.