As we ascend to the heights of the honeymoon stage, we also cut deeper, in exact measure. We grow in all ways within a relationship, separately and together; the energy of the “relationship entity” or the combined field of the two people involved quite literally gets bigger. This energy pushes on all the unhealed and unexamined places within ourselves and our partner, and “the gap” is the container for all that we had previously pushed away and anything we resist looking at too closely.
The gap is another word for splits or holes in our energy field, and into those subconscious gaps go everything we have not dealt with or consciously accepted. The gap is always lurking within us, until we are completely healed, and it cannot be avoided when interpersonal connections get deeper and begin to touch our places of wounding. The gap is within us as individuals and between us as couples.
– Chapter 27, “Relationships”
Sometimes I notice that even after emotionally expressing, receiving understandings and feeling better, my partner is still acting out. Rather than try to change, stop, pressure or control my partner, if I can now clearly see her behavior for what it is, I can move back from her as a way to set a self-loving boundary until cooler heads prevail. When the charge has receded enough I can “come back to the table”, so to speak, and communicate my side of responsibility for the trigger at hand. I can offer my own commitment for change on my end.
– “Letting Go”
Acceptance, as opposed to lack of acceptance, makes all the difference in how expressed emotion feels to all concerned. To truly accept emotion, one must cultivate a general understanding that the emotion s/he is feeling is theirs, not the “fault” of somebody else. Pure expression does not act out in fights, words, threats or destruction. Pure emotional expression of hurt, rage, terror, or grief, is in wordless sound and tears, exerting minimal control on what sounds are released and maximal control on acting out behaviours. Primal emotional expression, along with physical touch, when appropriate, is always the shortest distance between two hearts.
– “Acceptance, A Key To Safe Expression”
We feel justified in blaming others because when “they do it to me” it is all “their fault” and none of ours. When in blame, we are righteous victims only. This is a distortion our world has been running on since the beginning. The truth buried in unexpressed emotions “underneath” the blame can give us significant clues as to where our responsibility lies. But, in most cases, we cannot access it unless those emotions are vibrated. In order to come to balance in any given conflict, we must first intend to discover what our responsibility is.
– “No Accidents: Our ElectroMagnetic Nature”
We want to be right so we can feel good about ourselves; we tell ourselves we like to debate or are good at winning arguments. We also want to be right so we can avoid feeling wrong, which deep inside can equate to feeling bad about ourselves, unworthy, and even endangered. “If I am wrong, what will happen to me?”
Some of the most beautiful epiphanies in life are when we can admit to one we were competing with that we made a mistake or were out of line, without making ourselves wrong for having done so. Humble moments following the heat of battle (either subtle or overt) are paradoxically moments of great strength and love.
– Chapter 30: “Competition – A Dog Eat God World”
Belief systems around emotional healing get passed down through the generations, and one major belief is that strong emotions need to be hidden from children so as to not damage them. This belief has, in part, arisen from how emotions traditionally have been expressed: wild, blaming fights between parents, the destruction of property, threatening and controlling rage in the form of words delivered directly in the faces of children, etc.
The emotions in these cases are “breaking loose”; that is, overcoming the inner restraints on their expression with the strength of their pent-up charge. In this, there is a subconscious intent to get rid of the pain instead of owning and really feeling it. Since in countless cases there is no acceptance for loud emotion taking any form at all, with the unspoken inner mandate to hold back if at all possible, these emotions are literally expressing unacceptably. The people involved are acting out the emotions instead of directly expressing their charge with self-acceptance.
– Chapter 31, “Strong Emotions Around Children”
Children take in many subtle messages from their parents’ behavior, always learning even when we do not know they are. They also don’t have the filters we have taken on, and can detect emotional subtleties we adults are not privy to. When we hold back a strong emotion because we judge that to be safer than expressing it in their presence, we are teaching denial of emotional expression when emotions rise, and children absorb that teaching very specifically, albeit non-mentally, from all the cues and clues from their parents.
– “Children Learn 24/7″
Families are units, organisms; within a household, everyone in a family swims in the same psychic soup, in addition to the fact that they are all so similar genetically. To a degree, this dynamic shifts for family members who move away, who are no longer swimming in the same soup. This soup may be said to be a household gestalt, a particular energy that informs everyone who lives there.
If the parents are holding back a ton, the kids will express their parents’ stuff in addition to their own. Parents’ held back emotional energy may well leak through the children. Children do not deny as well yet as the parents, so this absorbed emotional energy shows up more in act outs, and even just crying a lot, for some kids.
– “The Family Lightning Rod”
For the parent, the choice is to coach children to let their emotions out responsibly when they rise, or to put up with the eventual and often chronic acting out of the same emotions that never find true release. Children and some adults act out more readily than others because their walls of denial are not as strong as others’ are to resist the pressure of holding these reined in feelings. The acting out of emotions happens when there is no inner or outer acceptance of them.
– “Parental Choices for Handling Their Child’s Emotionality
Guilt and cultural imprinting have let us know that it can be downright shameful to receive too often – one risks being labeled a “taker”. Saying yes to a hand extended without a lot of fanfare is a natural skill that many of us were shunted away from as we grew up. A simple “yes, thank you” is all that is necessary in order to gracefully receive an offer that we’d like to receive.
Many of us were also taught not to need anything, so to turn away offered help of any kind has been seen as the right response. This response, when it is not real, stops the cycle of giving and receiving in its tracks. There needs to be an organic flow of light and love passed among us, and it doesn’t have to be linear. In other words, because you give to me, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I am in debt to you. It might be better in some cases if I “paid it forward”, whatever “it” is, and help someone else when I can. Agreements can be flexible here.
– “The Cycle of Giving and Receiving”