Uncovering the Wars Within
Our 2-hour Sunday morning coffee time began with the subject of the diet I have started as of yesterday with the hope of dropping 10-15 pounds. Pat expressed the concerns of a mutual friend that my diet was coming out of my strong German WILL. So what do I say to that?
My mind meandered through various points. Where am I really on this diet? Gary: It is harder for me to be on these first two “Fat Days” of high food intake than I suspect it will be for me to hold the low-calorie regimen for the next 21 days. I am not really enjoying all this food intake as much as I thought I would. The regimen of having specific meals laid out for the entire week appeals to something in me. Is that my German Will at work? Perhaps.
Pat: Are you mastering your body – being a taskmaster with a whip? Gary: I notice that I like no variety, even though variety is allowed and encouraged. I am curious about this. As much as I hate authority in my life, I wonder why I prefer and have self-imposed having no flexibility in these next 21 days. Somehow this inner authority and regimen brings pleasure to me. And the actual weight loss complements that pleasure. And there is a real feeling of satisfaction and joy to drop a pound or two in a day or two. And there is joy in being self-disciplined in this. Again, is this German Will? And if it is, is that OK?
Yet if during the process I would gain, say 1 and ½ pounds in a day while adhering do the diet, I would not be angry and use expletives at myself or the diet. It would rather result in my quiet resolve to continue, I would have patience for it to work out. And there would be the thrill when this 1 and ½ pounds came off again. That’s what I’m aware of.
Pat: Speak to your motivation for doing this diet at all. Gary: I want to go into my doctor’s office in March for my annual checkup weighing my target weight of 165, having good blood pressure and low pulse rate, and cholesterol below 200. That is one motivation. Another motivation is that I just feel good about myself weighing 170 or less. With this achieved I will have taken weight off the table as an issue for me. I could say, “Gary, you are not fat!” That would be the lifting of a huge cloud it seems.
Gary: At the gym I feel good beginning my exercise regimen with the most challenging strength-training rounds. When those are complete I then enter what is for me the most challenging part, the elliptical workout to give my heart a chance to pump hard. When this aerobic exercise is complete I then conclude with the least taxing strength exercises. It all feels good as I leave the gym. I don’t feel as good if I skip the elliptical, though sometimes I do. So what is going on in my unconscious during all of this? I do not really know. But I do know that for some reason exercise has been important to me most of my adult life.
Pat then changed gears, but still was building on the wars within me in the matters of diet and exercise. She noted that we each have distorted inner energies, masculine and feminine. Pat: When my distorted harsh masculine comes up strong, that does not evoke your strong masculine energy in response. Rather it is viewed by you as the controlling parent or emasculating parent showing up. Gary: Yes, I withdraw when that energy comes up. I do not take you on. I do not stand my ground. Clearly this is material to work on in our relationship!
We then talked about the inner battles between our inner distorted masculine and inner distorted feminine. It was very revealing to see all that comes to play here. Pat: We are on to something here. Can you feel the rage of the distorted masculine in you? Gary: Yes, most simply in traffic in the attitude of entitlement that I take on. But as it relates to people and to our relationship it is too frightening to bring this rage out. It lives smoldering just beneath the surface in me. Pat went on to note that this is the energy that goes to war, that seduces, and noted that these energies are very charged and powerful. Full of rage. They break down any hope of trust. And we stay unconscious that these are the things that live in us, that live in all our relationships, with each other, within ourselves, and with the earth.
Gary: I am reminded of the kind of power depicted in the Lord of the Rings. Pat: This Ring material and material like it must have been channeled. Gary: This inner war is described in many spiritual teachings – and is critical in yours in AIP and mine in Pathwork. What these teachings teach goes something like this. The real power of Life lives in our real selves – the Positive Forces (Higher Self) and Negative Destructive Forces (Lower Self). These are so potent, so spontaneous and out of control that we have our enculturation imposed upon us from youth on, an enculturation by which we keep these deeper energies toned down and our being “suitable.” We create a mask, our Idealized Self Image, to keep the deeper out-of control energies of our real self in check. Everything is “nice.” And truly lifeless!
Our first step in spiritual growth is to dare to remove these masks, these Idealized Self Images, and begin to feel these inner potent energies that live inside of us. We need to explore them and in particular we have to work through the distortions contained in our Negative Destructive Energy. The Negative Destructive Energy in some sense has been brought about by what has been described in myth as The Fall, whatever that represents. The patterns are all the mask-self strategies to keep life safe. This all begins by looking at the war within ourselves – our inner wars that, unconsciously, get projected out onto others.
The work of spiritual and personal development involves working with our inner wars – coming to see them underneath the surface of our patterns, underneath our masks, underneath those idealized versions of ourselves. All scary powerful work, because we have developed these masks and patterns from our youth in order to be safe in the world, in order to get what we want in the world. It is hard to face the fact that these strategies have given us neither peace nor pleasure. They have to be given up and we have to begin on a fresh piece of paper. This is the couples’ work we think we shall be doing with Sage Walker and her husband Anthony. This is truly deep work. Scary, yet this seems so much to be where we are. It is the path we have somehow chosen it seems. I feel raw.
Pat: Goodness! That’s plenty. Gary: So as we look at where we are, where we have come from, and what lies ahead, is this work really helping us? This was the question posed in my previous blog entry. Just look at what gets uncovered so that we can enter more fully into life. But it will not be easy, especially emotionally. Is it the “right” way, the “right” path? One must discern that for oneself! But it seems “right” for us, our “Call” if you please.
Thus ended our morning coffee time. Much of the material we covered during our two hours of conversation was beyond what we are willing to share or even know how to share, but this summary may give one the feel for the waters we are traversing. Shared with love, Gary