John Welwood Quotes
When we reveal ourselves to our partner and find that this brings healing rather than harm, we make an important discovery – that intimate relationship can provide a sanctuary from the world of facades, a sacred space where we can be ourselves, as we are …This kind of unmasking – speaking our truth, sharing our inner struggles, and revealing our raw edges – is sacred activity, which allows two souls to meet and touch more deeply.
A relationship that has any depth and power at all will inevitably penetrate our usual shield of defenses, exposing our most tender and sensitive spots, and leaving us feeling vulnerable – literally, ‘able to be wounded.’ To love, in this sense, is to open ourselves to being hurt. The dream of love would have us believe that something is wrong if a relationship causes us pain. Yet trying to avoid the wound of love only creates a more permanent kind of damage. It prevents us from opening ourselves fully, and this keeps us from ever forming a deeply satisfying intimate connection.
The less you demand total fulfillment from relationships, the more you can appreciate them for the beautiful tapestries they are, in which absolute and relative, perfect and imperfect, infinite and finite are marvelously interwoven. You can stop fighting the shifting tides of relative love and learn to ride them instead. And you come to appreciate more fully the simple, ordinary heroism involved in opening to another person and forging real intimacy.
At any moment, whatever we are experiencing, only one of two things is ever happening: either we are being with what is, or else we are resisting what is. Being with what is means letting ourselves have and feel our experience, just as it is right now. … This is where genuine creativity, health, and communication, as well as spiritual power, arise from.
Cult leaders are often self-styled prophets who have not studied with great teachers or undergone lengthy training or discipline themselves. . . Many of the most dangerous cultic figures of our times have no such stabilizing context of tradition, lineage or transmission, but are self-proclaimed gurus who sway their followers through their charismatic talents. . . .
The more two people open to each other, the more this wide-openness also brings to the surface all the obstacles to it: their deepest, darkest wounds, their desperation and mistrust, and their rawest emotional trigger points. Just as the sun’s warmth causes clouds to arise by prompting the earth to release its moisture, so love’s pure openness activates the thick clouds of our emotional wounding, the tight places where we are shut down, where we live in fear and resist love.
Forget about enlightenment. Sit down wherever you are and listen to the wind that is singing in your veins. Feel the love, the longing and the fear in your bones. Open your heart to who you are, right now, not who you would like to be. Not the saint you’re striving to become. But the being right here before you, inside you, around you. All of you is holy. You’re already more and less than whatever you can know. Breathe out, look in, let go.