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The Fourth Way

Story - Trust the Process by George Lewis

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December 2005

Trust The Process

 

This is about a time in my life that only in the looking back, does ‘understanding’ come. Not the kind of understanding that always wants to know ‘why?’ but more of an inner knowing that is sufficient unto itself. Maybe this is a fragment of life or even the whole of ones life that only becomes clear right at the point of ‘knowing’ that life, as you know it, is ending.

 

            I was first married in 1973 – the desire to be a husband and a dad and family man was very important to me – though not in a very conscious way; -- in looking back it was in fact, the way I was dealing with my inner pain which I was totally unaware of at the time. Now I know the pain was something to do with growing up in a family where both my parents were so wrapped up in their own pain that they were not able to ‘be’ there for themselves or me. Being a sensitive young lad, I was able to tune into whatever was present (or not present!) and I knew that I did not want this and I promised to myself (as young children do) ‘when I grow up, I will have the best god damned family ever!’ And of course, with child-like simplicity this was going to make up for all that unresolved pain that I was a part of. And so it was that a dream was launched – by a 6-year-old who was feeling a lot of pain and very unloved.

 

            And so it was that I married a woman – whose father’s name was George; whom she loved to hate because of all the pain he inflicted on his family; so we were – a natural fit for each other – her pain set to ‘duke’ it out with my pain and vice-versa. After 3 wonderful healthy sons and some good times and a nice home and a steady secure job, her pain finally broke out and went off with another guy – a sort of check mate end game that left me holding my pain and a 6 year-olds shattered dreams.

 

            Now I don’t blame my first wife – after all, what self respecting woman wants to take second place to a man’s pain? Especially when it was in the form of a 6-year-old boys dream. And so the foundation – the very purpose of my life crumbled. My family crumbled. My practice crumbled. Even my faith crumbled and my very reason to exist was on the brink of crumbling away. It felt like my whole life was being stripped away and I was left naked and vulnerable with no place to go and no place to hide from my embarrassment, guilt and shame. (I guess I had an inkling of what Job went through right down to the losing of his faith.)

 

            During this time, energy was pouring through my body – high intensity energy that helped me to see things in a whole different way. I could see things and sense things before they happened and I ‘knew’ what illnesses and disease meant and which of my patients was going to get what. This was an inner knowing that was a sufficient unto itself a kind of knowing. 

 

            Having let my kids – my wife – my sense of family – go, there seemed to be nothing left to do except to have it out with God and let him/her know how I felt about this whole deal - so off I went to the High Sierra’s to have it out with him.  I screamed out my pain.  I puked it out. Crapped it out. Pissed it out. Sobbed it out; I just let it all go back to whence it came from. All of this I did from a place of inner knowing. The first time this inner knowingness showed up (consciously) was in the wreckage of all that I was not. I ‘knew’, just ‘knew’ beyond all knowing that if I did not get myself into a space of inner peace that I would never ever again make a peaceful decision for myself on my life or anyone else.  So it was that this knowing directed me to Journey with Tom Pinkson a medicine man and psychologist from Mill Valley, California who had trained to be a Shaman with the Huichoil Indians of New Mexico for 15 years or so. So my inner knowing took me to him and off we went – a band of 7 or 8 questing for a vision for our lives. Off we went to a sacred lake way up in the High Sierras in the wilderness part of Yosemite National Park. This is where I had it out with my maker and gave it all back to him. After this process finished I ‘knew’ I still wanted to be a father and a husband and a family man and a man.  I ‘knew’ that to be true for me.  How this was to come about I did not know – but I ‘knew’ it was going to be true for me.

            I thought about re-establishing myself on the west coast but my inner knowing was restless about this. Once the decision to re-establish in Toronto was taken, my inner knowing relaxed and my spirit was lighter. I knew that to keep growing, I needed to surround myself with my ‘family’.  Dermot, Ross, Fran, friends and community.  I knew I needed to be around men who ‘knew’ what I had been going through.  Enter Ross and Dermot – again and so I re-established contact with them in my own way.  I just knew I had to be around men and to be in a Men’s Therapy Group in order to have some sense of what a man was or was not.

