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RAMBLINGS ON A RELATIONSHIP. by Ingrid Hindell.

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Circa 1989 

[Experience teaches us that love does not
consist of two people looking at each
other but of looking together in the same
direction.] 
 
Ouch. I wince. 
I wince every time my partner tells me of
his discomfort - 
his discomfort about my lack of “social
acceptability”. 
Which he knows he is seeing. Possibly
no-one else. 
And what does it matter if they do? He
knows that too. 
But still remains confused as to know
exactly what to do 
about his feelings. 
 
I tell him I understand. And I do. 
Completely. For don't I feel embarrassed
about my disability at times? 
 
Dear God, don't I want to “crawl under
the bedclothes” 
when my body jerks at inopportune
moments? 
 
However, I still hurt. I hurt when he voices
these things. 
I know he is trying to work it out. I'm glad
he can tell me. 
(Though sometimes - hush! - I wish he
wouldn't.) 
 
Still, he is my best friend. 
The person with whom I share
everything. 
He knows all anybody - including me -
can know about 
my “warts” now. 
(All the warts that I know about anyway.
And maybe even a couple I don't know
about. 
Or refuse to recognize.) 
As I know about his. 
 
In other words, we know all we can know
about each other. 
At this time. The strengths as well as the
weaknesses. 
And the caring qualities. I must not forget
those. 
 
We must be doing something right. 
Still together. 
Still growing. Still changing. Still
discovering. 
Still creating that third “person” in our
lives. 
That “person” who often gets in the way
of our egocentric 
desires and thoughts. That “person”
whom we want to nurture. 
Our relationship. 
 
Anyway, let's get back now to my original
topic of discussion. 
My hurt. 
The end result of what I call “my ego
jumping up and down”. 
The end result of what the Hindu's would
call my “ahamkara” - 
my “ego”, or “pride”, 
My personal pride. My ego! 
 
The pride which negates 
the pride in myself - 
as an individual, 
as a unique “child of Good”, 
as a miraculous manifestation of the Life
Force in the Universe. 
Call it, and me, what you will. It does not
really matter 
In practical terms it does not really
matter. 
 
All that matters is that my personal pride
gets in the way. 
Gets in the way of me loving myself. 
Gets in the way of my extending love to
my world. 
By whispering that I have to, on pain of
feeling bad, 
that I have to be, and look, and feel, and
think, 
Like everyone else. 
 
It's this personal pride which makes me
cringe every time I see 
a Beauty Contest. 
Which makes me cross, because of
“taking it personal”. Every time I hear the
men around me
say something like - “Don't know what he
saw in her. 
 
She's not one bit attractive. 
Has too big a bum. Very bony knees”.
Etc. Etc. 
It's at this point that I want to cry out: 
“So she's not 'socially acceptable'
either!” 
I want to protest. But I don't. I have
learnt that men have a very visual sexuality. 
 
Most of them (the older generation,
especially) 
Don't know (or won't recognise) 
That that is the cause of their remarks. 
It's no use my getting upset and crying: 
“What about the qualities she might have
of caring, 
of compassion...” Splutter. 
Nobody can change to suit my
sensitivities. 
So if I choose to get angry who am I
hurting?  
Only me. 
 
Of course I can discuss my attitude and
my pain with 
Whoever made the remark, but
eventually I will just have to 
let it go. I certainly can't change male
biology! 
Or female, either, now I come to think of
it. 
 
I can remember, however, that I have
Free Will. 
I can remember that I can choose my
thoughts. 
In all situations. 
 
I can remember I am able to exercise my
Free Will. 
In all situations, and that 
if I choose my thoughts rightly, 
My feelings will take care of themselves. 
Which brings me back (again!) to the
subject I started with - 
My hurt. I keep getting side-tracked. 
 
Good thing, that. 
I take it as a sign of maturity. 
Emotional maturity. Mental
maturity. Spiritual maturity. 
Call it what you will - 
It's a good thing not to be able to hang on
to hurt. 
 
