“Generally, between two people there is very little real meeting. There is only the coming together of two patterns. This causes conflict and boredom.”
These powerful words in the quote above by Jean Klein call us into a deep exploration of how we show up in our relationships.
When we come together with others, steeped in our patterns, we bring expectations, judgments, needs, and hopes. We feel fear, loss, and separation.
We come ready to project our past history onto the current interaction, seeing the other through a veil of mistrust or longing. We’re terrified that we’ll be rejected or ignored. We’re primed to be triggered by the other person.
How does that feel in your body? Edgy…stressful…anxious…sad…?
What I love about this path of truth is that we take nothing at face value. A spacious exploration of the patterns we bring to our relationships reveals this: deeply held fears that developed when we were young that landed in our minds and nervous systems.
Within just about all of us, there is a young part who feels alone and scared. And from those tender feelings develop strategies of withdrawing, shutting down, or seeking love and approval. These are intelligent reactions in the situations we were in years ago that helped us to cope.
It’s not the illuminated freedom of our true nature that withdraws, shuts down, or seeks love and approval. It’s the pattern. And knowing this invites a new relationship with these conditioned thoughts and feelings.
Rather than living as if they are true, we can observe them, which is a powerful shift. Then we’re free to turn toward our emotions with welcoming, attuning, soothing, and reassuring. We’re giving them the loving attunement we’ve all wanted when we were young.
Almost like a miracle, we feel these delicate emotions, and at the same time have the space to stay present. This is how we show up in our relationships free of patterns.
Then our hearts are truly open, and we’re intimate with ourselves and others.
This quote goes on to say, “Your neighbors and friends have ideas about you. Do not be taken in by these ideas or in turn have ideas about them. Don’t imprison people in your memory.”
Everyone with unexplored patterns is projecting them. We have ideas about others, and assume they’re true. Others have ideas about us, and we assume they’re true.
The invitation is to come to our relationships—with ourselves and with others—free of the past. This means acknowledging whatever separates us—resentments, judgments, hurt, fears—and holding them in love. We’re not imprisoning ourselves or others in our memory, as this is limiting…and fundamentally false.
Can you reflect on bringing this possibility of freedom from the past into your everyday life—with your partner, children, parents, friends, and colleagues? What arises for you?
Jean Klein finishes with, “So live in your surroundings as if for the first time. Be without qualifications. In this nakedness you are beautiful and every moment is full of life.”
This doesn’t mean that our patterns don’t appear. They do, and we get caught in them.
The beauty of exploring the nature of reality is that we realize we don’t have to identify with the patterns. We don’t have to live in the world—and in our relationships—as if we are small, needy, and fearful, expecting others to reject us.
Underneath these limitations, when you explore deeply enough, you discover the illuminated essence of who you are…fresh, alive, and free of memory.
And this is where intimacy with all is possible.