The Battle Is The Map To PEACE

It’s been a wonderful, raw, challenging few days here at home. More illuminations about how we, in our relationship, often have complimentary wounds which can serve as platforms for growth and healing once we get skilled at noticing their potential and not getting perpetually sucked into mutual resistance, fighting and pain loops.

This week the old wounds of Raisa feeling that ‘the man’ is not meeting her fully, not there for her, not available, triggered much pain and complaint, a deep sense of mistrust which was expressed verbally and in a strong energetic resistance like a wall between us. Ironically, or maybe perfectly, when she expressed this, it triggered my own deep wounds of feeling unappreciated, feeling like I’m not being loved for who I simply am, that somehow I’m not delivering what’s needed by just being me and that I am ‘a failure’, ‘redundant’ or even ‘a bad boy’.

This hurt so much that instead of seeing through her words and defence strategies into her pain, I instead, as usual, started defending my position, persuading her that this was not true, that our relationship was not as fundamentally flawed as she was saying, and that I AM available and loving and I even complained and expressed upset that ‘I’m not being seen for who I am’ or ‘appreciated for the gifts and love I bring’. I argued that I AM available and that it was her who was ‘leaving’.

This is an age old loop. My reaction to her makes her feel even LESS felt and seen, and more lonely than she was before, so we endlessly talk and process and separate even more into alienation and loneliness. This is how the mirror can create a vicious circle of pain. Does this sound familiar?

I’m excited to report that this week we’ve gone beyond this exhausting pattern – just a few times, but it feels revolutionary.

The challenge for me is to not believe the literal content of what she says. To not defend it or make her words ‘about me’. Even though they impact me greatly because I have such deep wounds around being rejected or criticised by ‘the woman’ (my Mother?) for ‘not being enough’ or ‘not what’s wanted here’, I have to let those waves pass through me, feel them, and then look deeper, see behind her complaint into her pain. I need to stop believing her words and realise that what she’s saying, even though it feels ‘true’ to her in that moment, is really her mind’s strategy to not feel her deeper trauma and vulnerability of desperately wanting to be held in that moment as her old wound discharges some pain. Something raw is moving in her, and she needs me to hold her, love her, above all, simply be present with her, despite all her ‘pushing away’.

This takes a lot of presence, breath, and steadfastness.

The last thing I want to do in that moment when I am feeling so unfairly treated, so painfully rejected, is to love her, hold her or comfort her. But this is what is asked of me, as a man, on a deeper level. To breathe through the self-pity and the urge to escape and to go to her, dissolve through her illusory wall, and wrap my arms around her, communicating with touch, with my whole body, that love is here. Presence is here. I am here.

By some miracle, this week, we have managed to do this a few times and the response has been beautiful. She has melted into tears, into soft, yielding sobs of accepting love. We are re-writing our deep beliefs every time we dissolve through the surface ‘version’ of complaint and pain and connect deeper to what she is really asking for, which is to be met and held in this moment.

Yesterday we repeated this cycle of penetrating through the rejection and lonely resistance three times before lunch and we were both high with the realisations and potential to shift this pattern now in our relationship. Every time we broke through, an immense amount of sexual energy was released. We have been melting into so much lovemaking, creativity, gentle holding, a profound level of peace has returned as we’ve realised – the very thing that was dividing us and hurting us is the door to our mutual healing and re-writing of our old beliefs and patterns.

The wound is the key if we can only be skilful and present enough to dissolve through the surface story that arises to hide our deeper vulnerability and pain. In this way I get to dissolve my old wounded beliefs around ‘not being enough’ and she gets to dissolve her wounds of ‘the man isn’t available’. The reward is that we both get the intimacy and presence we need. The conflict we were experiencing was actually a signpost to healing.

The battle is the map to peace when we dare to read it the right way.

Please share your experiences with this below.

All workshops including What About Us? at http://jamiecatto.com/workshops/

18 comments

  1. Thank you for being so open about your experiences, it’s rare and it’s needed. I was in a similar position to your Raisa not long ago, and my partners defensive resistance to my emotional pain came across as cold and uncaring to me. When I let go of trying to express myself in the ‘right’ argumentative way so that he would understand me, and just spoke my inner fears and feelings from the heart, it seemed to touch something in him, his face softened and he held me till my tears stopped. When this happens the ties, constraints, boundaries and ‘shoulds’ of the world disappear and we connect from the same place of truth..

  2. very insightful article , going through similar experiences myself. how many times do people actually go through what you describe above and not recognize it for its healing potential. Through years of spiritual study of which a better man would transcended this, i can say this aspect of my life as had me stumped. although i have realized the key to understanding each other and such thing is recognizing subtle energies and being aware of them and how they effect you and those close to you. it took a lot for you to understand that what you were doing was healing , I shall read this again with my partner . thank you Jaimey

  3. Wow. I could sing a song of that – I guess many people can. Beautifully written, precise, honest and clear. I totally agree with what you say and I am grateful because it just made it so clear to me reading your post. You live the “real is the new sexy” thank you for showing yourself with such honesty. I think this is highly masculine. I would like to share two things that thrive the drama in an unhealthy way for me.

