Several months ago when Year of Inquiry met to question thoughts together one morning via teleconference….a very interesting thought appeared for investigation.
Our topic was Authority.
Power, control, being bossed, trying to boss yourself, getting manipulated, having concern with who or what is in charge.
People in YOI once again had really profound and varied worksheets, unique to their experiences.
One wonderful inquirer had a few thoughts about Society and how controlling it is about sexuality.
He should, she should, they should….
One thought rose to the surface, very painful and nerve-racking:
Men leave women who don’t want to “x”.
I’m making sure this note is rated G.
You get the idea though. Someone leaves if someone else doesn’t do what they want.
What a frightening and controlling thought.
If I do it, I feel like a slave. If I don’t do it, I’m abandoned.
Rats. No win.
This kind of dynamic can happen in all kinds of relationships that have nothing to do with requests related to sexuality at all.
On the job between boss and employee, or between parents and children, or between friends, or neighbors.
Pretty much between any two people. Period.
If I don’t do what that person wants, I will be abandoned. If they don’t do what I want, I will abandon them!
Dang! Wait a Second! This is true!
I’ve been ditched and I’ve done the ditching a bunch of times because what was wanted by someone…..didn’t happen!!!
Are you sure that’s true?
When people’s relationships end and someone gets left, it’s because one person wasn’t getting what they wanted from the other person.
Are you completely sure of this?
How do you react when you believe you get left when someone else doesn’t get what they want from you?
Sigh. It’s hard.
Lots of examining relationships, to make sure I’m doing OK, make sure I’m giving enough, being a good friend, a good partner, a good sibling, a good earner, a good pleaser, a good daughter, a good teacher, a good student, a good worker, a good mother, a good granddaughter, a good neighbor, a good citizen.
Anything. But. Abandonment.
But who would you be without that thought?
Without the belief that being left had something to do with you? That you can prevent leaving from occurring? That your leaving had something to do with them? Or that you know what’s best for everyone involved?
What if the way it went, or the way it’s going to go, is going to be the best way ever? What if people will do what people will do….and it’s really not so personal?
Turning it around…
If I don’t do what I want, I will be abandoned–by myself!
And let’s face it, we feel awful when we abandon ourselves.
Someone in our inquiry group said “No one ever talks about this!”
She was relieved, loving the freedom to speak and hear from others.
I thought….everyone here is connecting, sharing very honestly, doing the work on a stressful belief about something extremely intimate.
We were all, in that very moment of connecting, sharing and truth-telling….
….we were all experiencing whatever the opposite is of abandoned…..
Just like all honest conversations.
“Your enemy is the teacher who shows you what you haven’t healed yet. Any place you defend is where you’re still suffering. There’s nothing out there that can oppose you. There is just fluid motion, like the wind….I am everything that I have ever called other people; they were me all along.” ~ Byron Katie