Pay Attention!

June 24, 2010

I met a man recently. A very interesting man, a man with whom I have some things in common, a man I can relate with in a way I can’t, quite, with my husband. I like this man. I thought today about organizing a project with him, working more closely with him. I shared the idea with Chris, he joked about a romance looming in my future … it was a joke … and it wasn’t. I looked into how I feel about this man and I noticed that I didn’t know how I feel. There was a fuzzy, cloudy sort of feeling, an unconscious sort of feeling, much like how the body feels after a glass of wine. Not drunk, not out of control but just a little less in control, just a little less present, just a bit less clear. As I looked into how I feel about this man I realized that in this fuzzy, cloudy space I can be pulled into all sorts of situations, whether I want to or not. There could be all sort of … pulls, seductions, reactions that were not a conscious choice, but that would happen on their own, that would pull me, push me, control me. It didn’t feel good, this space. It felt euphoric on the surface, but underneath there was constriction, some pain, discomfort and dizziness which was not pleasant. It didn’t feel good because I was not there, I was not present, I could not feel myself there. So I opened, I felt this place where I would not be present. I saw the trauma, I saw a little girl that needs a daddy, that wants to be taken care of, that needs to be loved. A little girl that can not be a partner, an ally, for her father. A small, insignificant, obedient little girl that has no space, no permission to own who she is in relationship with her father. I was present there, with this girl, and the trauma healed. The cloudy, dizzy sensation disappeared. I was right there, present in my relationship to this man, without any pulls, with nothing unclear, with no need for seductions and entanglements. I was ready to relate with him as who I am, without losing myself, without becoming a little girl who needs to be loved. As I thought about this later I imagined what could have happened if I did not pay attention, if I did not choose to become present in this unconscious place. I would have related with this man without knowing, feeling, being aware of how I relate. The pulls, needs, seductions, would have begun to control me, because I would not be present with them. I could have mistaken those pulls, seductions, needs, for love, and so could he. I could have had an affair, I could have hurt my husband and ruin my marriage. I could have gotten divorced. I might have gotten into a relationship with this man, based on those feelings, pulls, needs, all this trauma I mistook for love, but sooner or later I would have woken up and had to deal with the results of all this – with a relationship I did not really want, with men I hurt. There could have been so much pain, so many people hurt, my life turned upside down, so much unhappiness – if I did not pay attention.

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