Much of the drama that takes place in relationships looks just like scenes from a play. Often in times of stress, we tend to fall into a familiar negative dialogue. As we recite lines from our personal scripts with increasing emotion, we soon lose all capacity for constructive communication. Playing defensive roles, we forget how to speak from our hearts or tap into our deepest feelings. Of course, this increases our upset – and takes us further from resolving our real issues.

What dramas come up in your relationship? The card BACKSTAGE reminds you that behind any drama that fixes your attention onstage is another, deeper, and more authentic world. It is a world you may forget, or shy away from visiting. It is backstage – where the actors remove their costumes and masks, where they no longer react to one another according to their well-rehearsed scripts.

This card invites you backstage. Instead of reacting to the appearance of your partner’s mask or to the delivery of their lines, you are invited to open a door. This door leads behind the stage, behind the masks, behind the lines – back to the dressing room and your true inner selves. If you take the initiative, you can meet the real people involved in your drama. Doing so, you can move beyond a fruitless script – and toward a heartfelt resolution to your real issues.

Whenever you find yourself starting to react negatively in your relationship, instead of playing out some familiar drama, remember the door that leads backstage. It is a door that leads to all the space in your heart. Open that door to your heart, remove your mask, and explore what is really going on. What are your true inner wants, needs, and feelings? What real pain or fear stands behind all the words and actions you and your partner are exchanging? Find the compassion you truly have, and share it with each other.

The surface actions and reactions we play out are all, in some way, an expression of inner wants and needs. Perhaps our deepest inner yearning is to be able to share acceptance, compassion, and fulfillment in relating. Yet so often we find ourselves lost in scripts leading us in another direction.

In childhood – as understudies in our families – we were taught many scripts. We were taught how to automatically blame one another over problems. But few of us were taught how to communicate about difficulties with an open heart – which means showing our vulnerabilities, voicing our deeper feelings and needs, and truly listening to one another. We may still be very shy about discussing what we really feel, what we really need, and what we really want. Instead, we may be used to wearing a particular mask – playing out a role.

The card BACKSTAGE invites you to gently get in touch with your deeper nature – your innermost needs, feelings, and vulnerabilities. How healing it could be to simply drop all the masks and roles – and instead make real contact with each other! To share acceptance and compassion. To voice your deepest longings for recognition, understanding, respect, and trust. To allow all feelings to be felt – rather than “acted out.” It takes a great deal of courage to go backstage. But by doing so, you move closer to fulfilling your heart’s truest desires!