When we're received with resonant understanding painful moments can lessen their charge and became part of the whole tapestry of life -- important but no longer able to hijack us into the eternal re-run of pain. When held this way, we can touch the memories with our attention the way one touches a newly repaired tooth with the tongue, searching for the old roughness, the old wound, but not finding it.
Sometimes we want to avoid placing our love and trust in someone, to protect our hearts and our life energies. And so there are deeper questions that we can use to check whether we're in relationship with someone who doesn't have capacity to be in relationship with us (eg. “Do I have a sense of mattering in this relationship?”). Read on for more questions we use to assess our empathy and efforts in relationships.