Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Elimination of a Shadow

This is not her fault, it is mine. This is not her story, it is mine. She was everything I ever wanted in a woman....beautiful (to me), intelligent, awake....and she boldly professed her love for me as I was cautiously and carefully holding back, not wanting to loosen my heartstrings too quickly, or to frighten her off. After her proclamation, I immediately opened my heart and allowed her full access to it based on her words and my belief in them.

Not too much later (the whole thing only lasted three months) she began pulling away. I won't go in to the reasons why, except to say part of it (I believed) was that she had deep unresolved pain from an earlier event that I can't begin to imagine from my masculine perspective. I readily admit I didn't handle her pain well. Instead of just being there for her, I thought I might be able to fix things for her. I was terribly wrong, and in that sense, I didn't deserve her in my pre-David Deida masculine/feminine world.

We thought we could be friends (I thought if I could be around her long enough she'd eventually come around). Again, I was wrong. I remember the blood draining from my face and my world crashing around me as she told me of her desire to be with another man as we had finished dinner one night in a restaurant. During a walk around Greenlake together later that evening, I was able to pull it together, but it was clearly over. I despised her for her cruelty, and loved her still. We tried to be friends (she continued pulling away, I continued hoping she'd change her mind) but we were fooling ourselves.We stopped seeing each other.

Several months later, she contacted me and apologized for the way she had acted. We agreed to try to be friends, and wound up on another walk around Greenlake, and when it was over, we agreed to a movie or dinner soon, and she invited me to call her. After three calls, and three "I can't's," I stopped calling. I don't remember how I found out (a forwarded email?), but it wasn't long after that she moved, changed her email, and her phone number without leaving any forwarding info. End of story. That was three years ago. All this time, I've been putting her out of my mind, rather unsuccessfully.

Forward to last week. I'm on, looking for a conscious relationship, and I get an email from her (she's on Match, too), suggesting we might talk and get together for a walk. I'm still wrapped up, even three years later, with the memory of that relationship, but wiser and not willing to step into anything without care. After a couple of emails, I tell her I'd like to see her, but I'm not going to pursue it, and she will have to do the reaching out, if we're to meet.

Meanwhile, I begin the 3-2-1 Shadow process, from the Shadow Module of the Integral Life Practice on the whole thing, and I have this shadow conversation with her, wherein I am able to let the whole thing go and come to complete acceptance with the realization that I am not in love with this person, but, rather, in love with who I thought she was, and the ideal I was projecting on her. Totally unfair to her, and to me. But mostly, there's the realization that the person I was in love with may not even exist, except in my own shadow projection.

And with that, I free myself from my projection, and from the hold I allowed her to have on me, and accept that it doesn't matter if I hear from her, because I don't know who she is....I only know who I thought she was, and who I wanted her to be. With that, I'm one step closer to knowing who I am. I can stop consoling and deluding myself around this one choice. More importantly, I can, in my own mind, free her of any responsibility for my feelings.

By the way...she hasn't contacted me as of this writing, and I'm perfectly fine with that.


WH said...

Nice Post. It's great to see other people doing the hard work.


Anonymous said...


If you are looking for a conscious relationship - you might consider looking at - a website that is specifically created for people who are interested in David Deida's work.

Gary Stamper said...

Hi anonymous,
Thanks for the suggestion. I've been on SpirituallySexy....and Enlightened Match....and Conscious Singles....


Tom Mull said...

Hey Gary: Isn't that the way it seems to be, We fall in love with the idea of the person and not the person. It makes for lots of suffering for all parties conserned. That's my M.O. too. =)