I’d like to make a bold, yet obvious statement today:
We have all spent lifetimes running away.
From the pain, shock, shame, anger, sadness and more, we have been diverting ourselves and not effectively dealing with the real underlying issues of our pain.
The diversions are everywhere and universal: sex, drugs, rock and roll, the internet, movies and tv, reading, sleeping, etc.
Running away has been the main strategy for almost everyone, including me…and it is very understandable.
I feel tremendous compassion for the part of me that insists on running away.
To that part, it seems like it is the only option to a feeling of tremendous, overwhelming, unbearable pain and feeling lost.
I have discovered that it is only when I have had enough of what I don’t want, that I begin moving towards the REAL resolution to the pain…and that is to go inside and find out if what the mystics say is true – that there is a place within where there is no pain!
The difficulty is that I have to pass THROUGH pain to get there!!!
But thirty five years of moving inside tell me that the pain isn’t nearly as big as the mind says it is. And, the pain of running away is actually BIGGER!
It isn’t by accident that you and I have met here. It tells me that that this is your work too. And it is clear to me that wherever you and I are on the path of self-discovery, it is EXACTLY where we are supposed to be.
So in that understanding, we can relax a little…take a couple of deep breaths…and continue on…!
I am glad to be a part of a sangha (people on the path of discovery) here on facebook, where we can sit and connect and support one another through the challenges of life!
I read one of those “advice” columns, where the questioner says her dating website boyfriend of seven months still hasn’t taken his profile off the site. She knows because, being suspicious, she looked. The boyfriend had previously requested that they become “exclusive” and the woman then suggested that they remove their profiles. She writes that he says he’s a “one-woman” type of guy and doesn’t want to date anyone else. However he’s taken to looking on the dating service site a couple of times a week, and now she doesn’t trust him. She wants to know how she can broach this with him without sounding too accusing and psychotic. The columnist tells her to sit down with the boyfriend and admit what she’s discovered and to ask him why he’s chosen to remain “out there” and available. She says to tell him she enjoys his company and would like to believe what he says, that he doesn’t want to date anyone else, but that his actions say otherwise.
Now what’s wrong with this advice? It looks perfectly right, based upon what we have learned about relationships and monogamy and truth-telling. What’s wrong is that it is all predicated upon the illusion that the other is the source, plain and simple. If the other is the source, then we have to nail him or her down. We have to make sure that the source doesn’t stray too far away from us. And we certainly don’t want the other to look or connect with the “competition.” Meanwhile the other is also caught up in the game of source. He or she probably likes – at least for a while – that they are the source of the other’s love.
And they may very well find THEIR source of love in the other too. So they are willing to promise up and down that they will remain true and monogamous. For better or worse, that feeling of the other being the source evaporates more quickly for one person of the couple, and the hankering for another source comes into play. Or, it might just be hormones. There are numerous reasons to look at, connect with and enjoy the company of another person of the opposite sex. And that will only be trouble if the one looking and connecting is someone’s source of love! If that isn’t the case, then there is no need to control the other’s connections.
So when the other wants to look “out there,” he will no doubt be accused of being a deceiver, a liar. And there goes trust. There will be lies and sneaking and distrust and hurt feelings and all that goes into the jealousy routine on both sides. There is NO WAY that this kind of behavior can produce a relating that is satisfying and nurturing. And guilt and distrust lead to trying to change the other, trying to change ourselves to comport with the other’s needs, or running away/pushing the other away. Bingo…we’ve done it again. We’ve painted ourselves into the corner of only three responses that don’t work!
So what can we do? What kind of answer can we give to this young woman who is obviously in pain and in need of sound advice? Here’s how I would respond to her (knowing full well that a newspaper column will only tolerate a small amount of advice per question):
“My dear, I deeply understand your concern and feeling of distrust. Unfortunately these feelings are inevitable in all relationships which are dependent upon making the other person the source of love and happiness. And that is just about every relationship I have ever seen. So the first step is just to SEE that your friend is your source of love and that you are afraid of losing that source. In time, it will get clearer that your actions all come from that fear. Until there is a deeper understanding that the highest goal of love is to create freedom for the beloved, there will be situations like this, immersed in pain. I am not suggesting that there is an easy or quick way out of this situation. It requires help from a counselor who is steeped in this understanding. And it requires an honesty with your boyfriend, not just about his actions, but about your fears and concerns, things that were there before you ever met him. And yes, he too has fears and concerns that he can share with you if he is willing. Counseling together can be immensely helpful. However, regardless of what your boyfriend does, counseling will benefit you if you are ready to look more deeply at yourself to learn how you are wired, without paying much attention to how your boyfriend is behaving. The bottom line? Get thee to a counselor before the situation becomes too entangled in emotions and regret and this pattern continues with another…and another.”