Connecting is fundamental in relating. In connecting, you and your partner share an experience together. There’s a sense of merging. As this deepens, each of you might become aware of how the other experiences whatever is happening. Healthy connecting includes the ability to freely move your awareness between your experience and that of your partner. You are able to merge and still remain solid within yourself.

But there are times when connecting can be difficult. The card CONNECTING may show up if there’s an emotional issue that blocks you from fully connecting with a partner. If this is so, it may be time to deal with whatever is going on in you. Many things can get in the way of connecting. Resentments may exist that have not been dealt with. Perhaps one is on guard against losing freedom or control. Or one simply may need to spend some time alone. Explore whatever is going on in you. You may find that something needs to be healed – and that now is the time to do it. You may even want to talk about this with your partner, which itself is a form of connecting.

This card reminds you that connecting is vital to the health of a relationship. But there can be less healthy forms of connecting, too – for instance, if you have a habit of paying more attention to a partner’s feelings or needs than to your own. You might take on their attitudes, feelings, or wants – losing touch with yours. If that is so for you, this card asks you to pay more attention to your own experience. Connect with whatever you feel, want, and need. Being connected within yourself, you’ll be able to more freely connect with others – and still be yourself.

In healthy connecting, each partner knows who they are, and as partners they choose to open themselves – together. In positive moments, their pleasures can be multiplied. A great experience can become even more magnificent, be it a colorful sunset, a delicious meal, an inspiring talk, a peaceful walk, or some other enjoyable activity.

Connecting can be beneficial during difficult times, too. Rather than withdrawing when you’re upset, or avoiding a partner’s upset feelings, you can remain available. You can stay present and connected. You and your partner can talk with each other. You can share whatever is going on for you – without trying to change it or avoid it. You simply experience whatever is truly happening – together.

During difficult times, the real challenge in connecting is to stay connected with our own experience. Don’t we usually try to avoid “bad” feelings? Don’t we tend to believe there’s something wrong with us if we feel them? Avoiding negative feelings, we disconnect – from others and from ourselves!

But when you are willing to experience it all – positive or negative – you increase your capacity to truly connect. Fair-weather friends are present only as long as things go well. Yet life’s weather is forever changing. Instead of insisting that the sun always shine and running at the first sign of clouds, realize that rain is valuable! If you want true freedom in relating, then connecting cannot depend on things always going well. In learning to accept and be available to all of life’s experiences, you will connect better in all your relationships.