Saturday, February 5, 2011

You say "potato", I say "potahto"

Let’s call the whole thing off.  Or at least that’s where I thought The Robert and I were headed yesterday.  We had settled into a lovely pattern of waking up to emails, phonecalls each morning, a couple of little missives during the day, and a goodnight email.  Then suddenly his pattern shifted noticeably.  No daily rise-and-shine messages,  only one-word notes during the day, and although the phonecalls continued, the silence at his end was deafening.  My first reaction was to go to a very well-inhabited old shoe – the “I guess I’m not good enough”, “or I’m not worth it” place and I felt a familiar clenching in the pit of my stomach. You could hear the doors of my heart starting to creak shut. 

But then I came to my senses.  I needed to look at this from a centred-as-Self place, and not a self-centred place.  That helped.  It gave me the space to become curious about my reaction and have a different experience.  So, making no assumptions, taking nothing personally, and at the same time being truthful with The Robert, I asked him what was going on.  And I told him how I was feeling and what had been activated in me.  I owned my not-good-enough piece.  He didn’t say too much but enough to let me know that the burden of the distance between us is weighing heavily on him and he doesn’t know what to do about it.  He is a problem-solver by trade, and this to him is a problem that he can’t solve.  He ended the conversation and I still felt heaviness in my heart.  I had the feeling he was strugging with how to tell me this couldn’t go on. 

Later in the day, he sent me the longest email I have ever received from him.  It was very articulate, it helped me see where he was coming from and it gave us the beginning of an incredibly intimate, loving, and healing conversation the next morning.

He had spent a sleepless night, worrying about the shape I was in.  He doesn’t think he can make me happy in the long run because we are so very different.  I told him he can’t make me happy in the short, medium, or long term because that’s not his job.  I asked him if he really meant that he wouldn’t be happy in the long run.  We talked a lot about his discomfort with these kinds of conversations.  And yet, what I know of him is that he is incredibly supportive of other people’s processes, listens well, and has good advice for them.  As long as it’s not his stuff.  I suggested that we had mocked each other up so that we could both experience a relationship in which we are scathingly truthful about ourselves and evolve from that.  He’s not so sure about that one yet.

What we came to was this.  My primacy of interaction is from a spiritual and mental source, and my emotional and physical planes are less obvious (both to me and those around me).  His is physical and mental.  That just opened up a huge space for us to play in and learn more about each other.  We were able to discover the difference between being curious about life’s challenges and wanting to learn from them (me), and seeing life’s challenges and not knowing how to fix them (him). I said I want a partner who has an appetite for learning about himself and who is willing to step outside his comfort zone to do so.  And I am completely committed to having our relationship evolve organically and not be focused on a particular outcome.

So while he is still saying potato, and I’m saying potahto, we’re calling off the “let’s call the whole thing off”.  For now. 

Here are a couple of treats for you.  Enjoy this classic…

And, my deep appreciation goes to my teacher who pointed me in the direction of this wonderful book, Undefended Love, A Practical Guide to Exceptional Relationships, by Dr. Jett Psaris and Dr. Marlena S. Lyons. The way you felt when you first fell in love ...


  1. We need to catch up! Keeping the heart open when all our old beliefs start coming to the fore front is the trick, way to go girl!

  2. It was all a just clever ruse to provide The Blogger with juicy blog material. Apparently it worked to perfection.