Compensating for Desire: Withholding
It was in admitting my desire for connection to something more that I came to see how much of a fear-based life I lived before OM.
I was so afraid that I could never have the kind of connection I wanted that I couldn’t even admit wanting it to myself or anyone else.
I discovered through my practice that I had learned to use a number of “behaviours and methods” to obscure my deep desire for connection. These included among others, attachment to only one style of relating, problem-solving, avoidance, withholding, provocation, and obscuration.
After acknowledging my desire it became my work to identify and dismantle these “behaviours and methods” I once used to minimise intimacy and thereby obscure my true desire - because now they worked at cross-purposes to what I knew I wanted.
These compensatory behaviours were so ingrained that at first they were really hard to see.
The presence and non-judgement I learned through OM increased my self-awareness over time.
I began to notice that I would often hold back or stay silent in connection rather than share the full extent of my thoughts, feelings, perspectives and desires.
I started to detect the impact withholding actually had on my relationships.
Far from being an act of generosity that created space for others, it stopped others from really getting to know me.
I would also often feel strangely resentful at my friends and lovers, even though I was the one who had made the choice not to say it all when we were together.
It took a while before I was able to admit that what I really wanted was for others to come in and get me, and that I had elevated my communication above theirs, as something they needed to earn before I would share.
Every time, I withheld, I was really denying the other person my love.
It took a lot to admit that as a withholder, I was superior, controlling, a critical perfectionist with high expectations of myself and others.
Consciously giving up my withholds, relinquishing perfectionism, and my need to control and be superior, I found brought a greater level of integrity to my relationships.
Reading from the Thursday 21st January 2021 International iOM meeting on Zoom