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Both And

March 13, 2006

Someone asked me how to you choose to walk down a different street? For her it was in reference to relationships. As usual – I use writing to figure out my answer…

I have been thinking about the push/pull of your question: Do I date or do I stay single and work on myself?

Who am I to say? Been with the same man since 1983 – married him in 1988…

But the more I read of the Jungians and depth psychologists – the more I believe in the both/and view of life instead of the either/or.

I do either/or really well! Black/White Right/Wrong Good/Bad. Give me a situation and I can find the dividing line – the dichotomy. It is the mandorla – the paradox – the intersection of the two circles – that small almond shape in the joining of the two opposities where both exist and live in paradox that I am seeking.

So… why not both/and?

*Both* accept dates *and* work on your relationship with your inner Beloved. After reading “The Eden Project” perhaps he convinced you there is no Magical Other – out there? I know he convinced me – and I wept bitterly at the recognition. BUT – I keep coming back to relationships and WHY BOTHER if there is no Magical Other? And it always comes down to this…

I can do Inner Work until the cows come home and that’s all it is – Inner Work. It is easy to be a monk or a nun or a mystic or a hermit or in solitude (for me:) Where I struggle is in relationship with others. Unless there is a big payoff – I take my toys and go home – I would rather be alone than have to spend energy defining and defending myself to someone who doesn’t ____ me. (Fill in the blank – approve, like, admire, agree, love, understand, want…..)

Hollis speaks of the projections that we bring to relationships:
“I am counting on you to make my life more meaningful”
“I am counting on you to always be there for me”
“I am counting on you to read my mind and anticipate all my needs”
“I am counting on you to bind my wounds and fulfill the deficits of my life”
“I am counting on you to complete me, to make me a whole person, to heal my stricken soul”

Of course we don’t admit these to the other or to ourselves – but I know that I entered into relationship with my husband with all those expectations.

As Hollis says: “Romance feeds on the distant, the imagined, the projected; marriage sups on the common gruel of propinquity, ubiquity, and commanality.”

Of course at times I miss those heady days of passionate sex and deep connecting where the relationship is fresh and new and neither of us is showing our true nature – yet – we are still on our dating/party behaviour – and in that euphoria (literal euphoria created by the molecules of emotion identified by Candace Pert) we feel so alive and so LOVED! and so in LOVE!

Hollis continues…
“To have a mature relationship one must be able to say, ‘No one can give me what I most deeply want and need. Only I can. But I can celebrate and invest in the relationship for what it does offer.'”

So…
My husband and I work together and separately on becoming more of who
we are as individuals. But I couldn’t do this if I were not in a relationship.

A year ago I would have said tsk! tsk! shame on you! you just escaped a bad relationship what are you thinking accepting a date!?!? (And I cringe at how self-righteous I would have been!)

Now I have more faith in myself and others…

We cannot “walk down a different street” until we are done walking down the street with the hole in the sidewalk. The journey requires that we go through the stages of falling into the hole and blaming others, falling into the hole and recognizing it as the same pattern, falling in and climbing out, and then spending energy avoiding the hole. There is no shortcut to Chapter V.

Take what resonates and throw the rest away… I write for myself – to think things through – to understand and organize my thoughts and emotions…

I look forward to hearing the next chapter!

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