We are set apart from all other living beings on this planet by our use of language. And at the same time, we may often feel the gulf that is keeping us apart as insurmountable, despite having language. How ironic that the one aspect of our humanity that should allow us to experience a sense of belonging and mutual understanding is also the one that is frequently linked to experiencing a sense of isolation – the ability to share our thoughts and ideas and forge meaningful relationships.
If speaking the same language does not allow us to develop deep and lasting relationships, and if having the same culture, values, beliefs (religious, spiritual or personal) and background also do not guarantee that our relationships will thrive, what would help to create a deep and lasting connection, based on trust?
The mystery of deep and meaningful connections
You may have experienced such a connection (even at first glance): whether this person was a potential close friend or confidante or a potential partner in a meaningful love relationship. And as you engaged in conversation with this special person, you simply forgot all about the world out there. It may have felt as if you were moving to a rhythm that only the two of you were aware of.
If you have never felt this strange allure, you have probably seen others so deeply engaged.
What is at play to allow two people to be so connected, even at times instantly? For lack of a better word, let’s use intuition or even, sixth sense; when two people bond in this way, they mysteriously discover the secret to find profound meaning in the presence of the other. They speak not only with words; their bodies are similarly engaged – hands, eyes, subtle nuances, unspoken but clearly understood within this deep kinship.
If you would like to discover the secret of this mysterious union of minds yourself – you need to first know what has been preventing you from forging these bonds. Too often we turn away from something that could have been significant, perhaps fearing the formation of attachments, revealing our deeper selves, only to be let down in the end. When your trust has been betrayed before, it can be doubly daunting to let your guard down.
To risk revealing your heart when you have no guarantee that a friendship or relationship will not disappoint you can be seen as dangerous. You have to weigh the pro's and con's: are you willing to let your alliances – friendly or more intimate – be characterised by superficial and meaningless chatter while maintaining relationships with little substance, leaving you feeling empty or even numb? Or are you ready to risk a more courageous step?
Should you think that there is a possibility or an opportunity that such a deep level of trust can be developed and maintained (again, or for the first time), you could be ready to try to forge such relationships. Should you have tried before, unsuccessfully, it may be worth the effort to learn more about the depth of awareness that accompanies these deep connections before you take the plunge.
Awareness is only one of the facets of developing trust in relationships – but so important that without it, your counterpart may regard you with a degree of suspicion and you may lose out on the possibility of forging a new bond.
How would you know what truth and trust really look like? Maybe you have never noticed the signs, since - on the surface - they are almost invisible, only becoming noticeable when you are consciously made aware of them.
Developing awareness and intuition
First consider a normal conversation – two people engaged in talk that may seem friendly (or perhaps less than friendly). The discussion may be serious or of a more superficial nature. They may seem intensely interested or there may be little enthusiasm. Instead of focusing on what they are saying, rather concentrate on their facial and bodily expressions.
Every face has its shadows – a person may smile while the eyes remain distant. A smile may become frozen, the muscles around the mouth may fractionally loosen or tighten, eyes could narrow slightly, pupils could contract or expand, breathing may become somewhat shallower, or perhaps the swallowing reflex becomes just a fraction more pronounced. Then there could be a slightly increased blush on the skin versus colour slightly draining away. Skin tone may change somewhat. Nostrils may flare but this may be almost imperceptible. Lips are equally revealing – becoming thinner, fuller, dry or moist. Lines may appear or disappear both around the mouth, the eyes and on the forehead.
Every subtle expression becomes a picture in itself, with the possibility of revealing the secrets under the surface. And we have not even considered the voice or the hands or the muscles in the rest of the body, such as the neck and the shoulders.
Truly listening - with ears and eyes
If you are able to listen to the unspoken message by noticing changes in volume, pitch and tone, whether pronounced or slight, you may be able to start seeing with your ears too.
And once you learn to feel the nuances of the invisible energy that emanates from the duo you are observing, you could see with inner eyes or the sixth sense.
The objective is not to carefully observe others so that you would be able to interpret every cue and every nuance accurately, whether you engage a stranger on the street or a colleague at work. There is no handy list with definitions for each of the impressions that will allow you to interpret and understand the authenticity of every person you encounter. What you will learn is how little you have noticed in the past. And as you learn and make the subtle connections, you sharpen your inner eyes, ears and voice.
When in conversation, we are often so absorbed in devising our responses, that we do not properly listen and even worse, we hardly ever take the time to observe and see what is right in front of us. Being able to listen is essential to forming deep connections. And seeing more than the obvious allows you to get to know the other person in a way that you may not have been able to do before.
Once you learn to recognise the tiny signals, you may be able to start making the right links – at an unconscious level. This would allow you to be more responsive, so that you can participate in building these trust relationships with more confidence. Meaningful exchange becomes possible through mutual trust; and trust can be easier to establish when someone knows that you are seeing more than what is on the surface and can accept both the light and the dark, the visible and the less visible.