Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Gap

From Chapter Six of When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron:

The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.

It's a lifetimes journey to relate honestly to the immediately of our experience and to respect ourselves enough not to judge it. 

Here's the rub yes?  Letting go of the judgment.  It's difficult to want something and to have that thing pulled away from us and then to not judge that as "bad".  Judgment of our experiences automatically colors and changes the experience itself to become not of that original thing but of the so called badness of that thing.

The next step is refraining.  Mindfulness is the ground; refraining is the path..It's the practice of not immediately filling up space just because there's a gap.

In my relationship with K. I've practiced a lot living in the gap and I've been appreciating it.  Learning to refrain has made me a better person although being a "better person" is not what this practice is about.   But regardless,  I'm more allowing, more mindful, more grounded.   But also, and this is something that I particularly struggle with,  being comfortable "in the gap", not repressing and not indulging, seems to slow down the dynamic movement in a relationship.  It does allow for a natural evolution but issues that arise in intimate relationships need to be "pushed" sometimes in order to not to become stagnant, or boring or...lost? 

I'm in a relationship with myself, first and foremost.  But I'm also in a relationship with K. and I don't want to repress or indulge our issues but I do want to communicate in a timely fashion.  Mind builds castles from lack of communication and those castles can trap us, and devour our relationships.  K.'s way of being in relationship has taught me to slow down and allow for the gap, to move into it and experience it fully.   But K.'s tendency is to allow strong emotions to pass so he doesn't have to fall into the gap with them and sometimes it feels like I over allow for that with him.  It's as if he backs away from the gap and represses so he never has to fall in.

So what does that have to do with ME, being in relationship with him?

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