“I open myself genuinely to all people by being willing to fully communicate my deepest feelings, since hiding in any degree keeps me stuck in my illusion of separateness from other people.”
Now just a doggone minute here. Does this mean I go around dumping on my friends and pouring my heart out to strangers? I have enough trouble with my friends when they dump their troubles on me.
No, that is not what it means. Aren’t you relieved? The key words here are “…being willing…” It’s for situations like:
“What’s the matter?”—“Nothing”
“Are you OK?—“I’m fine.”
Silence.—with or without accusing glare.
Situations like this where silence puts up a wall can be a great love extinguisher. That’s one level of separation the Pathway talks about, and that wall is usually built on fear.
Are you afraid of hurt feelings—maybe yours?
Are you afraid of an argument?
Are you afraid it might change things?
Are you afraid to be vulnerable?
Sometimes silence can be a matter of discretion, as in, “Do these jeans make me look fat?” or “How did you like the casserole?” or “Are you really going to vote for that idiot?”
But when it comes to feelings, discretion is not your friend, and that’s where the Seventh Pathway comes in.
“I open myself genuinely…” with a clear intent to share what’s going on with me, without trying to manipulate, dominate, or castigate you.
“…by being willing to fully communicate my deepest feelings…” my feelings–not my opinions, judgments, or complaints.
“…since hiding in any degree keeps me stuck…” and I can’t grow fonder, grow larger, or grow up.
“…in my illusion of separateness from other people.” We call it closeness, oneness, and love. You’re never actually separate, but can create one heck of an illusion if you bury your feelings.
Many say lack of communication is the main problem in relationships. I contend that lack of communication is a symptom of the main problem. What is the main problem? I’m glad you asked.
The main problem in any relationship is to need the other person to be different from the way he or she is.
When you operate from need, you never stop trying and they never change.
When you use the Seventh Pathway, you can communicate your preference and “Yes” or “No” will be an OK answer. Then it’s easy to ask for what you want, because it isn’t backed by fear.
Your deepest feeling is always love, and once you connect with your love, it’s easier to talk about the stuff that gets in the way of it. When you talk from a position of need, though, your fears appear real and communication suffers.
The next question to arise is, “How do I handle it when people share their predicaments, perceptions, or pain with me?”
We have the Eighth Pathway for that, and we’ll talk about that next month.
*The Twelve Pathways are from the Handbook to Higher Consciousness by Ken Keyes, Jr. Whenever you feel any unpleasant emotions, the Pathways will lead you back. You can see all twelve here. www.livinglovesystem.info/4__Methods_12_Pathways.php
Gregg Sanderson is author of Spirit With A Smile, The World According To BOB. He is a licensed practitioner in the Centers for Spiritual Living, and a Certified Trainer for Infinite Possibilities. His earlier books were, What Ever Happened To Happily Ever After? and Split Happens—Easing The Pain Of Divorce. His latest project is the New Thought Global Network, where subscribers can enjoy the best in New Thought presentations from anywhere at any time. You can see it at www.newthoughtglobal.org.