Coffee-Time Christmas Presents To Each Other

Coffee Time Christmas Day 2012

Pat and I do not exchange Christmas presents. I think there is something odd about that, but I accept our tradition. And Christmas cards? Several years ago we found a couple that we really liked and so instead of buying new cards each year we bring these two cards out each year and set them on the Fireplace mantle next to the 18-inch artificial tree. This is now our tradition.  In this setting, our 2012 Christmas Day began with meditation followed by an extended and particularly intimate two-and-a-half-hour coffee time that we both accepted as the richest presents we could have given to each other. I share a bit of this exchange in the words that follow.

Gary: My Pathwork buddy Jenny and I had our bi-weekly 90-minute exchange on Christmas Eve. I passionately shared with Jenny what was up with me regarding a vision for Mid-Atlantic Pathwork. She was fine with the content I shared, but her most valuable mirroring was the energy she saw that exuded from me as I described to her what was arising in me regarding this vision. Jenny noticed that this vision framework was similar in content to a workshop she and I had developed several years ago but never put on. Perhaps now we could offer it!  Jenny said my thoughts have crystalized over the years in reaching this new vision statement and that this vision now struck her as being truly ME. In this vision I was manifesting what was alive in me.

But my enthusiasm notwithstanding, I wonder if I shall actually pull off moving this vision forward through our Pathwork Council and then through our Helper Community and finally seeing it through to its manifestation in some way over the next few years. I have a pattern of stopping short of the goal – such as not putting on the workshop Jenny and I worked up years ago. I also stopped short on my PhD program after completing all the coursework, did not go on in executive management after serving as CEO of SDRC for 3+ years, did not become a pastor in the Lutheran Church, etc. But I could see that none of these endeavors were truly me. While I had some energy for them, they were not my passion from my Essence. On the other hand my passion for the Pathwork Lectures resulted in my completing the recording of all 258 standard lectures over a six year period. I did not, at least not yet, however, claim Pathwork Helpership after completing Helpership Training — and I am inwardly ambivalent about my helpership.  Where my passion is clear things seem to get done: in particular the Lecture Recording Project, my website, and my blog. I wonder what will happen now with the Pathwork School Vision that I seem to have so much energy for these days, energy for these things that feel truly ME.  Pat: I notice that the things you mentioned like the recordings and website are solitary projects whereas the Pathwork School Vision would require leadership, which is NOT solitary. It requires engaging and organizing other people.

Gary: Changing the subject, and I’m nervous to bring this up, but I want to explore where your and my relationship fits into all of this energy. Where is the energy of US in the real ME? For our relationship there is a longer view needed. I could envision an outcome more clearly with the recording project and website and even with the Pathwork School Vision. But a vision for our relationship is not nearly as clear. It was clear in the early stages of our relationship, but so much of that pseudo-clarity was my own projection of some ideal. In truth I have not experienced what I say I long for in our relationship. Pat: I don’t know what you mean by that. Gary: I see that there are still significant blocks and obscurations as to the nature of Union – the male/female Union that connects us, connects you and me.

Pat: So what you are saying is that the energy in you for, say, your blogging, is stronger and more focused whereas the energy for our relationship is not nearly as clear or focused, but is rather more diffuse? Maybe the energy for our relationship is of a different order or at a deeper level – something more methodical that grows over time, not something that is created as a project where you can envision the results. In that way our relationship is more like a spiritual path, a journey, than it is a creation. Love evolves and is of a different order from projects that get done. Gary: Perhaps. That different order has not evolved as yet in my Soul.

Pat: And of course I’d much rather you’d be focused on this deeper order than on leadership because leadership has a flavor of performance and you are more drawn to performance, you can envision an outcome several years down the road. Love does not involve performance and is more challenging for you to embrace. Love is its own reward so to speak and not some performance that can be witnessed and applauded.   Gary: This is true. Pat: It is good to say our relationship is of a different order from leadership or your blogging or website. From the time I first knew you some 13 years ago you could say with such clarity that what you truly longed for in life was “a whole, mutual, physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual relationship with a woman.” That was pretty clear, but the obstacles to such a relationship are much more profound because of your conditioning and your blocks. You would really have to “get down to it” to deal with what is necessary to manifest such a whole and mutual relationship with me or any other woman.

Pat (continued): In couplehood you and I are choosing a specific path with specific ways – a specific way to create love, a specific path of purification to make room for love to arise freely and spontaneously from our hearts. Experientially you do not yet have the sense that this couplehood is truly the way for you.

You said something recently about our relationship, that it is where you are most open to Mystery – and that is probably correct. But your life-long conditioning leaves you more amenable to some of these other endeavors – like leadership or recording the Pathwork Lectures. But this conditioning where you feel relatively comfortable with performance leaves you with a lack of the FEEL of connection, a lack of the FEEL of love.   Gary: Yes, that FEELING is the Mystery for me. Just what is the FEEL of connection, what is the FEEL of love? My mind acknowledges that there is something it doesn’t Know or hasn’t yet experienced. So this is the Mystery in the sense of how can I Know what I have not yet experienced.

