QA237 QUESTION: Since I’ve been on the Path, I have started to feel inside myself and experience myself. It makes me feel very scary, but it’s still good. I’ve been seeing this man on and off for two years, and as I’ve been feeling myself, our relationship has been really getting wonderful and we were talking about moving in together. Recently, I heard about a wonderful apartment and we talked about seeing it. And then something terrible happened. We got defensive, and I know I felt very unreceptive and very pushy and had a lot of trouble feeling myself. I feel I’m really alienating this man. I feel out of control with it. And at the same time, I feel the apartment is also a lesson. Can you comment on this?
ANSWER: Yes. The meaning of your experience is that growth is a very gradual process. Movements are made forward, and with each step of expansion there is another movement that wants to retract. Now, specifically in your development in the area of relating, of opening up to your feelings, of being capable of sustaining feelings, of wanting and cultivating intimacy in a mutuality, you have come quite a way, as you seem to be aware of yourself.
However, you are still very frightened of further steps in creating a more intense mutuality. It is only when you are disconnected from that fear that the problem arises, because it is then that you begin to act out in ways where you lose connection and connectedness. You seem to be helplessly in the throes of a force that pushes you and that becomes then quite frightening.
However, this is only the case because there is some part of you that chooses not to know what you are doing, that chooses not to take responsibility for, not to own, the fact that you fear further steps of closeness. If you could share this with your partner, many negative manifestations you now encounter – and that are a result, not so much of your fear but much rather of denying this fear – would not have to exist.
In fact, you would find that your partner has similar fears and they could be shared. You wouldn’t have to push yourself, perhaps beyond where you can at this time go, in a conflict. As you allow yourself this space, you would perhaps sooner become able to make more tentative steps toward each other.
But as it is, you are ashamed. You think if you express and expose your fears, that you would be rejected, that you therefore need to pretend that this is not so, and you therefore produce other obstacles. You have the misconception that the other person, your partner, is totally free from similar inner fears and resistances. And the same applies to him.
If you could express your fears, without negativity, you might find him relieved and able to share his fears, and you could let yourselves and each other off a tremendously complicated, involved double hook.