We each have sensitivities that may come up in relating. Different people are sensitive about different things. Some get nervous with too much closeness, while others are upset with too much distance. Some withdraw from displays of emotion, while others demand to share more feelings.
Partners often have complementary sensitivities. If one fears distance, the other will be nervous about closeness. If one withdraws from emotionality, the other is sensitive to feelings not being shown. In this way, partners may interact like fire and water. Each sees the other’s sensitivity as a “weakness” or “character deficiency.” Each may react to the other, convinced that their own way of being is the correct way to be. Each may try to make the other one “wrong,” telling them, “it’s all your problem.”
It is tempting to view sensitivities simply as problems that were developed in childhood. But if you stop there, you will miss something of value. What different sensitivities do you and your partner have? Pick a specific pair of sensitivities that conflict in your relationship – for example, nervousness about closeness versus discomfort with distance.
In pulling the card SENSITIVITIES, you are invited to see the positive value of each partner’s sensitivity. It’s not mere chance that you are relating with someone who has a sensitivity that complements yours. Imagine that your opposing sensitivities are put on two sides of a scale. Begin to notice how, together, your two sensitivities create a balance. Together, a wholeness is revealed that either side alone does not manifest.
Each of your sensitivities represent an important aspect of relating. A healthy relationship includes both closeness and distance, merging and individuality, feelings and reason – “fire” and “water.” Your sensitivities create balance between you on a greater scale, a wholeness within the relationship that neither of you shows individually.
It is altogether appropriate that someone speak up for each side of the scale. There is a voice for fire and a voice for water. This is how balance is maintained in a relationship if partners are not balanced within themselves. Of course, you each may speak in extremes. You may seem to be allergic to each other’s sensitivities. Yet there is value and truth in what each of you voices. Both sides of the scale are important.
The card SENSITIVITIES asks you to recognize the positive value of your partner’s sensitivities – and to hear the truth in them. Once you see how they are balancing you, you might even thank your partner. Open your heart and thank them for voicing their side of the scale, for showing you what you, clouded by your own sensitivities, tend to ignore. Open your heart further, and you may even learn from them.
Your partner has much to teach you about the things you tend to overlook within yourself. We each need both fire and water to be whole. They need not conflict as two extremes! You can find both sides of the scale in yourself – and express them both in your own way. Honor each partner’s sensitivities and find the truth of each sensitivity within you. In this way, you will achieve balance and wholeness in your relationship and in yourself.