We interviewed Patricia following the Melloweden workshop. She was noticeably tired, having just talked for three hours. At the end of her workshop, a woman began screaming and sobbing; it was a wonderful opportunity to watch Patricia in action — not moving in to shut down the emotion, to ask her to stop, but to tune in, to just be with her, as the pain oozed out like pus from a wound. Patricia was able to straddle a place of appreciating, and respecting, her grief, but not buying into hysteria. I think this is the essence of being a healer because, as Patricia says, it “leaves room for the giggle afterwards.”
SY: You’ve talked about male/female relationships. What about the predicament of someone who doesn’t love himself completely, and knows that, and loves someone else incompletely? What about the difficulty of holding it together? Many people split up after a relatively short time.
PATRICIA: I think it is universal, that is part of the energy now, and I think the way you asked the question is sort of a trap, sort of linear; I don’t think when people get divorced it is necessarily a failure of the marriage, I think sometimes it is a finishing, a completing of the marriage. That you sometimes have worked out all the things that you can work out together. Of course sometimes it is just because you don’t want to look at the dynamic thing which is the matching junk in the other person and you’ll marry the same kind of person again. And the same problem will be there again. That’s also alright because they aren’t exactly the same kind of person, there obviously is something else in there. You don’t need to make a judgment about whether it’s good or bad, or should we stay together or not stay together, but to be genuine with one another, and be as truthful as you can be, not necessarily in detail, but in essence, in caring.
The relationship’s purpose is one of both of you becoming more conscious, and supporting each other and yourselves, in doing that. The two of you together, that’s the bond. The two of us together against that which causes us to feel weak, or powerless. If it becomes the mutual job in a relationship to do that, then the character of the relationship begins to change. This is your buddy, not your enemy. When you feel something tilt crooked when your partner does something, don’t label it, “You did something wrong,” ask, “That felt funny, is there something else you are feeling?” rather than put programming trips on it. And if you really have come together in that spirit, you can work that way, and sometimes that’ll mean you stay together and sometimes it’ll mean you will be apart. That is not the issue. You have to keep being true, and let the relationship happen. If you say the truth, you may have a problem, and mostly what women do, especially in relationships with men, is they cushion the men, they put pillows, they lie, they soften everything, they bolster the men’s egos. Then they feel resentful that they did that. They feel violated, because they weren’t themselves, they weren’t truthful. And they feel like they are being mothers taking care of a child. The man feels resentment, because somewhere he knows he’s being made childish. He’s being supported not to face the truth. In other words, it keeps both people really infantile, in a certain sense. Childish. Not child-like, but childish, refusing to accept your power. If the woman will accept her power, and not be preachy, or explaining and not arguing, she ends up respecting herself, not violating herself. The panic that arises in women is that they fear they’ll lose the relationship. My feeling is that this is what you need to have more courage to do.
Be genuine, and what will happen is that you’ll make a leap, and you may be closer together than you’ve ever been before. And clearer. And you’ll both have learned something. Or the relationship will change form, you won’t stay together. And if that is what happens from that simple genuineness, then you were using a whole lot of lies to keep it together, and all that’s doing is building resentment and pain. And that makes for a ton of bad feelings when the relationship does end, and you’re angry with the other person, and with yourself, and that’s never helpful.
Your anger has to be geared towards that which has kept you unconscious, your own conditioning that you took on. Blast your anger at that, rather than the person, even if they are doing something. But you have to also recognize that you keep playing into it, and you don’t need to do that either.
The interesting thing about being genuine is that it’s generally soft. If you’re really clear about something, you really don’t mind if somebody doesn’t agree. It’s like religion, you know, where you ask, “Do you agree?”, trying to get agreement on it when you don’t believe it yourself.
BETSY: When do you feel bad?
PATRICIA: I feel bad and good at the same time and, of course, sometimes more one than the other. I can feel what I don’t like or whatever is lost or I wish wasn’t simultaneously with how I know it fits, and what else is good. There are times when I feel down, but I don’t ever feel completely down, ever, because I always have the other in there. I use being down to discover things. When I feel sad or depressed, I use that to discover more about reality, and what my tapes are, or other peoples’, or what the nature of tapes is, and how to unravel them.
SY: Your emphasis is very much on the individual assuming his own power. It’s not on gurus or teachers. There are spiritual teachers who insist that you need to have a guru or a teacher, and are very emphatic about it. How do you respond to that?
PATRICIA: Both are true. You can use a guru, but I would say you are using the guru, it is always ultimately your choice, and you must always stay discerning. You may make a mistake and you may not, and that is the living edge, the growth edge. But to give away your power to someone is to set yourself up to have it get very crooked. It doesn’t serve the teacher either. I think one of the great things that is going to happen that’s going to alter everything, is we’re all going to become so attuned that we’ll all know when somebody is playing king, versus truly supporting everybody to be powerful, in coming home.
