P1 You may not perceive and experience it (warmth and love) because the senses that are destined for such perceptions are dulled by your fears, shame, and urgent wishes, and by your defenses, all of them are based on error, confusion, and misconception. And, my friends, this cannot be done by intellectual deductions and findings, but only when you allow yourself to feel, to live through your emotions and thereby determine the specific misconceptions you have harbored all your life.
You are accustomed to look for truth, guidance, and solutions to your problems outside yourself—perhaps through wise teachings, through a helping hand. But the most reliable and realistic answers come from inside yourself. You must seek calmness, outside and inside. Every day, enter into a meditation to become very still so that the inner noise that covers the well of wisdom and love makes itself precisely known to you.
After translating this noise into concise thoughts, such meditation will finally bring out of that well of wise guidance warm feelings of love and affection and understanding, without your own urgent needs blurring the realistic perception of others. The momentary existence of the barrier and the noise has to be acknowledged in relaxed openness and then translated into meaning.
P2 Yet, as you know very well, your unhappiness and confusion is always connected with the difficulty of coping with your fellow-creatures. So the remedy must be sought by allowing the layers that cover up this well to be penetrated by your conscious understanding. The first aspect is a fear that you may be forced to do something you do not want to do if you allow yourself to feel as you naturally tend to.
You fear that you have to sacrifice when you have no desire to do so or to give in when it is disadvantageous or inconvenient. Conversely, you believe that if you were to allow yourself these natural feelings (warm and loving), you would be forced to give in. You see no other alternative. To atone for not loving, one often does much more for others than one would ordinarily, and then as a consequence, one is really taken advantage of.
P3 All the emotions that stem from the misconception that your real feelings will get you into trouble—guilt, resentment for doing what you now do compulsively as a substitute for loving, lack of self-respect—create confusion and make you incapable of coping with close relationships. When you do not love, self-assertion becomes very difficult, because your gnawing guilt either paralyzes you, or, if you manage to voice your objections, they will come out in a very hurting way. Your refusal to comply with a demand cannot really hurt another, provided you love. Therefore to disagree or refuse to comply will no longer be threatening.
All this does not mean that you should artificially try to force love where it does not naturally exist. This would be useless, as you know. Strive to detect that fine and subtle current, often at first quite covered up, in which you withdraw from your organic, natural feelings, stunting them deliberately, as it were. The misunderstanding causes the deliberate cutting off of naturally arising feelings; this in turn results in guilt, fear, uncertainty, anger, resentment, helpless rage, and confused fluctuation between giving in too much and being too severe. You have to fully experience all these feelings and confusions before you can actually feel the reality of the love in you.
P4 The second aspect is this: As you know from our work in the past, almost everyone has the wish to be accepted and belong to a symbolic superior world. When this seemingly superior world happens to be unfeeling, undemonstrative, or even tough, you do not dare to let yourself feel your natural feelings, for fear of being despised by the people whose approval you seek. To simulate strength by betraying your real self, withholding love from the weaker ones whom you are supposed to reject, produces the same self-hate you feel as when you lack courage and self-assertion, when you submit in evident weakness. Those of you who belong in this category deny the best in you for the sake of approval.
The third aspect of the inner “no” against loving may at first sound paradoxical. People who have this aspect predominantly have such a great need for fulfillment and love that non-fulfillment presents a special fear and threat. Their “remedy” is a strong forcing current. It grabs and demands. Such a person wants to give, but does so compulsively, to have his or her demands fulfilled, not wisely and in sensitive awareness of what the other needs and wants. The demands and the forcing current frighten away the other person, even if the demands parade under the guise of “giving.” The idea of being refused is devastating to them, yet they court rejection by their urgency. When it comes, all they experience is the confirmation of their worthlessness. Repeated unfulfillment hurts so much more than it needs to because of a childish inability to stand frustration.
Maturity will come as you teach your soul to be able to stand frustration without repression or anger. I cannot emphasize strongly enough that all the frustrated emotions, causing the urgency and the starvation, have to be allowed to simmer on the surface, and have to be translated into concise meaningful words. Sometimes, when the needs are fulfilled, the “love” wears off. This should furnish proof that what they thought was love is not love, but a starving need.
P8 Detect your fears, your guards, your shames, your embarrassment, your resistance against feelings. As you do so, this stream of warmth and love will be able to reach you much better.
—The Pathwork® Guide