The Crucible: Requires Serious Introspection

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-26-2011
The Crucible: Requires Serious Introspection
7
Sat, 12-31-2011 - 12:57am

I have a close friend who is in his 70s.

Avatar for mhash
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 12-31-2011 - 2:05am
I always felt that being in relationship, a romantic, partnership kind of relationship is THE path to growth.

I like Jack Kornfield's book "After the Ecstasy, the Laundry: How the Heart Grows Wise on the Spiritual Path" where he talks about our true spiritual growth and challenge is being in the "real world" where we face our stuff from our family and close relationships. He talks about spiritual gurus coming back from long spiritual retreats where they find enlightenment only to have that immediate disappear when they return home to family and their mundane world of work.

I believe I truly want to heal, change, and grow is to be in relationship for how else would I have to face my stuff, to be challenged in dealing with and healing my wounds?

I learned of the crucible from "Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships" by David Schnarch where we are in the stage of the relationship whether we either fish or cut bait.

Whether it is a man or your daughter who challenges you in dealing with your wounds, your FOO patterns, or the buttons that are pushed I believe that it takes a close relationship to bring that out and gives us the opportunity to face and deal with it. We cannot see it if we sit isolated.

We each have our non-negotiable values whether it is the colors of our house, being able to leave our socks anywhere or whatever. For you that seems to be independence and autonomy.

For me I am willing to give up some of that to be with a partner that not only cares for me but also challenges me (but not too much). My partner does that. An example of that is that she shows anger which touches my FOO stuff of conflict and overtly demonstrating strong emotions. My growth is not only be comfortable with that but to also get in touch with my emotions especially my anger. She is teaching me that.

I sometimes envy people who are seemingly perfectly happy and be oblivious of such things and float along in life feeling they are right and everyone else is the problem and really don't care about the quality of their relationships. Yes it is more comfortable and safe and easy to avoid and not be with people who make us face ourselves and our stuff. No question. I do sometimes wish I am more unconscious but alas I am not and therefore I stick it out and work at the relationship I am in.

Thank you for including me in your request Marina.
Avatar for mhash
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 12-31-2011 - 2:22am
By the way, maybe you do not need to learn anything about giving and sharing but other things since you have come so far in life in making certain changes already. I believe that my entire life is a process and it is never ending in healing and growing.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sat, 12-31-2011 - 10:21am

I do think that we probably realize the most growth by being in relationships and learning how to give & take with someone else, but 1) I don't think it needs to be a romantic relationship and 2) even if it's a romantic relationship I also don't think you have to be married and/or live together.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-16-2001
Sat, 12-31-2011 - 10:30am

I think your friend is very narrow minded.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-26-2011
Sat, 12-31-2011 - 3:09pm

Thanks for your thoughtful reply, Mark.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Sat, 12-31-2011 - 3:45pm

My marriage was basically a horror show also and I still feel at times to get revenge on my ex.. I have forgiven and mostly forgotten but there are those days I secretly wish he would die..

I dont think though that it jaded me into wanting to be with a nice man but it has left some scars on me that I believe have disappeared hopefully.

I am not sure I want to live with a man again although never say never.. They are just too needy and take alot of work so I not sure I would want to do the work..It would be nice to have an easy breezy relationship without the work.

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Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Sun, 01-01-2012 - 10:17pm

dragowoman