Below is the precise text of an email that I recently sent to a friend regarding her struggle in her relationship. Anna and I are seeing this dynamic in so many of our friends and in the world around us. Having sent the email, I found what I had written so helpful to me in my struggle that I want to share it with others. Whether you are in a relationship or single, I hope that there is something here that supports your growth.
This is extra-ordinarily painful.
Of course what seems like the easiest way forward is to cut and remove the relationship from your life. To once and for all make it crystal clear that the relationship is ended and re-group with your children and achieve some stability and harmony in your life as a single woman. This is of course an option.
What I do know for sure is that in life there are always two options:
- See life as happening to us, i.e. blame the other
- Ask why we are creating what is happening to us
It is not difficult to see why you might create this dynamic (this reality). It is of course your template for men, starting with your father. The reason it keeps happening is purely and simply to present the opportunity to heal it, i.e. to change it. It is very tempting for all of us to think that we can remain single, do the work on ourselves, heal our patterns and then enter into a relationship with a healthy man and a healthy dynamic. However all the evidence suggests otherwise. The healing occurs through working through the unhealthy dynamic as it arises – what a bummer….!
For some reason (or maybe for no reason) dysfunctional dynamics between men and women are erupting like a dormant volcano at the moment. It seems that no-one is immune (other than maybe the heavily medicated). Certainly Anna and I are not immune from this and we both find it excruciatingly painful and agony a lot of the time. Why? I have no answer other than it is time to heal this stuff in the individual and the collective. In fact the only way to heal this in the collective is by healing it in the individual. Every man and woman and every couple that makes a commitment to work through this revolting war between men and women is healing the collective by doing so. We are all struggling to keep going.
The truth is that right now the optimum area of spiritual growth (and psychological & emotional growth) for you and (for him) is to keep going and move through the dynamic of this relationship. It is relatively easy to be single and spiritual. Struggling with another and attempting to sustain intimacy is agony because we are constantly being confronted with the parts of ourselves we have buried deepest.
In any relationship, there are always only 3 options, as follows:
- (A) Leave the relationship
- (B) Stay and continue to be miserable
- (C)Grow (which is blissful and agony)
Many people choose (A) in the belief that they are continuing the search for their soulmate. The truth is that they are probably with the one person who can help them grow most and growing is too painful. Most people choose (B) – it is astonishing what people will put up with in relationship year after year after year. Very few people choose (C).
Both Anna and I know the agony of keeping going when you want to quit. It takes great courage.
The truth is that it is not so easy to create intimacy with the next person. You have it temporarily but the dynamic always returns to the point where you last left it with the former partner.
Therefore, if you want to choose (C), then the only thing to do is to ask the question “Where am I running away from the relationship right now?” If you are prepared to look at your partner’s behaviour as a mirror for your own (unconscious) behaviour then growth is possible. If not, then you both stay stuck.
This e-mail has been difficult for me to write. There is a large part of me that simply wants to tell you to cut and run. It would create some short-term relief. This reflects that part of me that wants to cut and run from Anna (truly only really cutting and running from myself). The point is that this would not be serving you at the deepest level, it would not be coming from integrity within me and it would not be my truth. I do genuinely feel that you and he have the opportunity to create True Love with each other and a shared life of intimacy and harmony. The problem is that we want it to be easy or at least easier than it is. It is not easy, in fact most of the time it feels IMPOSSIBLE because it means letting go of so many positions which have defined who we are for many decades.
Of course it appears that he is the bastard; he is the one who keeps running away etc etc. It is perfect for you; it allows you to hide from the deeper truth. Since I have known you, you have been surrounded by men who are unavailable. Why are you not attracted to a man who is totally available and wants to sweep you off your feet and take care of you for the rest of your life? One answer maybe that such men don’t exist but a better answer would be because if such a man showed up you would run a mile and be destructive in as many ways as you could imagine. Of course I have no way of proving this but I am very confident that this would be the case.
I wish I could sugar-coat this for you. I wish I could sugar-coat it for myself. I cannot. I do not want to add to your pain or your misery but I owe you the respect to speak my truth.
I know you are seeing Anna tomorrow which I think will be helpful. By all means spend up to 50% of your time bitching about men (after all men spend a lot of time bitching about women) but please spend the remaining 50% of the time enquiring how you can grow.
I feel a lot of love & compassion for you right now and I am deeply committed to supporting you in any way that I can.
With love & courage my friend.