ASK ABDI: STAYING IN OR OUT OF RELATIONSHIP TO HEAL?

QUESTION: I have been in a relationship for a while, but it is difficult. I feel this is my issue. I am at my best when I am single, but I have a hunch that the best way to heal these issues is to be in a relationship. I am not sure if this man is the right partner for me, or how long it will last. I don’t even know if I am attracted to him anymore. My inner voice is telling me to stick it out. What are your thoughts?

ANSWER: Everyone is at their “best” when they are single. There is no push back, no place to have our jagged edges to catch on, and no one to mirror back areas that we have learned to hide well from the general public. The fact that you don’t trust and have had “confirmed suspicions” is an important place to investigate. That is not a coincidence: our unconscious will always recreate situations from our past/childhood so we can revisit and heal these areas. These wounds tend to have a sexual charge to them; since attaching pleasure to pain at an early age is the only way we emotionally survive the insult. So, as an adult, we tend to recreate these traumas because we are attracted to the very thing that pains us. Look up the term negative pleasure elsewhere in my writings and podcast episodes if you have not come across it before.

You are correct in saying that the only way to heal your specific wound is through a relationship. Even if this man is not your ultimate partner (and what is that anyway - all we have is this moment), it is good to stare this fear of yours in the face and take its power away. Many of us have thought someone to be "the one" upon first meeting, only to be disappointed later. That is addiction at play. Attraction is the appetizer. We need to allow love to simmer in order for it to mature and become a meal. To your specific question regarding you being overwhelmed by his issues, do not take them on. Examine your own codependency issues and take responsibility for yourself. He has to tend to himself; you can not do that for him.

Keeping away from stories, projections, and fears is difficult business, but the only way we can dig deeper. Good on you for listening to your inner voice and sticking it out. Relationships are the most arduous of spiritual paths because it is one of the only paths where we can not hide. The wounds that we work so hard to cover get exposed daily. Revelation is the only salvation. Stay in the moment and keep the focus on you.