Hedy was recently interviewed by Sarah Mathilde Domogala, a writer for a Dutch magazine called Happinez. Hedy was honored to have been a part of this wonderful piece. It has been translated in English for your convenience.
Hedy and Yumi Schleifer have just celebrated 50 years of marriage. Together they teach couples how to create powerful relationships. Their approach focuses on the “relational space” between two people, where the ‘being together’ is really taking place. Hedy says: “As people, we are wired to be connected. We are born in connection, and our essence is to be connected. When we are in dis-connection it hurts, because we are not living our human essence. In re-connection we heal.”
Hedy says: “The real connection between two people takes place in the space ‘between’ them. The space between can be thought about as a powerful “field” that can extend itself very widely. It is important to honour this space, and to acknowledge it as sacred. If we honour the relational space, our relationship will grow richer and richer, and it will be a safe place to reveal ourselves to the other person. But if we are not thoughtful about the space, it will pollute automatically. A critical look, a mean thought, or a negative remark is enough to make the space unsafe, and make us withdraw back in ourselves rather than stay in connection.”
Crossing the bridge
An affair can easily happen in a space that feels unsafe and distant, and betrayal and hurt will pollute the space even further. When infidelity is revealed, it shows how dangerous the space has become. It is important now for both partners to find the courage to restore their relational space and make it safe again. To heal this sacred space, Hedy and Yumi use what they call ‘the Bridge”.
This is an exercise where we cross an imaginary bridge from ourselves, through the relational space, to the world of our partner. We take our full awareness in the world of the other.
Hedy says: “We are all unique, our culture is unique, our language is unique. You go to bed late, I get up very early. We are different worlds, you and me. And to respect our common space, we will have to cross the bridge to learn to speak each others language, understand each others culture, and see how the sun sets and rises in each other’s world.”
You cross the bridge to the world of the other and leave all your beliefs, thoughts, emotions and judgments behind in your own world. With new eyes you look around in the world of the other. Who are you? What do you need? What is important to you? By discovering each other all over again they can begin to re-pair and be freed from the trap of the “perpetrator” and “victim” roles. Taking joint responsibility for their contribution to the pollution of the space as well as the welfare of the relationship is the opening for a new relationship together. Infidelity didn’t just harm the trust in the relationship, the terms of the relationship are no longer valid. Our love proved itself a lot stronger than assumed. I understand how we got to this point. Shall we come to new terms together?
Writer Sarah Mathilde Domogala
Illustrator Cecile Vrinten
Publication from Happinez 7 2015.