A guru can be someone who really does, sometimes from the nature of their personality, or sometimes through a deep spiritual connection, reveal to you or cause you to see things. So what we can boil it down to is learning how to say, somebody can have something wonderful to give me, and they can also be full of baloney. And I can discern and use that which is wonderful and beautiful that they give me, and I can support that in them, and thank them for that, and use it myself, and I do not have to blind myself, to keep the connection of love. That is sometimes one of the things gurus ask you to do. They ask you not to see or look.
BETSY: Whoever you are, and whatever you’re doing, I’m so glad you’re a woman. I wasn’t that conscious of how much I needed you in that sense until I met you. You’re doing it just fine, meeting that need.
SY: Well, I’m a man and I’m glad you’re here too. Also, I’d like to ask you about sex, and if, in your counseling with couples, you’ve found that there are common conflicts that come up?
PATRICIA: The most common thing is fear and controlling. When one is going for, and the other is going away, and then you exchange roles, it is always a mutual agreement. There is an approach-avoidance towards intimacy, because true intimacy requires giving up control, and I don’t mean consciousness, I mean manipulation. On anything as potent as sex, we can’t quite believe that we could just be close. Just make love. Just do it. Because we care so much about sex. It’s so wonderful and so powerful and so important, and so precious. We really don’t want to be disappointed, to lose it. I think a lot of the approach-avoidance comes from that.
The most powerful way to get someone to come towards you is to step back. Not to punish, and not to punch your way out of the paper bag. Sit back in the bag. Because you’re not going to get it any faster by punching your way out, you’ll get it less fast. Period. It doesn’t work, for one. And if you keep doing it, a part of you is just running on the tape that doesn’t work, and it’s like walking into a wall. And you have to know that you are creating it, through the process of believing the desperateness. Or the tape that “men want, women don’t.” Because that’s just not true. Women want it as much as men, or more. But they want sex that will let them have it on a feeling level. On the other hand, they fear that, more often than they admit. And as they have men coming on this way so they can feel justified stepping back.
I did a women’s workshop yesterday, and one of the women told a story about how she had gotten angry with the man in her life because she had called him, and wanted him to meet her and be there when she got home, and he wasn’t going to be there. And she was furious, and she said, “I realized how I really want to run it. I want to keep him wanting, I want to keep him childish, because I want it when I want it.” There was a part of her being the mother, manipulating, that way.
Women need to realize that by going around this way, they are still manipulating. Sometimes they will say “I want this,” when they don’t, in reaction to the male energy. And the male energy stays crooked, in part, because she is not responding honestly. Overtly, going towards, or negatively, stepping back.
It’s a real energy dance. And what we’re here to learn is that energy dance, and stop thinking it’s just this thing, or this person, who is being an immovable object. They are something I can’t manipulate or control. That’s not what we’re here to do. We’re here to feel each other. To know each other. To read each other. To truly nurture and support each other, in power. And that’s a whole different kind of feeling. When you find it, it’s really neat, when you get to do it. You don’t even have to think.
SY: I have the desire to relate to other people that way. But I deal with a lot of conditioning, like relating to women as sexual objects, and also relating to them as beautiful conscious beings. My unconsciousness is frequently more powerful than my consciousness.
PATRICIA: Almost everybody feels that way. Men and women alike feel like they’re in that in between place, and it feels unsatisfactory, but you have to remember everybody else feels the same way, and it’s sort of like birth pangs, and the more we can like birth pangs, ride with them, relax into it, stay observing, stay feeling, it will move to the next level. The more you hate it, the more you resent it, the more you feel put upon, and you make yourself more unconscious because you’re out of touch with your power. It really is the soft conquers the hard, that dynamic. It’s a hard one for us to learn.
SY: In just twenty years?
PATRICIA: I think so. I think it’s going to get very catching.
You made a point that reminded me of something in a men and women’s workshop I did, one night with the men, and another with the women, and then everyone together. At the one where we were all together, the women brought up a lot of anger and fear and resentment about men thinking if you’re an unmarried woman you have to go out with them or they have a right to touch you. This is a very common male tendency. And women are very angry about it. I made the point that the reason they’re angry is because the men refuse to really see them, and therefore the women are made unreal, and it’s very painful to be made unreal. The women really do want to be touched, but they want to do it in that feeling place. And men, out of habit, out of programming, out of fear, make women objects; it’s sort of a fun thing between men, a way for men to feel closer to men, to make women unreal in this way, and they don’t realize the consequences.
One man brought up that he never understood that until he lived in an apartment house where his next door neighbor was gay, and kept pursuing him all the time. He said, “I realized how unpleasant that was. I didn’t have any problem with him being gay; I had a problem with not being seen, and being pushed and being pursued.” And I said, “That’s great,” and all the women cheered. And then I said, “Now multiply that one hundredfold from the time you were a little boy, and how would you feel about that?” So the men could feel how painful that was. It helped them shift consciousness. Once you feel that, you can’t do it anymore, once you realize the pain it causes. And the distance it creates between you and what your needs really are.