Not too long ago in a counseling session a woman said to me in front of her husband, “I feel like I’m a part of a business transaction”. She went on to elaborate that her husband did not make her feel special. He was not affirming, validating, or connecting with her. He was clueless –definitely not attuned. The husband responded by saying that he was doing the best he could. He did not know how to change but was open to learning how. We are working on it – and he’s getting it!
Attunement to another is not an easy concept to understand or put into practice. Attunement is a heightened awareness of what is going on in your environment. It is particularly pertinent relative to a special person in your life. A man attuned to a woman asks: “Where is she physically? Where is she mentally and emotionally? What can I do to make her feel more loved and appreciated? What are her needs and desires? I am with you”. The woman will then feel her man to be present – attuned.
Does that sound to you, Respected Reader, as some airy-fairy psycho-babble? I hope not. If it does you are in serious need of a “tune up”! Attunement is a present to the other by maximizing your presence to him or her.
Some people are genetically more gifted toward this capacity than others. Some people are more sensate oriented. They see, feel, and touch more naturally than others. Their heart, their being, opens up more easily.
For those not so gifted in the area of attunement there are ways of developing it – if one is committed to work on it. Usually emotional barriers need to be overcome so that emotional connection can take place. For some these barriers, defenses, are strong and resistant to opening up.
One of the joys of my practice is helping to bring down this hardened façade which keeps a person clueless and not fully present, attuned, to the other person. More often than not it is men who present the greatest challenge. Most women are wired to be more emotionally present. Yet, many area not. Aculturation has a lot to do with this. “Big boys don’t cry – don’t show emotions – they are a sign of weakness”.
Love is the door opener – particularly where there is no defense needed. For example, with one man I asked him to talk about his son. As he was talking his eyes welled up with tears. His wife was present and she saw that this “hard ass” man could soften. She held his hand and he hugged her. Connection – attunement – filled the room.
Music, hugs, massage, meditation, nature, some readings, can be avenues leading to greater personal attunement – both to self and with another. Verbalizing caring thoughts and feelings, and observations, to a loved one can help make that connection. A caveat here: criticism kills attunement possibility. Walls go up. Door closed! Attunement opens that door. It is inclusive. “I am with you in a loving way”.
I hope this writing has helped you understand and practice this loving act. When present in this manner you and the one you love rise to a higher level of consciousness. It is worth the effort!