Dancing with the Mystery of Sexuality — Behind Walls
Pat’s and my Coffee Time – Sunday, 1/26/14
Continuing from Saturday’s Coffee time…
Gary: This morning I feel lost, like a closed sea anemone, I feel fear. There is no connection to the outside world from here. Pat: How can we free the closed anemone? How can we bring love to the lost one? How can we care and feel compassion for the lost one?
Gary: I notice I sense no upside to connection. Pat: Let’s pause here. This is a huge insight!
Gary: For me, being lost is not as negative as most people would think. I am not afraid of being lost. But on the other hand, what I fear is connecting to others. With Mom and Dad I did not feel welcome as I was – I could survive in that home environment only by performing the way they wanted. I split into two people – one was who I was when I was by myself, the other was who I was when I was with others. The former was authentic me, my Essence. The latter was my mask self. Dad wanted me to play the piano, but this was not my thing. Dad wanted me to be social and to date girls, but the very idea terrified me. I would not ask a girl out on a date. So for my first dance in ninth grade he forced me to call the girl of his choice. Even my younger brother Paul looking on remembers the place and the trauma of this call brought me. He, too, was scared. My dad wanted me handsome, I was fat. Being overweight, thinking myself fat, became a lifelong challenge until a few years ago.
Gary (continued): Without a felt sense of being welcomed into the world, I saw the world as a dangerous, a place where I could not be myself. So I created a wall that protected me, my Essence. With my impervious protective wall the world became safe, like staying in the house safe out of the rain. Unconsciously I decided that I, that is my Essence, my Real Self, would never come out from behind my protective wall. To do so would mean annihilation of my Essence. Pat: In that space as a baby, in utero even perhaps, but let’s say here that baby Gary, not having any eye-to-eye welcoming from Mom, would feel like the world would annihilate him.
Gary: To survive I created a defensive structure for all of life! I can feel the truth of this, a lifetime of defending against connecting with others from my heart, from my Essence. Or perhaps it’s not that I don’t connect, but rather that I refuse to feel that connection, fearing that connection means annihilation. If this latter is the case then I am living in denial of my Essence, denying the love that seeps in and out through the cracks in my wall. This is really sad. I can feel my sadness.
Pat: Because the eye-to-eye welcoming from Mom was SO absent and your sensitivity so great it means that the wall keeping you safe and isolated from others is strong, nearly impervious. You are really in that space this morning, behind the wall. You can feel it. Gary: Yes I can. How to be with this reality, or with this illusion, the connection I refuse to see. How both of us can be with this walled up one.
Pat: There is such wounding here. Can we bring awareness and mercy? Can we have eye-to-eye connection with this lost one, this walled off one who feels threatened with annihilation. Can our eye-to-eye contact with him show him he is safe? Can our own breath be working through this? Can our breath bring something to bear beyond what we now know? Gary: Great words, Pat, but they speak of a space beyond where I am. I feel like I am standing on the high dive. Can we be with the terrified one looking down at the water far below!
Pat: Inquiry is the best way for you, the safest it seems. So can we bring love here? Loving the so-lost one and so-protected one? Any movement out from behind the wall feels like annihilation on the next breath. Bringing the sacredness of our embodiment to bear. This feels correct. Gary (confused): Our embodiment introduces still another wall! I do not want to be embodied. For example, I remember my November 1996 intensive with Sr. Catherine Griffiths in Massachusetts, the person who would see images of me in our sessions. As we have discussed often, she saw me first off as an embryo in Mom’s womb wrapped from head to toe in chains and cords. She was shocked by what she saw. I did not know what to say or do in response. I had no knowledge that I was so bound up from the beginning of my life, so not wanting to be in life, so not wanting to be embodied. And later in the intensive she saw a vision of the embryo sticking his hand out through the chains and immediately pulling it back – freedom in the outside world was terrifying and he preferred being bound up in chains. That session, 17 years ago, still rings true in me on some level, though now I am not thrown off by it; I can relate to its truth.
Pat: We are here to be with that bound up embryo! Gary: Can we welcome that being? There is compassion for this bound up one. We can be with him as he is so that he can FEEL the upside of connection – eye to eye.
Pat: This is in the field of US. Gary: Like on your side of US, the wounded girl Pat who was so traumatized at a young age. Pat: Let’s not go there just yet. What we’ve uncovered in you is HUGE and “right on the money.” This is the work right here during our coffee time together. And to go beyond where we are into all the issues of physical sexuality that we get hung up on, well maybe we, when we go there, are pushing beyond our capacity of what is authentic in our relationship. Gary: When I said, half in jest, in our most recent couples session with Sage and Anthony, “It will be lifetimes before we get to healthy physical intimacy!” Anthony responded with the beautiful reminder and almost reverently, “But look at the foundation you are building!” His words were so heartfelt and we could take them in. We could be seen. Two scared rabbits in the back of a cage can’t really experience whole sexual union we long for!
Pat: Union comes only from authenticity – and we are building a foundation to get there. Let’s not put ourselves in spaces where we do not yet have the capacity or wherewithal to be. This pushing ahead of where we are is not helpful. Gary: Pushing takes us out of integrity. Both of us have to be free, out from behind the walls we have built to keep us “safe” and separated from each other. Pat: We may have to go through 100 more lifetimes to be free!
Pat (continued): In looking back at our coffee time this morning and other times I am in awe, wonder, and gratitude. What a blessing these mornings are! Gary: Yes, we do not have time for Mid-Atlantic Pathwork roles or other jobs. Our work is right here! Pat: I can feel that Sage and Anthony know the level at which we are working! Such a blessing for us.
Shared in love, Gary