Gary (continuing): I have had strong relationships with women in recent years, but I could not or would not have been able to have the conversations you and I have or to enter into the sessions you and I have with Sage and Anthony. Pat: True, but there was a preciousness that you hold onto in someway with these earlier relationships and everything else gets compared to those experiences. These experiences of relationship with a woman have become a hallmark for how you want your relationship to be with me. Perhaps these earlier experiences are attachments to the experience of emotional connection that you did not have with your mom. Gary: Yet these days I am now aware that I am on the downside of these emotional waves, these emotional tsunamis of Eros if you please, that I experienced in these earlier relationships. Pat: Your life, the way it has been, the webbing of thoughts and feeling seem to feed that need for intensity. Some of these relationships were the highest waves in your life, yes, true emotional tsunamis. You may fixate on that tsunami energy, making it a solid thing. Gary: This is so helpful to discuss. Pat: Absolutely, so critical in understanding what our relationship is all about, this is our path within the path.

Gary: How differently we each viewed our relationship in the beginning. You were seeing our amazing simpatico in our spirituality; in me you saw the opportunity to have a spiritual buddy. I, on the other hand, was still experiencing the tsunami energy of Eros with you and wanting that reciprocated. My energy was a projection onto you and so was illusory, but it is what I wanted and what I assumed we would have. But for years we were two ships, two Souls, passing in the night. Pat: We did not have a clue what our relationship was all about.

Gary: Each of us was fixated on what we thought we wanted from the relationship and were blind to aspects that our Souls wanted from the relationship, at least my Soul. I think our Souls maintained the connection and brought us each into our respective shadow lands where our work of deep development is needed. We need to slow down and dare to open our eyes to what is and what possibly lies beyond in the Mystery of US. This is not about holding on to wishful thinking but rather building faith in the Mystery that our relationship is. Pat: My grandson and I visited the zoo last week, and in the nocturnal house saw a Potto. This animal moves slowly, softly, and in the dark. This is who you live with when you live with me!

Pat (continuing): Aren’t we lucky! I don’t want a tsunami, rather just the capacity moment by moment to open to the Mystery of relationship and love. Gary: As we are doing this morning. But the relational tsunamis in my life were necessary to tear me loose from my moorings, moorings where I had been so tied down to performance and projects for my joy and sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. I had no idea about what relationships could offer in the form of powerful energy within until my relational tsunami came along and created a midlife crisis!    Pat: And cast you into the Sea of Life!

Pat: When it comes to power, I don’t perceive my energy as terribly female in nature. Mostly it is my masculine energy that I’ll use to get what I need. These energies live in all of us and we need to get to know them. Gary: And I have usually taken the feminine (passive aggressive?) energy to get what I want. I think that is based on Mom having strong masculine energy. Unconsciously I experienced Mom’s masculine energy and I wanted her to wake up to her feminine energy. My life agenda regarding relationships with women was formed, and I set about to awaken the feminine in women whose masculine energy was strong, like Mom’s. I believe this is the Imago Match that comes up in Imago Relationship Therapy. So in ways I tapped into your masculine energy, like Mom’s, and wanted to be an instrument of awakening of your beautiful feminine energy. Thus it was with my earlier tsunami relationship as well. I would be the knight in shining armor! What an illusion!

Pat: In the dynamic of US you do call forth my feminine aspect that you longed for from Mom but could not receive, and likewise I call forth your feeling nature – what I wanted from Dad but could not have. My Dad would support the coming forth both of my feminine energies and of your feeling nature.  He would want that for me, for us. This is not the dad I knew but the Essence of Dad I Know and Feel energetically today. Gary: And conversely, I think Mom would want me to realize my feeling nature and would want you to realize your full feminine energy. Your feminine energy would encourage my feeling self to come out – something that Mom could not offer me. Conversely, your dad, wanting your feminine energy to come out, would want my emotional availability to come out to make your feminine self both safe and longed for. His lack of emotional availability could not give you this, but now he would want this for you.

Gary (continuing): My emotional unavailability (part of my patterned behavior) pushes away any feminine energy coming out of you.  So while I consciously say I want more of your feminine energy, my emotional unavailability pushes your feminine energy away and attracts your masculine energy instead. And I am more comfortable and familiar with this masculine energy because, in my patterned behavior, I know how to deal with that masculine energy (I learned how to do that with Mom). And this patterned behavior of my emotional unavailability, in pushing your femininity away, reinforces my image that all women have strong masculine sides and need to have their feminine nature called forth. I know, how hilarious!

And vice versa for you. While you consciously want me to be emotionally available, your strong masculine energy from your patterned behavior pushes away my emotional availability and attracts my emotional unavailability. And you know how to deal with my emotional unavailability (you learned how to do that with Dad). And this patterned behavior of strong masculine energy, by pushing away emotional availability in me, reinforces your image that all men are emotionally unavailable. Whew! This awareness is our Christmas present to each other!

Pat: It is so challenging when we get into these subjects. I just want to get out of here. Gary: Me too! For me to open to my truth that, for all kinds of reasons, my energy for US is less felt than my energy for writing this blog, say, – well that is a HUGE, and it is so scary knowing this about myself. And I want to push down this fear! Can I please get up now and work on the MAP School Vision Statement! This desire to escape would be my pattern speaking. But we don’t go there. Instead we stay here and do our work on our USness – our path within the path, our edge. I am reminded of the Gateway Prayer in Pathwork Lecture 190 Importance of Experiencing All Feelings, Including Fear – The Dynamic State of Laziness (open Gateway Prayer Quote).

Shared in love, love of the Christ within, Gary