Once again, I turn to the poet and mystic Mark Nepo and The Book of Awakening for gems of wisdom about the stones that block our hearts from fully loving:

“It seems this is the never-ending work of relationship, each of us in our own time and way moving the stones between us, repositioning the heavy things that get in the way, so the life of feeling can continue.”

Isn’t this what you’re longing for: “to reposition the heavy things that get in the way, so the life of feeling can return?” The way I understand this is that the “heavy things” are the fear-blocks and when you learn how to reposition these heavy blocks of fear that weigh like stones on your heart, you’re then able to pop the corks of false perceptions that eclipse seeing your partner clearly. Then the natural attraction flows. Then you can feel the wellsprings love that are waiting to come forth.

Mark Nepo continues:

“The weather of simply living jams things up, and we, like every generation before us, must roll up our pants and sleeves, step into the river, and unclog the flow. Of course, we need to ask, ‘What are the stones pushed about between us? What are the heavy things that keep getting in the way?’

“No doubt, they are infinite and particular, but often, they are made of habits of not: not seeing, not hearing, not feeling, not being present, not risking the truth, not risking the heart’s need to live out in the open.”

But how to “unclog the flow”? First we must learn to name the source of clog, which means naming the fear-walls and how they manifest for you.

Once named, we must learn how to soften the walls through daily actions that bring us closer to our partners.

Then we must learn how to work with the “habits of not: not hearing, not feeling, not being present, not risking the heart’s need to live out in the open.”

Let’s flesh this last bit out. At the very core of the attraction spike – or any spike that includes the word “enough” (not intellectual enough, not ambitious enough, not funny enough, not serious enough) – is the projection of your own lack of self-worth. We project outward onto our partners our inner shame stories. Sometimes these shame stories are on the surface and easily accessible, but sometimes they’re buried so deeply into the underlayers of psyche, down down into the soft, muddy places where we’ve stuffed the raw belief that we’re not enough that the only way they can be seen is when they appear on the projection screen of our partner’s perceived inadequacies.

This can sound like:

“My partner isn’t intellectual enough” = I struggle with claiming my own intelligence or I’ve attached my self-worth to how others perceive me intellectually.

“My partner isn’t attractive enough” = I’ve criticized my physical appearance my entire life, and was likely teased or bullied for some aspect of myself physically growing up. I attach physical appearance with self-worth, and see my partner as a reflection of my worthiness.

“I don’t love my partner enough” = I don’t love myself enough.

Projections aren’t always this simplistically decoded, meaning when we unpack an intrusive thought it’s not always as simple as turning it around to reflect an aspect of ourselves. But replacing the magnifying glass with the mirror is the first essential step toward unhooking from a projection and unpacking it at the root.

In essence, this is how projection works: we see outwardly onto others what we cannot yet see in ourselves. This is, in fact, the gift of projection, for we cannot grow and heal what we cannot see, and it seems that one of the only ways we see clearly is through the projection. If we’re on a path of healing and growing we learn to see projection as a gift of psyche, the way our unconscious says, “It’s hard to see your blind spots, so I’ll project them outward to help you see what needs attention inwardly.”

This naming, softening, and reversing the habit of not seeing and not risking are some of the Love Laws and Loving Actions that I teach in Open Your Heart: A 30-day program to feel more love and attraction for you partner. We start by naming the veils of illusion and the walls of fear that prevents us from seeing our partners clearly, then we move into the practices that help us clear the silt that prevents us from seeing ourselves clearly. In this way, we begin the break-through task of repositioning the heavy things that get in the way of loving, stepping into the river, and unclogging the flow. This round of the course will begin on Sunday, August 4, 2019, and I look forward to meeting you there.

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