Opposites attract. While this can be very complementary and balancing in intimate relationships, it can also be very challenging while the pain body is healing. This means that two people can come together with gifts that offer the opportunity to build great synergy between them, but what can stand in the way of that creativity are the core fears that are opposing each other: fear of abandonment and fear of engulfment. However, it’s all designed with higher purpose.
Firstly, to help you discern which fear is having an impact on you, look to your own behaviours as described in the previous articles: The Key to Healing Abandonment and When Togetherness is Too Much. The way you’re responding to your partner or spouse overall is telling. The core energy signature to fear of abandonment is “please stay with me”, whereas the core feeling with fear of engulfment is “let me be.” Remember that these fears don’t have to be debilitating to affect how you relate.
If you fear engulfment you are likely to attract a partner who fears abandonment, and of course, vice versa. This combination can create a lot of tugging and repelling between two people. The one who fears abandonment will always want more of their partner, and the one who fears engulfment will always want less time together.
However, the higher purpose for this combination of forces is to learn harmony and balance, individually and together. If you fear abandonment you can learn from your partner and spend more time with yourself. If you fear being smothered, you can learn from your partner and move toward more togetherness. Having the awareness of these core patterns can be immensely helpful. Instead of feeling that you are always at odds with one another, or feeling personally offended by your partner, you learn to support each other through your healing of your fears. Acknowledging with each other that you each have these fears is the first step. Being willing to consciously work through the discomforts as they present themselves is highly effective for healing.
However, being self-responsible is key. You cannot expect the other to change to accommodate your fear. Instead, you recognize that you have to confront your own fear and support yourself. Whether you fear being alone, or fear being too much together, you learn to be more present with yourself first – to attend to your own emotions and needs. What you can come to realize as you heal is that you’re not powerless. You’re not dependent on your partner to have to behave in such a way that will alleviate your fears.
The role of a partner is to be supportive to help you to heal yourself: to respect the changes you’re intending to make for yourself. As you change, the dynamic between the two of you changes. In turn, your partner also has the opportunity to change and will also have to confront his/her fears to meet you in those changes. In other words, as you each heal yourselves you invite the other to heal, all the while change-by-change, moving toward balance with each other. The one who feared being left alone will come to allow more space for his/her partner. The one who feared being smothered will accept more intimacy. Together, you move away from opposing fears as the basis for your relationship, and move toward each other grounded more deeply in safety and loving acceptance. Eventually, it’s much easier to be more fully present to each other, in greater peace.
When two people willingly and consciously address these core fears together, there is a potential for great healing. It comes from bringing love to the opposing energies and creating synthesis. Fears are neutralized and harmony is nurtured. And that’s what we came here for – to be unity!
….So whenever your relationship is not working, whenever it brings out the ‘madness’ in you and your partner, be glad. What was unconscious is being brought up to the Light…….It’s an opportunity….hold it in the loving embrace of your knowing.”
Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now
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