To begin at the end-
I woke in the night on Sunday, weeping over my resentment at the waste of my talents and the restricted position I find myself. There is blessing in it, of course, not having to work, I see the blessing, and still resent, now and my painful past.
I may not get the chance to share to the whole group, though. There are so many of us. Perhaps another’s shares will do. They are useful, and Menis’ comments are useful. We are used to failure, he said. I lived in a hut. Then I was given a castle- and I wanted a hut. I scribble this down, hungrily. Our past comes up because it wants to go away…. when it comes up people around me can reject me, or make me feel safe. Love is about safety. He tells someone to ask us, Can you all please hold me until I feel safe? I could do this vicariously-
I note down that I am soft, gentle, peaceful, and it feels like that gets in my way. I have been told it is ridiculous. It isn’t. But to get on in life, I need to be Determined, Confident, I need manly characteristics. If Dad had a catchphrase before retirement-
-Dad: I’m defeated! Defeated!
-Mum: Oh, Sandy!
Menis: Do more of what works, less of what doesn’t, try something different. It sounds so simple, said like that. You must push people away, until you can have safe boundaries.
Last share. Does anyone want to speak who has not spoken before. I put my hand up, and get invited forward. “That was a lie, I’m afraid,” I joke.
I am soft, gentle, peaceful, and it feels that this gets in my way. To get ahead, I need to be a man. I stand, move away from him. I am soft, gentle, peaceful, and I resent it! I circle back: “I am soft- gentle- Peaceful…”
I lie back in his arms. I want a relationship with a woman! I expostulate, as if this were completely absurd, with me as I am. It isn’t. It really isn’t. They come forward, hold me, touch me, hold my hands, caress me. It is utterly lovely.
Given a chance to speak at the end, I quote,
We shall not cease from exploration
and the end of all our exploring
will be to arrive where we started
and know the place for the first time
I feel I understand those words better than I ever have. I feel that my soft gentleness which I rejected is truly who I am, and the only way I can possibly move forward is to be that person, where I started.
Do you find this strange, that I repose such trust in this man, note down the words he says, want him to touch me? I do not trust easily. Perhaps it is because of the atmosphere of acceptance he creates: when we are relaxed, we find our best selves and accept others better. Perhaps it is how his words seem so intensely valuable to me, that he sees things in me which I had not seen, yet which when I hear them, they fit so perfectly.