Terry, I’ve been feeling this new feeling. It’s sort of new, we touched on it the other day, but in fact it’s one I’ve had a lot, but now I can see what it’s really about - it’s a lot stronger.
Yes, tell me about it, what is it? Hang on, I’ll just turn this off.
And by you saying that Terry, that’s what it is about. You have no idea how good you saying just those few words makes me feel. But it’s not so much the words than your intention, because you make me feel like you’re really interested in me, that you do actually want to know what I’m talking about. So you want to know me - all who I am, all what I’m feeling and thinking. And you don’t just sit there like a good boy waiting for me to tell you, as if it’s your duty, being the dutiful boyfriend; and you don’t keep on watching the television paying only half attention to me, you have even turned it off! Terry, do you realise, you are a changed man!
There was nothing good on anyway.
But Terry, you do feel you do want to know what I am about to say; you do actually want to hear me, and even put me first in your life... don’t you, my feelings are right, aren’t they, or am I just making it up, hoping you are?
No Annie, I want to hear what you’ve got to say. I do. So far as I can tell, I’m genuine in my feelings of wanting to hear what you’re going so say, even if it ends up making me feel bad. I’ve been thinking more about our trying to express all our bad feelings together to see what they are all about and why we have them, and I’m liking it more and more. Although ‘liking’ is probably not the right word... valuing it, seeing there is value in it... and it’s important, yeah, that it is important, for me, and you, but something that is good for me to do. But Ann, you go on, tell me about what you’re feeling, what you wanted to speak about, don’t let me take over.
And you saying that Terry, that too is all part of it. That you keep me in mind, that you still recognise that I want to tell you something I’m feeling. And that you’re not just now going on with all your thoughts and feelings and I’m pushed aside, left out and forgotten about.
Terry, you make me feel that you do care about me, that you do value me, that I am important, and that it’s not all just about you, you being the only person always taking centre stage.
I do, I do care about you, like I’ve said all the way along.
Yes I know you’ve said such things, but it’s actions, in these little ways, that’s what is far more important the a few words. In your actions you are showing me that you care about me, that you’re putting me first, wanting me to come and be with you and for me to share myself with you. And that you want us to be together, to be equals; and as I have something to say about myself now, that you’re there, right there for me, giving me your full attention.
Yes, and that’s very important to me, that I feel you are giving me your full attention. Attention, yes, that’s the word, that’s what I need, and I think we all need it, to know that the other person is giving us their full attention; and they only want us, and they want all of us, and right now, and not, oh don’t bother me now I’m busy, come back later and tell me; or, hang on I’ll be there when this show is over. It’s all right now. I want to tell you something now, I want to share with you some part of myself, I want to bring myself out to you, and now, right now, not when the television show is over in half an hours time. Because by that time, it’s gone, the moment has passed, I’ve moved on, and if I hadn’t brought that part of myself out then, it’s lost, or perhaps it will have to wait for another time.
And I want to live right in the moment with myself, with my feelings. But of course we can’t always just drop everything and pay undivided attention to each other, but when we can, I’d like us to, yes, that’s what I want.
Yeah well it sounds good to me. I’d like that too.
Good. Which brings me to talking about what it was that I wanted to talk about.
Oh God, finally, I was wondering when you’d get around to it, there’s a show I want to watch starting in ten minutes time and...
Oh Terry, shut up, stop stirring me. This is all very serious to me.
Sorry love, it was meant to be a joke, please continue.
Terry, what it is that I’m feeling is that I want, and need, someone, that person now being you, to be there for me when I feel bad, so I know that I can come to you and tell you how I’m feeling. I want to know, need to know, that you are there for me, any time, wanting me to come and tell you all how I feel. And to know that you are... oh that gives me, would give me, such a good feelings. A feeling of being comforted, that I can come and unburden myself to you, and that you are there waiting and willing to accept me, and wanting to listen to all I have to say. And you will not try to take over and try to control me to make me feel better, but to just accept me as I am; yes, that’s what I want, just to know that you fully accept me as I am. And that I can trust you on that. And that I can come and be in any state and tell you all how bad I feel... Oh gee Terry, I just longed for the truth of why I was feeling this feeling, and instantly a feeling of that’s how I would have wanted dad to be came up in me. And now I think about it, both dad and mum. I could go to mum more, but not dad, dad was always stand-offish, he was never just there for me, I couldn’t just go to him and tell him all my bad stuff.
He didn’t want to know it. I was scared of him. He was just this big figure, always over there, and sort of out of reach, while mum and the rest of us sort of got on and lived our lives together.