    One: When he gets triggered by my behavior (as stated above from Raisa) the game kind of starts to change back and forth. Sometimes I tend to ask him to be vulnerable in these situations, to show himself to me and to melt into my arms that this would be his key of transformation if he could connect with his vulnerability. (A hidden expectation maybe also). If he did that I feel like I am equal because woman tend to show more vulnerability and I feel like a failure if only I show myself. It creates un unhealthy balance him being my teacher/coach and me the student. It makes me really angry. At the same time I know that this is not pure and that it comes from a twisted place inside of me because of my not yet 100% existing “female maturity”.

    (Though I still believe that it is vital for the man to show himself and not bring on the excuse of: “man stare into the fire that is how they resolve their problem”, I feel that it is outdated and it will not help future men to become real man. But I must step back and allow him to show himself without my dark energy of expectation. Just hold the space no judging, no bitchy energy, just holding the space.)

    Second: when he does not take it “serious” and starts to bring a laughter and easiness into it. It makes me even more furious and unseen. Yes, a bit of easiness would help but often I cannot take it. This combined with what I stated above happens most of the time together and it makes me even more bitchy/witchy.

    On the other hand I guess not only the man needs to hold that space (preferably he does in the beginning) but also the woman needs to be at her core feminine strength, not pseudo-strength “masculine shield power”-strength, no just hold the space for him to be and not get triggered by his mean insecure defense mechanisms. But then again; sometimes one can hold the space and then the other one and then some few times no one can hold the space and best is to either make Love right away and talk later or if you cannot do that in these moments separate until both have had time to come back to their center where the conversation can start all over again but with a lot less “freshly triggered wounds”.

    Thank you for sharing and this platform.

    Aleah

  4. Thanks for this honest sharing. I was deeply touched by your experience, as I very much long for a similar connection and I know it is possible. I also think it’s above all in the intimate relationships that the battle is the map and I thank you for making this so clear with your description.

    I’m conducting my battle in slowly separating from the man I was once in love with. I want to see him in his humanity in order to be able to speak from the heart and to be able to find a natural and caring way to manage our separation, while still being parents together of our wonderful daughters. Silence, breathing and self-connection are the “swords” I’m using in this battle, in order not to get triggered. Clear observations too….I’m mostly grateful to the nonviolent communication (Marshall Rosenberg), as this approach gave me and still gives me tools to increase the awareness of my thoughts and to develop a compassionate way to communicate with myself and with others.

    My wish for Christmas: that many couples will make the shift you describe above!!!

  5. Amazing how this happens and works, it seems the opposite. I believe we live in an upsidedown world where everything is the opposite of what it looks. I call it true listening. When we manage to stop our semantic response to some blaming and truly listen what is really going on then the connexion becomes stronger, that also happens when we manage to express our true feelings without blaming the other. The key is to keep the connexion knowing in our hearts that that connection is more important than the words being said!!

  6. Yes. Yes. Yes. My partner and I are also making conscious efforts to get below the surface story when triggers go off to what we really need for ourselves and from one another. Although I find I can be just as prone to defensiveness when he expresses himself and need to be willing to reach beyond my reaction and hold him sometimes. And sometimes we have to acknowledge that we both need something the other can’t give in that moment and we have to hold ourselves until we can come back together with presence and care. It’s the most vulnerable heart-work there is, but it makes such a difference in our connecting. We’ve been together three years and we are more in love, connected and intimate than ever.

  7. Keep up the amazing work..true love delves into great depths,life throws us curve balls and we just have to deal with them,but in a secure realtionship with support you can work through anything, beautiful to read such positive words,be kind to each other,listen and hold.x

  8. Oh Jamie! I love your writing but this has to be the most insightful piece ever.
    Plus the replies people have written very much mirror my own pleasure and appreciation so ditto to all of the above.

    It’s a rare man/woman/couple who have the courage, presence, willingness and skill to move through such difficult and common relationship dramas let alone recognise a new way through, manage it… and then document it so insightfully for us all to benefit from…..

    Big love and gratitude to you and Raisa for lighting the way.

  9. Jamie,
    your openness and courage to share your vulnerability are deeply admirable and by sharing in this way, you give permission to other people – especially men – to do the same and discover what real strength is. In my Buddhist practice I have often discovered (always with some reluctance) that, deep down I share the same pain or suffering as the people I consider to be the most awkward / difficult / annoying. I think this is because we put layers of fear, anger, ego, arrogance and drink/drugs on top of our pain… and then, unsurprisingly, we fight each other… and create more pain. There has to be another way. Let’s transform our own lives, instead of ‘shouting at the shadow’. Here’s to a life of ‘dissolving the surface story’.. Funnily enough my latest blog post is on a very similar topic: http://wp.me/p2VZH3-hl
    Blessings to you both
    David

  10. Beautifully described, Jamie. Thank you. x

    I’m reminded of this is from a series of articles I wrote for Breathing Space magazine in 2007..

