The Middle Path – Navigating Relationships

At first it is deliriously delightful to be controlled, held, to be given a new form. It is tantalising to drink in a hopeful newness. To be moulded and shaped into something more than I am now is, for me, an ingrained response message: I am being loved. To be accepted as I am now, to be held, and to be encouraged to grow.

It feels safe.

As a creative, I do not live with constancy, firm containers or fixed boundaries. I live in a world without maps, without structure, without even knowing often where I am. The middle way is not an easy way, not some average Joe Bloggs grey comfort zone that simply splits the difference between extremes. But instead, I find it to be an wide-open place, with no reference points, no certainty. Like trying to balance on a dome of ice. It takes a lot of courage to not grasp onto reference points others have left of their experience, their goals, their results. Without a place to mirror, without being able to see the reflection of oneself, in short to be without reference points can be the ultimate loneliness, but also can be enlightenment, says Pema Chondron.

So, perhaps I am being regressive even when I fall into the arms of a man, reassured by his strong bonds around me, of who he sees I am. I am delighted to be seen, after long lonely travels, I am delighted to be heard (and commented on) after such long silences, I am delighted to be touched and held after such intangibility.

For a while.

I have never noticed the shift from feeling nourished by being held by a man’s firm structure, grounding me, to feeling starved by a man’s firm structure holding me back me from my habitual flights of being.

The regressive nature of the beast, leads to my childhood, walking backwards in time to a girl who was an extension of her father’s ego. A teenager who began to push against the concrete psychic walls to an adult rejected from the castle grounds of her father’s awareness.

To be free.

To be in painful loneliness without anyone.

To be in glorious solitude with myself.

To walk the middle path between all others.

As Machado says, ‘You make the path by walking,’ and if you are on a path that is already made, then, the truth is, it is not yours: it has been previously made by another.

Relationship cannot be what we expect. What we expect is someone else’s path memorised and internalised by our (often younger) selves. True relationship is that middle path, without references or certainty.  To truly grow requires to be able to accept the unknown and not flail reaching out to cling onto what we already know and have come to expect.

There is no right or wrong, simply a navigation through our own emotions, picking our way through swamps and appreciating in delightful pastures. It is a path through ourselves as we float in the wholly mystifying existence of being alive.

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