So I want a new father, or a real father I guess, and I want that person in you Terry. You have always mostly listened to me, and that’s why I was attracted to you-
And not because of my good looks?
Serious Terry, this is very important to me, and you’re only putting me off my chain of thought.
So I want you to be there for me, but more importantly, because that’s what everyone says, you read it all the time in all the books, “I want you to be there for me and I’ll be there for you”, all so American, but it’s more than that. I want you to really be there for me, so I know that I can come and tell you all how bad I’m feeling and you don’t judge me, don’t criticise me, you don’t push me away and reject me. You welcome me, you want me more than anything else in the world to tell you all about myself, that it’s your number one priority in your life. And you are my nice loving always-there-for-me daddy, and I can come and jump into your arms and you will hold me tight, and I can tell you all that I’m feeling. And especially how bad I am feeling. And you don’t get angry with me, you don’t make me feel bad for being how I am, and you love me. And I can feel you loving me, I can feel it deep inside me, right through all my bones; and gee Terry, that’s what I want... Oh I’m going to cry, I feel that’s it, that’s what I really want, I’m desperate for it, but I feel very sad, and that’s what’s making me cry; sad that I didn’t get that from my father. I couldn’t run and jump into his arms of love. He wasn’t there always welcoming me so I could tell him all my bad stuff. He always pushed me away, telling me not to behave like that. I could cry at times, he tolerated some of that, but that’s what I always felt, it was just him tolerating it, and really he’d have rathered that I didn’t cry.
So he wanted you all to just be all right all the time, and never feel bad or upset or anything like that.
Yes. I’ve never really seen it as clearly as that, but yes, that’s exactly how he wanted it. He didn’t like any of us crying or being upset, and I never saw him upset or crying or anything like that. God no, that would have been the end of the world. He never caved in, he never buckled, he was always there unchanging, which I used to admire in him, but I don’t anymore.
You used to think he was good being like that, that it was the right way?
Yes, particularly in a man. That the man was the stoic one, that he could take it all and never buckled; he was always the same, the one you could rely and count on, the backbone of the family. But now I don’t see it as a good thing at all. Now I see it completely around the other way. Gee, how about that Terry, I’d have never seen it like that had I not spoken about all of this with you.
It’s because we’re both longing and wanting to see the truth of our feelings Ann. I think that what is happening, that’s why you’re seeing it in a new light. And I can feel, I agree with you, so I think it’s in the right light - the truth. So many men are meant to be the strong ones, never show any bad emotion, have everything - their feelings - under control as you know, but it sucks; really, the more I go with this feeling acceptance stuff, the more I can see it really sucks. It’s sort of acceptable that women speak about their feelings - but only to the degree tolerated by the man, and mostly they can cry whereas men aren’t supposed to. And yet why shouldn’t we men speak about all we’re feeling too. It’s not as if we don’t have feelings. But we’re forced to keep them all buried, never let them out or you’re seen as being weak, and that all that emotional stuff is really for women.
I like all of what you’ve said Ann, and it’s what I want too. I too want to know that you are there for me, so I can come anytime I’m feeling bad and tell you all about it. However, I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it as easily as you seem to be able to, I’ve got so much of the male programming to deal with. I don’t know if I will be as all-accepting as you are.
Well Terry, at least we know we both want it. It’s something we can work towards.
Yes, so if you feel I’m not opening up or not giving you my full attention, can you please tell me, like you did the other day, even if you have to hit me.
I certainly will Terry, you can count on that. And again, just you saying that, you’re saying all the right things Terry.
I’m on a role, I’d better make the most of it while it lasts.
Well you are, and it’s all what I’m saying, you’re showing me that you want what I want, and I think that’s very important. I want to know that we’re in this together, not the same, but that we are “there for each other”. Right there, and that we are most important things for each other. Ooo Terry, it gives me nice warm feelings deep inside me. To think that we could have our own special relationship, just the two of us together working on ourselves, trying to stop our feeling-denial and seeing what comes as a result of it.
Yes, I like the idea of that. Like our being in our own little world, living this way of life as we want to. I’m still getting used to the idea, that it is a new way to live, but every time I think more about it, I like it - it makes me feel good. It’s sort of like an adventure we’re on. Not out there bush-bashing our way through the jungle, but an... what would you call it... and inner journey. Yes, I like that, we’re on an inner journey of self-discovering, and all through our feelings.
We are Terry, yes I like that too. And inner journey of self-discovery. And you know something Terry, that’s what I’m going to write about, my inner journey of self-discovery with you, and all through looking to our feelings and uncovering the truth they want us to see.
It’s living a true spiritual life: uncovering the truth of yourself through your ongoing feeling acceptance.