However, since we are trying(!) to talk
about my hurt - 
When my partner talks about my disabled
“appearance”, 
I have found myself wanting to whine: 
“I can't help it if I'm disabled!” 
Wanting to hit back” 
“And what makes you think you are so
socially acceptable! 
Look at the way you dress! And stooped
shoulders aren't so 
physically attractive, you know!” 
 
I have found myself wanting to sneer: 
“Are you such a Wimp that you require a
'nice hand bag', 
A 'beautiful lady' to hang on your arm 
In order to boost your social standing with
yourself? 
For others don't really matter you know. 
It's what you think of you that matters!” 
 
This is the point where I come unstuck. 
This is the point where I realize I am
behaving like Pavlov's dog. 
Reacting the way “society” says I should
in certain circumstances. 
Reacting like the people on the
“soapies”. 
It's so evident that their responses to life
are “Conditioned”. 
Every time. All the time. 
 
It's not acting. It's re-acting. 
I want to know that it's what I think of
myself that matters. 
I want to know that anger, jealousy,
frustration - 
All the negative emotions in fact - 
are by no means effective methods of
dealing with any situation.  
 
But it's not really, let us say, anger, that's
the problem. 
It's the dwelling on it that's the problem. 
Anger never helped me intuitively
understand - 
Helped me “walk a mile in another's
shoes”. 
Dwelling on anger never helped me
accept my feelings. 
 
So I stop. 
I take a deep breath. I accept the fact
that I am 
feeling hurt, and angry, and vulnerable. 
I accept all that. But I don't apportion
blame. 
I remind myself I would not hurt if I really
loved myself. 
If I really loved myself I would not, 
nay could not, 
 
allow people to have the power to hurt
me. 
If I really loved myself I would be
focused 
on the Divinity within me 
and leave the world to its opinions. 
 
If I really loved myself I would be
focused 
on the Christ Light within me 
on the Light which beams outward. 
I would then be more light-hearted, free
to feel less “attacked”, more loving, more
joyous. 
 
When I remind myself of these things, 
I am in a better position to accept my partner for what he is. 
Warm. Loving. Caring. Honest. 
A tactile person. A tactile lover. One who
shares 
Beautiful hugs. Anywhere. Anytime. 
 
Tactless he is at times. But, then, who
isn't flawed? 
Certainly not me. 
 
And he is vulnerable. Dear Lord, let me 
remember that he too is vulnerable. 
As vulnerable as any woman - 
or man (though many of them won't admit
it) - on earth. 
Seems to be part of being human, 
the part that makes us both want to act
like Pavlov's dog. 
 
Deep down I forget. Deep down I expect
him to be, want him to be, 
Emotionally Tough. 
 
That was the myth I imbibed from my
teen years - 
the pop songs, the romances. 
And then from the more radical
component of women's Lib - 
in my twenties. 
Which portrayed men as the cause of all
the “evil” in the world. 
From them, I got the impression, 
that all men were emotionally tough. 
Hmm. For the last ten years I have been
increasingly aware 
That they forgot to mention one small
thing. 
That it's the women, who seem to have 
at least in the past, 
had most to do with forming their son's
emotional lives. 
 
I may be wrong there. But whatever the
case, 
I believe that men are 
just as stereotyped as women are. 
Not least by their women. 
And so the cycle is perpetuated. 
 
Look at me. 
Wanting to be treated with “kid gloves”. 
Wanting my partner to be “tactful”. 
Actually, I am beginning to appreciate his
“tactlessness”. 
In more ways than one. 
 
In the first place, 
I am starting to realize that it may be
true. 
That what he says is true - 
That he is less likely to leave our
relationship, 
that he is less likely to leave, if he is able 
to voice his fears, doubts, and
frustrations. 
If I give him the “space” to do so. 
Without condemning, without judgement. 
Without trying to make him feel guilty - 
making him suppress his feelings. 
All I have to do is to appreciate him for
what he is trying to do: 
Trying to find out whether certain 
feelings of his are valid. 
 
