A Couple's Intensive — Part 5: Afterwards
Contractions and Splits
Sunday [July 8] brought contraction as we entered the mechanics of driving. We left Toronto and drove to Niagara Falls — the Canadian side, and were taken in by the beauty. We then crossed over into New York and drove to Geneva — our destination for quietude for two days.
In reflection I could see the splits that arose during the retreat, the inner vs. outer split so common for an Enneagram THREE — a heart-centered type but a heart covered by performance in the outer world. Or the Mystic vs. the organizationally-oriented person, or the heart vs. mind split.
Monday and Tuesday we stayed at a lovely Bed and Breakfast in Geneva, New York: Three Tree Inn run by Paul and Marcia Swensen. On Monday before breakfast we drove to Lake Seneca, which is one of New York’s Finger Lakes, just to connect as the sun arose across the lake.
As we sat there, coffee from McDonald’s in hand, I shared the depth of one of my relationships that began when I was fifty – and, from a heart space, I felt and shared with Pat the shattering of my soul that I felt at the ending of this relationship. I could feel into just how I allowed my Life Force to be crushed and recognize how I protected myself from the pain of the of the other’s “No!” to answering the call of my soul’s longing for love and connection with her soul – I covered the pain by erecting an impenetrable wall of encrustations around my heart. These encrustations included numbness and busyness — so common for an Enneagram THREE. I was so confused about my life and relationships, a real wreck during and after this “impossible” relationship. “Impossible,” since I brought so much ignorance and immature fragmentation into the relationship. First, all of these areas of ignorance and immaturity had to be discovered, accepted, and worked through.
I could also feel into and share the more chronic impact from childhood of my heart’s unanswered longing for Mom’s expression of warmth and affection. This unavailability of warmth and affection — Mom’s emotional unavailability to me — also led to heavy encrustations around my heart, encrustations again including busyness, performing, and numbing out. This wounding of my heart also needs to be witnessed, fully felt, grieved and forgiven — first by me, and then shared and felt by Pat. And the same is true for Pat and the several instances she has shared with me about her life. We need to come to each other in our pain and connect from there – that would be, as we learned at the intensive, emotional intercourse, something with which neither of us is very familiar.
Both of us have entered into our several intimate relationships in a fragmented way – rather than in a way that would bring the wholeness of each of ourselves into a relationship with the wholeness of the other. We shared the pain we have caused ourselves and our various partners. In our ignorance and unconsciousness we truly have brought our share of pain into the world.
In particular now, we have caused ourselves and each other such pain in our respective fragmentations in our current relationship with each other. We saw that we had to fully feel, grieve, and let go of the deep pains we each experienced both in earlier relationships as well as in our current relationship with each other. Only then would we be free to come into our relationship in the whole way we each know we long for but which is still a Mystery for each of us. Per the theme of our intensive, we are open to the possibility of something beyond our experiences of connecting to date.
This feeling of our pain is healing our unique dualistic splits, and when we do this we do this for the healing of this unique split for all humankind. As my helper reminded me recently, while Jesus Christ healed the split of Life and Death for the benefit of all beings, each of us has a unique split we are invited to heal for the benefit of all beings.
This Monday morning time was most precious to Pat and me as we connected on an emotional level — picking up where we had gone during our intensive. Yes, we can do this work!
On being a Mystic revisited
After breakfast on Monday I shared my sense of being a mystic in my approach to life with my veteran Pathwork Buddy in our regularly scheduled 90-minute phone call. She did not quite see me as a mystic. For her a Mystic is more one who is longing for the experience of Oneness with God. She shared her sense that she and I it seems to her are more drawn to find what makes life work and gives life meaning, and that both of us have found Pathwork to be a path that leads to an understanding of life that works for each of us – when we use the methods and tools of Pathwork to the depth of their capability.
For her Pathwork is indeed the Pearl of Great Price that Jesus spoke of. I found that I agreed with her on this. So perhaps I am not a mystic in the true meaning of the word, but I am drawn to the Pathwork Lectures as my Pearl of Great Price, and as for her, the Pathwork Lectures are also my instruction manual for life, my bible. We spoke of the challenge of finding our Tribe of likeminded folks that could feed off these lectures, grow through them as a primary source of inspiration, and support each other in this quest for Life and Freedom as we work with the Pathwork Lectures and methods.
Here once again I see that I overly rely on others’ definitions of who they see me to be. The descriptors (mystic or whatever) are not important. Being who I am is what is important!
Our phone conversation closed with noting the timelessness we experience in our regular 90-minute phone conversations and in the few days that Mary, she and I spent at Topsail in May. We concluded that timelessness is a characteristic of being with our Tribe.
Shared with love, Gary