Monday, November 15, 2010
Addiction on the Ship
So many of us talk about the emotional roller coaster ride on the Relation-Ship. We often describe the "highs" and the "lows".That description might bring to mind the addictive nature of this Ship. And as with any addiction, does focus on the Ship point to an unconscious refusal to face our sorrow and pain? And have we observed what happens when we can’t move through the pain?
Perhaps we can shed some light on the addictive dynamics, which appear to operate in this social mind model of love. It is absolutely understandable, that if we do not meet our own pain directly, we are then likely to attach to something or someone to cover the pain and insulate us from our suffering. And like every other addiction, there will come a time when the designated medication strategy fails to meet our needs and keep our wounds covered up. So, now the pain rises once more out of the depths. This is the point at which we perceive our partner’s behavior to have changed. We conclude that he/she has failed to meet our needs.
Might we consider, that many feelings of lack, fear and pain, and much of our personal landscape of wounds, have been in storage, covered up by the Relation-Ship? Now, these all burst out of the vessel’s hull and out onto the deck. If we take a closer look at our own experience, we might observe some very interesting dynamics. How often have we seen love literally turn into attack, or withholding, or the total withdrawal of affection and kindness? This dynamic seems to be considered normal on the Ship.
And the usual scrutiny now falls onto the structure of this Ship, instead of the individual souls that are trying desperately to cling to its deck. All attention is gathered to evaluate the angle of the sail, the quality of the rigging, the play in the steering wheel, etc. We get out our magnifying glass to inspect the responsible participation of the shipmates and the rules of relation-shipping. We entertain the strategy of finding a new shipmate. We are consumed with the status of our ship.
At this point, our “wounded one” may still unconsciously hope that attack or manipulation will be sufficient to coerce our partner into a change of behavior. Think of all the effort expended in order to once more use the partner as a cover-up for our pain.
So, might we conclude that relationships do not cause unhappiness and pain, but rather bring out what is already there? And could this be the real treasure that lies at the core of the pain experienced with our partners? Could a conscious understanding of this transform relationship from its social-mind addiction form into its natural, organic possibility, to become a genuine “path to wholeness”. As we let go of the fixation on the Relation-Ship, voluntarily turn our attention back on ourselves and begin to observe what we project onto our partners, addictive relating would have an opportunity to be exposed.
So far, the normal “relating” paradigm can only present a dance between positive/negative options. As long as we look through the lens of its linear perspective, we will probably conclude that elimination of the negative emotional cycle within the relationship is the only solution to our relational problems. However, from our previous investigation of the shadow and its positive persona (see earlier blog postings), we are aware that these two poles are both aspects of the same dysfunction. And the dysfunction results from identifying with either polar opposite:
pain _____________________medication strategy
shadow __________________positive persona
negative cycle ____________ positive cycle
Of course, during a negative cycle, dysfunction is much easier to identify. The positive, or “in love” cycle, acts as the medication. And notice that “In love” can act like any other drug. When the drug is available, we feel “high”. When it is absent, we feel anxious and unstable.
The social mind’s relating form adheres to the same linear thinking, only now it is the linear mind of a trapped “collective” identity, an institutional standard. However, as all the great traditions of heart intelligence teach us, true love has no opposite. There is no polarity. It appears wherever there is a gap in the mind and the mind becomes still. In this stillness, past and future disappear and this vanishing point opens the gate of the heart. Here, all imposed forms dissolve.
Let’s imagine that walking through this door of un-negotiated, un-objectified, unconditional love is possible for us all!