All I have to do is “love him enough”. 
All I have to do is love myself enough
too. 
Put myself “on the line” like he does, 
Be honest enough to conquer my fear 
That he will leave, will turn away, 
If I say anything that is not to his liking. 
I used to be frightened, 
frightened that if I wasn't compliant, 
I would not “compensate” for my
disability. 
Ridiculous!” some might say; “Irrational!”
others might think, 
But striking a chord with most women I
bet, 
who have a problem with self-image. 
And that is 95% of all women in our
population, 
 
So I read recently. 
 
I was frightened, so I used to wait, 
Wait till I was angry, and hurt and
vulnerable. 
To tell him what I thought sometimes of
him. 
Got beyond that stage now, thank
goodness for me, 
Am learning to take responsibility for my
own feelings. 
and thereby am learning to accept them. 
Becoming as honest as he is in the
process. 
 
It's not easy, but this is something 
We are learning to do, together - 
Own our feelings. 
 
The spiritual group of which we are
members 
Makes it simple for us - 
Not easy, but simple - 
We complicate matters for ourselves - 
Trying to be rational, intellectual, adult, 
Really being like Pavlov's dogs. 
 
They are teaching us what we find hard
to accept - 
that all feelings are only Love, anyway. 
Fear, anger, elation, misery, excitement. 
All pure Energy. Powerful, potent. 
Thus we are learning to accept our
feelings. They are O.K. 
“It's not the feeling, it's the thought that
counts”. 
 
That's very good psychology. 
Many modern psychologists will tell me
the same: 
Change the thought and the feeling will 
take care of itself. 
 
Very good advice. 
Not easy to do, however. 
Indeed excruciatingly difficult at times. 
Often changing one thought requires
changing 
a whole belief system. 
A comfortable belief structure. 
One that “fits” like a beloved suit of skin. 
Difficult to change. 
Keeping us locked into the accepted 
(acceptable?) norm of limitations. 
 
We're learning, however. I'm learning 
I don't have to get upset to communicate 
my deepest thoughts, as mentioned
above. 
 
For this I'm more grateful than I can say. 
This way issues don't get out of hand 
- they're aired and (hopefully) dealt with
as they arise. 
 
This works for us. 
It is a Way - 
one that does not build up a residue of resentments. 
The resentments that we see 
Festering under the surface 
of so many relationships around us. 
Resentments that surface 
as nagging, bitterness or indifference. 
The results of unacknowledged or
unaccepted feelings! 
 
So we are grateful for our learning. 
Grateful that we now know that we can
choose the Way we think, 
Thereby influencing our feelings. 
As intimated before, however, 
having this knowledge isn't easy - 
in fact, it's extremely uncomfortable, 
to say the least, 
For sometimes “issues” will arise
again. And again. 
And again. 
 
We just have to learn to be patient with
ourselves. 
The rewards are well worth it. 
Even though changing the belief systems
of a lifetime 
is not easy - 
as anyone who have tried it will know. 
Learning to love ourselves appears even harder. 
Harder than anything. 
(As most who have tried it will know!) 
Still, this is what we perceive life to be all about. 
Learning to accept and express the Love within us. 
Learning to express “the Christ” within us.
Learning “to love”. 
“Sundari”. 
 
I DEDICATE THIS TO GRAEME AND MARI JOHNSON, MY SPIRITUAL MENTORS, UNITY TEACHERS, AND FRIENDS WHO TAUGHT ME, (BY EXAMPLE AND THROUGH THEIR EBULLIENT ZEST FOR LIVING “ABUNDANTLY”) THAT IT IS POSSIBLE FOR ME TO ACCEPT MYSELF (AND THEREFORE OTHERS) AT ALL TIMES WITHOUT LOSING MY SENSE OF HUMOUR OR SPIRITUAL PERSPECTIVE.