Case Study 1: Transmuting Excitement Into Aliveness

Daryl and Audrey met while they were on a trip in Europe. Audrey felt no sexual chemistry but she did feel more Alive around Daryl. She was intrigued because, while he did not meet her idea of someone she would normally be with, she found herself doing more and more things with him. Daryl interpreted her interest as romantic. He found her delightful, creative and unpredictable. He felt that around her, unexpected things would happen—and they did. He felt that his familiarity with her would soon be her experience as well. (Note: She fit his mother’s pattern, which created Excitement. She was also the perfect person to project his needs onto). He liked the sense of possibilities and the fact that she could be spontaneous and free with him. This was in contrast to his own experience (with his mother) where he felt he had to live up to her requirements. Audrey was drawn to the activities they shared, which were fun and playful. In some way, he brought out a side of her she had not had much experienced with. One thing they both agreed on was that being together was not boring.

As the relationship developed, Audrey felt pressure to define the relationship more clearly. Daryl’s Expectations and Romantic Mythology increasingly became a part of their interactions. She was afraid he was falling for her, while she did not experience a romantic interest. (Note: Her father was not like him at all. Even though she intrigued him, she didn’t feel the Excitement about him that she wanted). While he heard what she said, it did not really worry Daryl. This is because he trusted that the way they were coming together was a more important indicator of her interest than her actual words. Daryl had been in several relationships where there had been no clarity about the type of relationship they were having. However, he felt confident that the relationship would reveal itself if only he remained positive. The thing that constantly reinforced this was the fun activities and how they got along so well, especially when possibilities were undefined. After three weeks of touring Europe together, Daryl came back to his home and business in Denver, with Audrey promising to call him from her home in Boulder.

When Daryl did not hear from Audrey after two weeks, he called her. He felt disappointed when he could not seem to establish a connection with her after several days. On her part, Audrey was not purposely avoiding Daryl but she did not want him to assume that it was going to be the same as in Europe. She also needed time to process her experience with Daryl to determine what she wanted from the connection. For his part, Daryl was starting to doubt he would ever see her again, when she finally returned his call. She proposed that they be friends and meet occasionally to do activities of common interest. Daryl responded by trying to establish a time when they could get together and talk about what they would like to do. Audrey suggested a time but then called him back to change both the time and place.

Individuals are instinctively attracted to their parental patterns, confirmed by the presence of Excitement. These are addictive patterns emphasizing that we need others to complete our experience. These unconscious Attractions reflect where we do not feel seen by our parents, which drives us to look for someone who will see us. We imagine, initially in the relationship, that these people are our saviors, because we believe they can heal us. Over time, this belief creates a pressure to compromise ourselves to keep them around. Until we shift this pattern to an individual who is not a parental pattern, we are not even sure (aware) that we are losing ourselves in these relationships. When we choose Aliveness over Excitement, it opens us up to eliminate caretaking and determines if the relationship is really good for us or not. Otherwise, we keep choosing relationships that compromise us and then feel resentful about it.

Daryl becomes caught up in his ideas of how he can make an impact on Audrey. This places him at the effect of her. Audrey, on the other hand, wants to keep Daryl around to soothe her feelings of loneliness, but does not want any form of commitment. Men wanting more from her than she wants to give have compromised her in the past. She has also been at the effect of Romantic Mythology, where a man falls in love with the idea of her, but does not have an ability to connect with her in real ways. Until she can stand alone, she is also at the effect of Daryl. She only sees herself involved with him as long as there is Aliveness and the commitment to having fun. The more it becomes clear that there are huge differences about how this would work out in real time, the more disheartened they both become. This is because as long as the relationship is new and people are free to act, an Instinctive relationship can hold together. As long as the relationship is easy and does not require any external structure (as it was in Europe) it can work quite well. The problem is when Expectations become the norm; it drains life energy out of the relationship and ultimately the relationship tends to fall apart. Now that there is more geographic separation and they have different ideas about how to proceed, chaos prevails. In this story, Audrey has made a transition out of Level 1 (if she can tell her truth, despite her Fears), while Daryl is still captured by Level 1 issues (Excitement vs. Aliveness).

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© Copyright 2016, Larry Byram. All Rights Reserved.

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