At first, I began to rediscover my previous curiosities about Zen, Taoism and Buddhism that were aroused by the cultures of my professional writings in Japan, Cambodia, and Thailand. I read Charlotte Joko Beck’s books, attended seminars organized by Pema Chödrön, and listened to my favorite meditation by ISHTA Yoga co-founder Alan Finger. For the most part, it’s an intellectual pursuit to convince myself that I’m practicing a form of spirituality that will eventually save my relationship with the man I love.
But the practice present in this moment, regardless of its motivations, has a strange effect. It opens a door for who we are.
Gradually my efforts turned into a higher sense of self. A subtle change for attention happens, not in words but in consciousness. My need to “fix” things lessened, and I began to spend my days with more openness and self-acceptance.
I became more compassionate towards the emotions, as I initially thought, “caused” by my partner. I began to ponder the questions that were more inwardly focused: What caused my anger? When is my anger most easily felt? What if I label my emotions without trying to control them?
These reflexes have helped me to experience the tension in my body when I feel uncomfortable without acting. I replaced the compulsion to justify my feelings with the practice of acknowledging their presence.
During my interactions with my partner, I have observed how the mere sound of a text message on his cell phone can irritate me and how I automatically react. with anger. I also found that he miraculously didn’t know my hurt feelings even when I didn’t even try to show them gave off the feeling of not being able to see.
This kind of reaction has occurred in many parts of our relationship. If he speaks doubts about our ability to communicateI immediately felt a deep sense of failure. There was no curiosity or even an instant pause.
The causes and consequences of our interactions have been well rehearsed. My discomfort with emotional pain instantly transformed into anger. Faced with my hostility, my partner responded with guilt.
Within minutes his phone rang or was forgotten “how are you?” we were adversary. We both fell into tiring behaviors and never stopped reenacting old roles from the days when he was active addicted.