Ask: How do I find peace in a relationship where I fear to be myself?

I have a relationship with someone that seems to trigger a fear to be myself. I haven't felt this way with anyone in a long time. I have been asking to see only the face of Christ in her and have had many experiences of just that. I love her unconditionally and am not threatened by anything she seems to do. Yet, I still withhold my true thoughts from her because I am still afraid of what I have perceived about her, which is that she is degrading and not connected to humility in a way that I can relate to. I just feel so separated from her and can't seem to find a way to connect and disarm myself and her. I want to very deeply, but every time I seem to be making headway, I realize that she and I are talking different languages and we both haven't got a clue what the other is going through or saying.
I do not leave the relationship because it seems to me that since I feel such conflict in the relationship that I have not learned what I need to learn. I am willing to stay and walk through the circle of fear to get to the other side. I do see the Holy Spirit in her and am not fooled by our ego's dance together. I just wonder if there is more. The conflict and miscommunication that is always between us seems so unneeded and a waste of my attention.
I know that she is just an outside picture of my inward condition, but what now? OK so I'm in conflict. My ego and the Holy Spirit can not communicate with each other. So What? I know that.
– EP

If you want inner peace, then the first thing you want to determine when you experience conflict is what is fact and what is projection of meaning coming from the personal thought system’s (ego’s) story for you. For example, you say that this woman with whom you are involved is “degrading”. Is it a fact that she says things meaning to degrade you or others or are you interpreting her words through your personal expectations based on past experience? You can usually determine fact from projection by your own emotional response. When it is fact you observe it without strong emotional charge and without taking it personally (“Wow, that was not a very nice thing to say. I wonder why she feels she has to put me down?”). You are able to deal with the person in a charge-neutral way. (“I was expressing my feelings and not attacking you.”). When it is projection there is a strong emotional charge and you take it personally (“She’s attacking me! Here I go again with another person treating me bad…”). You are defensive and you attack back. You and the other end up in a vicious cycle of fear and attack.
If you find that you are observing fact then it seems clear that you are with someone who feels a need to put others down to feel good about herself. Your options are to accept her as she is and learn to not take her lack of self-respect personally or to leave and find healthier friends. If you find that you are projecting, then you do indeed have something through which to work. You can observe, with the Teacher of Truth (Holy Spirit) in your mind, the “story” that you tell yourself about this woman and how it ties into your personal victim-story. Then you can choose to let it go in the recognition that this story is not Truth.
It may turn out that it is a fact that she means to put you down and that you are also projecting. When you notice a negative pattern in your relationships one or both of these are happening: You are interpreting others’ actions through the lens of your victim-story or you are attracted to people who will help you to perpetuate your victim-story.
There are a couple of contradictions in what you wrote. You say that you are not threatened by anything this woman does, but you are afraid to be honest with her because you feel that she degrades you. So you do feel threatened by her. You also say that you are not fooled by the ego’s dance between you, but you are distracted by the conflict, which means you must believe in it. Being aware of Truth does not mean that you have to force yourself to stay in a conflicted relationship. Sometimes the lesson is, “This is not the relationship for me.” If you stay because you think you “should” then you are using the relationship to martyr yourself.
When you are aware of the Truth (God) within you, you feel whole and complete. This sets you free in your relationships because you don’t need anything from others. You can be yourself and you are comfortable allowing others to be themselves. But this does not mean that you want to be around everyone. There are only three motivations for staying around disrespectful personalities. One is practical, like a co-worker or relative you cannot avoid all of the time. You make the conscious choice to put up with them because the benefits of doing so (like having a job or maintaining peace in the family during the holidays) offset the temporary discomfort their behavior causes you. You set appropriate boundaries to limit their disrespectful behavior toward you and/or your contact with them. Another is because you feel you need something from them that you think you lack, like love. So in essence, you are disrespecting yourself through your relationship with them. And the only other reason to stay around others who do not treat you with respect is because you want to play the martyr.


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Comments

Anonymous said…
Dear, first of all, u dont have to fear anything..the one u were meant for already knows. its just that u need to understand your other half too. (not easily done). please get well...its a spiritual problem and JESUS can fix it for you.

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