    True Love Cuts Deep – part 2
    ‘Made for Each Other’

    Some of us have been fortunate enough to find a love and life partner that truly matches us. But what is going on under the surface of such evident compatibility? In what hidden ways are we made for each other?

    It can take conscious effort to find and attract that special someone into our lives. It helps to get clear about what we want in a potential new partner – after all we all want someone who resonates with our values, lifestyle, personal tastes, aspirations and interests. This is relatively easy to come up with, but the shrewd would-be lover also needs to look behind this tasty shopping list.

    We do, in fact, connect with each other in ways that we are less aware of. Without us even realising it, the hidden, more wounded, recesses of our hearts also reach out for a compatible mate. And there is something perverse about this unconscious part of us. It has the uncanny knack of falling in love with the very person that is most able to press our emotional reactor buttons, probe our deepest fears, and challenge our most shameful insecurities.

    Launched into the relationship, the blind playing out of this dynamic can cause such pain. We blame our partner for upsetting us, not giving us what we want, or giving us what we don’t want. Little do we realise that, in truth, our partner is totally at our service – a perfect mirror in which to look at our selves. Time and again, our relationship difficulties show us where we are hurting, the parts of us that still need recognition and love and understanding. This is why the territory of relationship can be the most fertile of lands in which to heal and grow.

    Those of you that have been following this series of articles will know that I found an incredible match in my husband Pat. Our capacity to meet each other on every level and degree of mutual compatibility still astounds me. But what has been even more rewarding has been the extent to which we have both been able to overcome long standing emotional wounding within our selves by being prepared to proceed consciously and lovingly through conflicts with each other.

    It is amazing how helpful it is to remember that our partner is simply being a mirror. Even in the heat of the moment, it helps us take responsibility for how we are feeling rather than blaming and lashing out. Ultimately this means we have a genuine chance to do something about what is really hurting us – our own unresolved issues. And somewhere, deep inside, we want our partner to confront us with our hidden, wounded selves. After all, we chose this person very particularly for the job.

    http://www.maggiekaywisdom.com

  11. A very fundamental and core issue very well described Jamie, thank you. Having read Dieda and other authors on this subject of working to connect with the feminine energy, I have always come up against a question. Sometimes in relationships, their can be a loss of respect and trust to the extent that in those moments of rage and pain, lines and boundaries can be crossed and if one partner is attempting to breakthrough and hold the others energy and love them through the pain, it can lead to an acceptance of abuse and manipulation from the partner who is freely evacuating their energy, sometimes in a very unconscious or destructive way. As well as the underlying issue that may be getting addressed in that moment, there is also likely to be a massive dump of cortisol into the blood stream sending us out of our higher brain and into a fight or flight mode that is totally chemical. So the question is, do we stand in the face of the storm and weather it? Or, do we take shelter and wait for the storm to subside, for a crack of sunshine through the clouds and then re-emerge in to a calmer more reflective state and reconnect when the chemicals in our blood have rebalanced? How does one know which is the best course to follow as each confrontation arrives? Yes there is a case for overwhelming the anger with love but not at the price of allowing oneself to be left responsible for healing the other on an ongoing basis. Does there not need to be also a mutual level of trust and respect and above all a will from both to have this process be a growth-full one not a destructive one? To have a partner that can express their rage and still have that deep inner understanding that this must be a means to something higher is quite rare.

  12. A fundamental thing that is happening between men and women now, in our times, right now. In fact it is the masculine and feminine. They are somehow coming to terms with each other. Many people who are ‘in love’ can testify to this, many people experience this world paradigm shift in their personal relationships, particularly their love relationships. Who would have thought, thirty years ago, that the crisis would feel so personal? But it does. Of course, our times are scary, that’s old news, but it turns out to me that our times are healing, cathartic. And the issues are about sex. It was right under our nose, but we overlooked it because we take gender for granted, of course we are split into two genders, that is just the way of the world. Well, not always, but it is for us right now. And i believe right now, the two genders are meeting as if for the first time. If you love, and you can tap into this understanding of the other sex, you can fall in love all over again! You must walk in the other’s shoes, so to speak. Truly walk, in your mind, in the other’s shoes, if you can. If you love, just LOVE and leave al the rest out. Most of us play out this male-female drama, so that alone tells us, it’s not personal, it’s cultural. But it feels so personal when it’s happening. The female is earth, home, yet she may have trouble generating her own home alone – this is what she must do, be the centre of the sphere, yet many millions of years ago, she had to turn to her mate, man, for help. The male is sky, expansive venture, the boundless circumference of the sphere, who knows no home, but his point of reference, the female centre. He knows he’s now needed, but he is in unchartered territory, and has his urge for voyage and return. He must realise his voyage and return is enough for her, as long as she has his heart. And she must realise that she is the home already, but he makes it nicer when he does return. We must have GRATITUDE for each other, and humbly accept each other’s love.

  13. Thank you for sharing, all the old patterns and wounds pass by, and after devorcing it seems a lot easier… Breathing spaces and holding on to your self. My old pains are not the same as hers. Still they flow through me and resonate, looking beyond them and taking the me in myself serious and lovingly is the key to move on.

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