A Couple's Intensive – Part 2: First Session
Session 1 – Thursday Evening
The first session was two hours long and was mostly Pat and I engaging in conversation while Sage and Anthony looked on. It was Sage’s and Anthony’s first chance to watch us interact – which we did, to levels deeper and riskier than our normal morning coffee times.
But we did not dive off into the uncontrolled deeper waters of the unconscious. After 90 minutes or so of Sage and Anthony watching the two of us interact in this way, Anthony talked about the shadow side of our couplehood. He noted that in the intensive we would be exploring how the unconscious pieces of each of us interact – that is, looking at all the various unconscious “couples” beneath the more conscious “couples” that Pat and I are.
Sage observed that we go deep, yes, but only so deep and then one of us stops and backs away from going still deeper to places where the real work happens. She was speaking mostly to me it seemed. “Part of you knows the danger of going deeper into the unconscious and stops you. Another unconscious part of you thrills at the chance of coming out, and then there is that part of you that simply thrills at your unfolding, and this part that thrills at your growth wants to come out too, and as it does you feel the joy of living more of yourself.
Sage observed that both of us need to be witnessed and celebrated for who each of us is in our true selves. “You are very hungry for this growth, and starved for recognition and praise for the progress you have made thus far. Anthony and I want to reflect back to you both that we are thrilled by who you are individually and as a couple.” This seemed like a new dimension to me – imagining counselor/helpers who thrill at who I am now, how I have grown, and confident that I shall grow so much more from my Essence.
Then I remembered that Moira does this in nearly every helper session with me – but some part of me blocks out this encouragement from counselors and helpers. I seem to see their role as being in a place of authority, and from that place of authority their job is to be critical, pointing out where I am screwed up, etc. From a very young age I have learned that authority figures reward me for being “good” and “obedient,” even submissive, but do not celebrate who I am in my Essence. So, “Yes, let us take in encouragement when it is offered!” I guess neither Pat nor I growing up had mentors who would inspire and encourage us in who each of us is. So we resist having mentors today. So this too would be my prayer — openness to encouragement in being who I am.
And as I look at my own moving into Pathwork helpership I realize that this is my role as a helper: encouraging and mentoring folks in their path to freedom and selfhood. Actually this is my experience when I am in a helpership role or even in conversation with family members and friends. “Yes, be the beautiful person who you are!”
In reflecting on this more I see that Pat and I need to celebrate and mentor each other, our own selves, and our couplehood. We need to be each other’s greatest fan, and our own greatest fan. My prayer includes that this inner encouragement will also arise in us, not from a prideful place but from our Essence: God facing and celebrating God – “And seeing that it was very good!”
And later: Could a part of celebrating our couplehood lead to marriage – a marriage born from within – a marriage of our two Essences in a holy Union, a commitment of our two Egos’ respective intention to surrender to and experience Union, to the degree possible in this lifetime of ours? Perhaps this ritual would symbolize a commitment to our Purpose, our Call? From this place I am pleased that we are not yet married, for such a marriage would have been born from shadowy unconscious places in us, external reasons or succumbing to conventionality rather than our True Selves’ Evolving.
Shared in love, Gary