Resisting being controlled by anyone became Len's primary motivation. No one was going to take advantage of him. No one was going to hurt him. He shut down, closed his heart, and became a very lonely adolescent.
I started to work with Len because his third marriage was falling apart. Stuck in his resistance, he could not connect with his wife - just as he had not been able to connect with his two previous wives and numerous girlfriends.
When he started to work with me, he had every reason in the world for blaming his current wife for the lack of connection between them - just as he had blamed all the other women in his life.
He was convinced he had just not yet found the right woman.
The real issue was that Len would not connect with himself or with any sense of spiritual Guidance. His resistance had become so entrenched that he was resisting the needs of his own Inner Child, as well as resisting being "controlled" by his spiritual Guidance.
The result of this was that he generally felt completely empty inside and then blamed his wife for not filling him up. One of the problems in dealing with resistance is that, because it generally starts very early in life, it becomes as invisible and as ubiquitous as the air you breathe. It is the automatic reaction to anything that you perceive as control, whether it is from another person, from your own Inner Child, from the demands and judgments of your wounded self, or from what you may project onto your concept of a Higher Power. Your wounded resistant self will resist being tuned into your own feelings, fearing being controlled by your Inner Child. Likewise, you will resist messages from your Guidance, fearing being controlled by a power greater than your wounded self.
This level of resistance makes it impossible to be in a loving relationship. When you perceive another's desire for connection and intimacy as a demand, you will automatically resist it. The more you resist, the more you will perceive your partner as the problem. This is the situation that Len was in when he first consulted with me. He realized that it would not benefit him to leave yet another marriage and search for the "right" woman. While he really believed that he was a nice guy, he was smart enough to realize that he had something to do with the problems in his relationships.
Through our work, Len learned that there was a huge difference between being nice and being loving. Len's niceness was one of the ways he tried to control getting love while at the same time resisting being controlled by not opening his heart to loving. His niceness was a cover-up for his refusal to open to learning about loving himself and others. He was completely devoted to getting love from others while equally devoted to resisting being loving with himself and others. His intention was to control getting love and avoiding pain, and resisting being controlled, rather than to learn about loving himself and sharing his love with others. Len has ostensibly been on a spiritual path for many years. Yet he had never experienced a personal connection with a spiritual source of Guidance. As much as he thought he wanted to, there was no way of experiencing the Presence of Spirit when controlling and resisting being controlled were his primary intentions.
For Len, the shift in his intention did not come until he suffered a heart attack. The brush with death scared him enough that control and resistance lost their meaning to him, and learning about loving himself and others took on a high priority. Fortunately, Len is now practicing connecting with his Guidance and taking loving care of himself, and his marriage is thriving.