Healing Challenges In Relationships

Everything seems to go well in relationships until circumstances or interactions activate some aspect of the pain and fear we carry within us. Unaware we carry this pain and fear, the probability is high we will become frightened and defensive when it surfaces. To us, it looks and feels like the person or situation that brought these painful feelings to the surface has CAUSED them. When this happens, through lack of readiness, skills or stamina, the pain and fear we experience often feels threatening and overwhelming. At this point, we usually turn to defensive patterns we have learned in the past to try and shut them down. They might include avoidance, flight, blame and anger to escape or drive away the seeming cause of the pain and fear we are being pressed to experience.

As long as we have pain and fear within us to heal, through the "Law of Attraction," these "Pain Body" vibrations will continually draw to us relationships and situations of like vibration that will activate and bring them unexpectedly to the surface. It seems to me that the only meaningful way to deal with this pain and fear is to find appropriate ways to feel, release and heal it so that it will not damage the good and valuable parts of our relationships or keep returning. It makes no sense to continue behaviour that does not help in some way to release and heal the pain and fear blocking the Peace, Joy and Love hidden beneath. This pain and fear is, as Joel Goldsmith says, “an appearance only and not the truth.” These are the “Mythical Dragons” found in the tales of middle-age literature that appear to guard the castle, a symbol of the heart, to try and stop the questing knights from finding, “The Holy Grail,” the Joy and Love hidden deep within. Finding Inner Peace and Love, therefore, depends on our willingness to face and defeat or dissolve the illusion of these Fire-Breathing Dragons, metaphors for the pain and fear, housed within the ego, that try to stop us from finding inner peace and love.

We defeat or dissolve these “Mythical Dragons” simply by facing and experiencing them. We need only breathe fully and relax into our pain and fear with each out breath. As you begin to calm somewhat with the realization you are surviving the pain and fear of the experience, use the Joel Goldsmith approach for dealing with this kind of situation. Confront these painful illusions with, "You are an appearance only. You are not the truth. I will give you no power over me!” Then follow the directions found in “A Course In Miracles” with, “Holy Spirit, I willingly give you these appearances that are not of love to dissolve into the nothingness from which they were born." (T-12.11.10) The more often you practice this exercise whenever your pain and fear is activated, the sooner you will come to realize, through experience, that it will eventually dissolve like mist in the summer sun. In the beginning, expect your ego to resist and want you to see the cause of the pain and fear coming from outside you and press you to attack or defend against it. This will keep you suffering as its hostage. Always remember, even though your pain and fear might look and feel like someone or something outside you caused it, this is NOT THE TRUTH. Our pain and fear is held within our own consciousness, projected and then reflected or activated by seeming outside forces. It is our willingness to give up our struggle with these outside forces and experience the pain and fear within us, without resistance, attack or defense that will dissolve it forever within our mind. “All that I do I do unto myself. If I attack, I suffer. But if I forgive (overlook with compassion) salvation will be given me.” (L-216, ACIM) To better understand and accept this “non dualistic” philosophy of “A Course In Miracles,” that the world we seem to experience outside us is really housed like a dream within our own mind, I encourage you to read the book, “ Is There Life After Death?” by Anthony Peake.

It is both possible and simple to develop more constructive strategies to deal with these Dragons when they become aroused within our relationships. In fact, the only reason we are here is to do just that, to undo our ego and its defenses. Usually when the pain and fear within us becomes activated, we become frightened and overwhelmed. Often our partners or others we interact with appear to cause our upset and we lash out at them with blame and anger attempting to stop the seeming cause of the pain and fear we experience. Sometimes we will withdraw instead. The purpose behind more constructive coping choices is to help us face, feel and release the pain and fear within us, instead of defending or attacking the situations and individuals that activate them. Unless we face and release this pain and fear, it will continually return to haunt us. If we attack, we will be attacked. If we forgive, (overlook with compassion) we will be forgiven. "All that I give, I give to myself," (L-126, ACIM)

When we have suffered enough from our relationship conflicts, dramas and the pain and fear that drew them to us, we will eventually become ready to ask for and try, “A Better Way” to heal and release this inner pain and fear. The readiness and willingness to surrender the old destructive patterns is always the hardest part the healing journey. It is sometimes difficult at first to discover the painful emotions and fears that are being activated within us. In most instances, they will revolve around issues like, unexpected change or loss, disappointment, betrayal, failure, the unknown, sadness, worthlessness, separation, emptiness, helplessness, feeling overwhelmed, trapped or abandoned. Their pain and fear will be physically experiences somewhere in the area of the heart or abdomen. These will be the areas to breathe, let go and relax into on every out breath. This will release and heal them. Once we begin to breathe more deeply and relax more fully into our “Pain Body,” it will lessen the intensity of our anxiety and eventually dissolve the pain and fear it holds. Be very patient and persistent in this pursuit.

One last thing, if we consistently felt the security and love we shared at the beginning of our relationships or in past ones, the necessary activation of our inner pain and fear for healing would be absent. If we want to heal this pain and fear and awaken to the Peace and Joy hidden in our consciousness, beneath these clouds of fear-based ego, it is somewhat naive and unfair for us to blame our current partners for playing their perfect activation and healing roles within our relationship dramas. On the other hand, it is just as naive to think that we will not experience this same Inner Peace, Joy and Love within all our relationships, after we gain the courage to face and dissolve these cloud-layers. These are the mind, body, emotion defenses and appearances of pain and fear that hide from us the Light, Peace, Joy and Love of our Spiritual Identity, buried like a treasure beneath them.

If you are interested in a more detailed article on this topic, please click onto the link below that will take you to an article I had published September 2010 in Jon Mundy’s “Miracle Magazine,” out of New York. It is “A Course In Miracles” based and titled, “A Better Way.”


David Ott, M.Ed.


Author's Bio: 

David Ott, M.Ed., Director
Peak Recovery Program, Victoria,B.C.

Trained at the Gestalt Institute of Toronto
Student and Teacher of “A Course In Miracles”

Former guest workshop facilitator at
“The Orchard Recovery Centre” on Bowen Island.

Former Employee Assistance Program Director
for Panorama Ski Resort, Invermere, B.C.

Former Life Skills Coordinator
for the Canadian Military, Baden, Germany