Written for men… with value for women.
I sit. And sit. And sit some more. All weekend. Sitting.
I’m at Buddhist boot camp. A silent Zen meditation retreat. There are fourteen of us in the room.
We move like one entity.
We chant together.
We sit together.
We bow together.
We eat together.
And yet not a word is spoken.
As I meditate, I have many moments of clinging to thoughts, monkey mind, and then it dissipates, a moment of peace. This cycle continues, on and on. And then comes the deep dive… into The One.
SHE… the one… the one I’ve brought into my life recently… the one with whom I’ve chosen to partner. The one with whom I fill my heart. It’s still new. There’s a lot of energy.
She comes. And keeps coming. Rod Stewart comes as well… You’re in my heart. You’re in my soul…
She’s with me even when she’s not. It’s as if I am touching her. Seeing her smile, her eyes. We’re merging. It’s beautiful. And intoxicating.
I am also fully aware that we, as humans, are the only animals that create realities in our minds that have not actually happened.
I imagine holding her. I see a landscape. A place where we are in each other’s arms. I am touched by her smile, warmth, and light. It feels like love and… to be honest…
…it’s taking up a lot of damn air time in my psyche, and I’m starting to feel a bit claustrophobic.
I enjoy being with her and all, but I need some space. I push her away, but like a Siren she seduces me back, ready to swallow me up.
She’s big in spirit. She’s effusive. She’s strong.
But why won’t she leave me alone? I feel overwhelmed by all this emotion. I need her out. Out of my psyche.
And then…. CUT!
I open my eyes. A green mountain stands before me through the window. A dense pitched grove of evergreen trees. I take a breath. Then another. And another. I see more trees.
I imagine her being peeled off me like silly putty. It’s happening. The process of detachment. The sense that I’m okay without her. This process known as individuation.
And I get it. It’s not her. It’s me. I’m the needy one. I am swallowed up by my own desire. My needy lover. My greedy little boy. I’m doing exactly what Sensei says I shouldn’t.
I am attaching, clinging, being neurotic… with love.
This mental drama I experienced was one that was clearly between me and me. And yet it’s one I often hear from my male clients.
I can’t imagine life without her. I need her. She’s everything to me.
And it gets in the way of honesty, integrity, and speaking hard truths.
She doesn’t see me. She’s always in my shit. I can never be enough for her.
In love or not, in cohabitation or not, in marriage or not, in relationship…. How do you tame your anxious lover to stay in your power?
How do you maintain healthy individuation and nourishing connection at the same time?
FIRST, don’t project onto her what’s a problem within you. Tame your anxious lover by talking to him. Give him what he seeks from her. Know how old he is – five, ten, fifteen. And bring your adult male back online.
SECOND, if you swing to the opposite side of the spectrum, avoid all intimacy and check out from her, remember what you fear is what you seek. And that is connection. Face the scared parts of you that fear vulnerability.
Separate what you fear will kill you from what will actually kill you. Intimacy and vulnerability will not kill you. In fact, the opposite. They will make your life richer.
THIRD, bring a part of the love that you seek in your partner back to you. Literally, all the needs and wants she doesn’t fill, feel them. Now, do a 180 degree turn, and feel yourself receiving them.
Do this to come back to her, with King-like clarity with what you really need and want from her. You are refining, getting to essence. And it’s possible, there may be nothing at all there, but a gift between you and you.
FOURTH, don’t ask her to hold what you can’t hold yourself. You’re a man, not a boy. To become the man, you must hold, love, and confront the boy within you. Lead with the man in your interactions.
Previously Published on StuartMotola.com