Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Privilege to Flee- Telling the Truth

Sometimes I write, sometimes I read. Lately I've been taking in lots of reading...writing will resume soon. Lots to process and digest: 

From Terry Real: www.terryreal.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/The-Awful-Truth1.pdf

The unvoiced open secret, the elephant in the middle of the room, is that men bring into the therapy room the same privilege they bring into the living room and bedroom: the privilege to flee. 

"Conventional wisdom has it that men are afraid of intimacy. But I don’t think so. I think many men, like Peter, don’t know what real intimacy is. They bring the one-up, one-down framework of masculinity into their relationships and read closeness through the only filter they know. Men aren’t afraid of intimacy; they’re afraid of subjugation. Many men read emotional receptivity as an invitation to be run over. But shame and grandiosity are incompatible with love."

"Even today, men’s entitlement to withdrawal or attack when confronted, and women’s vacillation between silence, eruption, care-taking, and manipulation are the central components of heterosexual relations under the rule of patriarchy."

"Women in our culture tend to lead with shame. Their grandiosity, which most often shows up as managing men (rather than being with them), being manipulative, and being condescending, tends to be covert. Men, by contrast, tend to lead with grandiosity while struggling with covert shame. There are exceptions; there’s no surfeit of offensive women or role-reversed couples. But, as the women’s literature has detailed for decades, most women in our culture struggle with disempowerment, and their healing work centers on re-empowerment. Men, by contrast, struggle with disconnection: their healing work centers on reconnection."

"There are things you get in a real relationship, and things you do not get. The character of the union is determined by  how the two  parties manage both aspects of love-the getting and the not getting. Moving into acceptance means moving into grief, without being a victim. You own your choice. 'I am getting enough in this relationship,' you  say,'to make it worth my while to mourn the rest.And mourn we do. Real love is not for the faint of heart. What we miss in our relationships we truly miss. The pain of it does not, and need not, go away. It is like dealing with any  loss.
I object when people, especially therapists, talk about "resolving grief," as if grief could ever be so compliant. We humans don't 'resolve'grief, we live with it. The pain of our losses recedes, over time, and we get on with our lives. But periodically one may well feel the chill hand on the heart- what we miss, our mortality-its sudden grip like a sharp intake of breath.It is important for us to recall in such moments that we still remain. Grief washes over us and we are left standing. It's ok. Nothing's wrong. It's just a  natural part of things. Dead leaves underfoot.A clear autumn evening, the black sky like a vault, the vapor of our own breath in the air, a surprise.'Oh,' we say." It will  be winter again soon. It's grown dark so early."And burrow deep into our clothes for a moment, glad to be heading home."p.224

And of course, those explorations lead to a book on HOW to tell your truth:

The mind is a jail built out of bullshit. This book tells how the bullshit jail of the mind gets built and how to escape. This is a "how to" book on freedom. Withholding from other people, not telling them about what we feel or think, keeps us locked in the jail. The longer we remain in that jail, the quicker we decline. We either escape, or we go dead. The way out is to get good at telling the truth.

Brad Blanton. Radical Honesty: How to Transform Your Life by Telling the Truth (Kindle Locations 106-109). Kindle Edition. 

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