Last week’s whisper (be sure and sign up if you don’t get the weekly message) on The Art of Receiving brought up emotional availability. Opening the heart to reception takes a willingness to be vulnerable and available to love. Emotional availability is being able to sit with difficult, upsetting, or challenging emotions and to avoid running away from, dismissing, or attempting to minimize those feelings. It means being able to be with someone in pain and not trying to fix it. Instead, being a loving, brave, mindful presence in that moment.
Emotional availability means being open to, confident, and courageous in the face of all human emotions and experiences, not just the ones that are rainbows and butterflies (tee hee). The person who faces both the beautiful, the light, and the good, as well as the painful, the difficult, and the dark makes themselves willing to feel all emotions.
A one-sided relationship can be exhausting as well as abusive. Strong relationships work in unison to build a team that moves both people beyond the imagination to gain strength in the effort to reach common goals. The ability to sustain a healthy bond and healthy emotional connection is characteristic of emotional availability.
Below is the survey on emotional availability. Take it yourself or with your partner and have fun with the process of identification. Write down your answers to the questions, then see how you scored.
- Have you ever been in a serious relationship?
- Are you willing to calmly discuss serious issues or conflicts in person?
- Are you honest and direct about your emotions with yourself others?
- Are you willing to show affection? (hugging, cuddling, touching)
- Do you ever ghost another person? (take your time answering a text, email, or call?
- Do you ever do or say something disrespectful?
- Do you respect another person’s time? (show up or something when you say)
- Do you think being emotional or sensitive is stupid or weak?
- Do you share very personal information, secrets, or feelings?
- Have you felt misunderstood in the relationship?
- Does a relationship ever feel too intense?
- Do you often feel the need to isolate?
- Do you change the subject or make fun when something emotional is brought up?
- Do you withdraw into your corner when frustrated, angry or anxious?
- Do you both feel you put effort into the relationships?
- Can you talk about how you feel, especially when the emotions seem negative?
- Are you willing to be vulnerable?
- Do you let yourself have fun?
- Do you love yourself?
- Are you willing to commit to a relationship?
Below are answers for the purpose of scoring the survey.
Guidelines for the Results
If you got 18 out of 20, your are exceptionally available to your emotions!
If you got 15 out of 20, you are most available emotionally to yourself and others.
If you got 13 out of 20, you are doing pretty good, but can see the areas that need work.
If you got 10 out of 20, relationships are an area that needs some spiritual practice.
If you got 8 out of 20, it’s time to inventory life to understand more about your life purpose.
If you got 5 out of 20, you would benefit from engaging in forms of ‘open heart’ practices
If you got less than 5, you are shut down and need to look at healing from last traumas.
Full understanding of emotional availability cannot be accomplished with a simple test, but hopefully this small effort will help you identify some areas that could lead to the greater ability to open your heart, express true self, and feel with more vitality.