Everybody wants to be loved ~ don’t they? Underneath all the disappointments, failed romances, obscured and distorted by judgements, rejections, abandonments, humiliations, arrogance and cynicism – don’t we all just want to be loved?
Truth now … or have you become so numb to the pain of love – that you no longer – know?
I notice here and there, maybe more here than there – that for the most part, it is much easier to focus on what we are getting in the love department or not getting. It smarts when we miss out. The smarting sharpens the focus of our perception. We are much more in touch with even reactive to … what we are not receiving.
But are we seeing the situation clearly? Or are we only seeing – what we expect to see … None of us remember this but in antiquity before feelings were conditions requiring pharmaceutical treatment – there used to be this quaint olde tradition called ‘woo-ing’. T’was the origin of ballads or love songs, written and sung to soften the heart of a lady love by yon suitor.
Here’s Neil giving it a bit of olde school woo-ing … he fesses up about the finger of blame.
A little harder, more challenging, more confronting – if we are in relationship – is to bravely eyeball just what it is we are offering to a partner.
What we are giving?
In order to do this – it is necessary to look at ourselves from the outside. I have noticed – for many people – this is literally terrifying and … prepare yourself for a massive defensive response – maybe even RAGE. Wait for this to subside. The question is still … important and some part of you is asking it, although this part may be unconscious – hence the big reaction.
How do we come across to our partner?
Are we a fun person to be with or are we a whingeing great sook and pain in the #$%@! Are we constantly raging, angry, frustrated with ourselves? The world? Our situation? Are we only generous with our observations, criticisms, judgement and comments on short comings? In short – truthfully – what are we giving?
Are we, for example giving unconditional support even love? Or … Are we offering something much less palatable like unconditional judgement and criticism?
If you are sitting there comfortably identifying how my list TOTALLY and COMPLETELY in every respect applies to your partner … STOP! PLEASE. Look at yourself first. How’s the intimacy going? Huh? Hands up whose still got it? … Mmmmmmm – interesting huh?
Giving love is much harder than receiving it or … have I got that the other way around? Now that I think of it, if there is even the smallest doubt that we are undeserving or unworthy – receiving love is going to be tough, we may even judge the one who loves us as unworthy because they … care for us. Unexpected?
The journey people take in counselling inevitably wanders down the road of relationships past, present and future because we come to know ourselves first through relationship. We see ourselves in the eyes, reflected in the mind of the one with whom we are in relationship. Mostly – that reflection is … incomplete and full of judgements.
I am yet to meet the person who reflects wholeness – entirely, consistently, all the time – perhaps my Grandmother. I have come to believe the reason this is so rare is in part because seeing wholeness, being whole is not solely the result of applying insight and reason. I believe the ability to see wholeness is the result of authentic and consistent spiritual practice and development. It is the result of – wisdom not cognition, definitely not bullying, demanding, dominating, cajoling or any other form of manipulation.
We first see and experience ourselves as parts usually. Partners are usually imperfect mirrors themselves and so they can only reflect parts of us back to us. This is painful and leads to resentments, judgements and even anger. Anyone we are in relationship will reflect something back to us, about us and if our sense of Self is wobbly or has wobbly foundations – this will rock and may even shatter our sense of Self.
We are in relationship with – people such as husbands, wives, children, partners, friends, parents, siblings, colleagues … doesn’t matter where you go in the business of being human, you will crash in to a relationship with someone and they will reflect back to you, a part of yourself rather than – the whole of your Self. This is painful.
Relationships are the foundation of our identity and also the world we are living in. Many of the relationships we are currently involved in only reflect a small part of ourselves back to us. For mysterious reasons – most of our emotions are marginalised in most intimate relationships. We make agreements with each other unconsciously. We say to each other after the initial biochemical cloud of falling in love evaporates … “OK, you be this for me and never change, never challenge me … and I will be this for you and never change.”
This kind of relationship – over time – becomes a prison because something there is that does not love a wall and wants it down. We all want intimacy – but what this means, is – we want to see and be seen for who we are as a complete whole being, not a tortured broken wounded soul shattered and in pieces. But how? How do we create intimacy within and intimacy without?
For many people – the questions – that bring them to my office for the collaboration transformative experience that is counselling – eventually become spiritual and philosophical in nature. People find themselves eventually face to face with the big questions. Who am I? What am I doing here? Why did this happen to me? Why is the world so broken? Why are people in so much pain?
These are great questions … great questions. I encourage everybody to go more deeply into relationship – face your shadow and as you do you will heal yourself, help heal the other [the one who is looking at you] and create sustainable healthy intimacy within yourself and within the world you inhabit.
I have a clip to help begin digesting this complex network of concepts, experiences and histories – all of which go in to the building of the Self. This is Marianne Williamson talking about Intimacy and Relationships as a vehicle for transformation of and building the Self. Gentle warning – she is speaking of her personal journey and consequently she swings to the spiritual, also it will initially sound like a book promotion, which it is. Stay with it – the Gold comes.