 

            And so it was, I made friends with my inner knowing and myself.  I came to trust it, and me, more; and I imagined and dreamed about the new family I would be in.

 

            My inner knowing took me to do the Hoffman Process (one I highly recommend) and after this I ‘knew’ that my woman would be turning up soon.  Then an image jumped out of a magazine at me.  A father had just returned home and come through the front door; he was holding two teddy bears – one in each hand behind his back and he was bending down to greet his two 9 month year old twin sons who were sitting on their bums looking up so adoringly.  He was just about to surprise them with a teddy bear each.  I ‘knew’ I wanted that. My heart sang when I saw that picture.

 

            I met Hilary in October 1992 and was immediately drawn to her energetically. She was so vibrant and full of life and energy. Somewhat later the penny dropped. She had two young sons who needed a father and I ‘knew’ that the universe had delivered and now it was up to me, so with much gratitude and confidence, I stepped forward and by September 1993 we were married. One month later Hilary was thinking about more babies – despite seeing the worst of the worst at Sick Kids Hospital and despite knowing that a 41 year old mother could run into many problems, she ‘knew’ she wanted a baby and I knew that the Gospel I was preaching to my male clients of the male surrendering to his woman and what she wants; I ‘knew’ I needed to take my own medicine and one week later – it was so. ‘We’ were pregnant.  Thank you Hilary.  Thank you Universe.  Welcome Andrew!

 

            So our little family grew and I was a dad again and fully engaged in the business of a three boy family (again!) and a woman whose energy is a legend unto itself.

 

            We moved to North York in 2000 and Hilary’s dad was getting sicker.  My dream was doing okay with the right person at the helm (i.e. Hilary!) but Hilary was becoming increasingly dissatisfied with me and my personality and my increasing girth (not the man I married!) – so much so she got to the point of not wanting to be married to me any more. Her dad died soon after we moved (October 29, 2000); several months after that further dissatisfaction came to the surface. Throughout this time, I continued to attend weekly Men’s Group and to consult with Fran and Dermot and Ross regularly, especially about the state of our marriage. Finally, Hilary and I agreed that I would move out. This was a dark time of not knowing but knowing just enough to trust the process and to trust the guidance I was getting from Fan and Dermot.  Hilary did not want to be married to me but she still wanted me to be around the home to be a father to the boys and to keep up all my responsibilities. At this time I took up residence in the Margueretta Street House. (Thank you Harald, Sue, Michael Bolger and Steve).  I was welcomed with open arms.  At times I was not clear about what the purpose of my presence there, apart from having a safe haven while the winds of change were blowing. I was there and at times I was not (story of my life!) I wanted to honour my commitments at home and to participate in the newly formed community house. At times it did feel like I did not know what I was doing but I did know enough to trust the process.  During this time I found that participating in the Men’s Group, Mill Weekends, Margueretta House and seeing Fran and Dermot and Ross to be invaluable. I sometimes had the sense (my projection?) that ‘people’ were doubtful of my course of action but somehow this strengthened me and I knew I needed to trust The Process.  At no stage did I even have the sense that Fran and Dermot or Ross were judging me on The Process; especially so Fran, who encourage me to keep my heart open and to see the situation and Hilary with loving, compassionate eyes. On one occasion, Ross expressed his admiration of my perseverance.  I felt uplifted and a little surprised. (I guess that inner Judge critic of mine was still firing the odd shot at me!)  All the members of Margueretta House were most supportive and a little unsure of my comings and goings. At times I found it stressful to maintain a presence in both houses.  Sometimes my intentions were not in alignment with the Marguerite House participants.  Gradually I learned to accept/tolerate the dichotomy. And so this went on for 6-9 months; little by little I was invited back into the family home. On one occasion I was feeling hard done by because the kids all had better rooms than I had (‘not befitting the Man of the House!’) I mentioned this to Fran and Dermot in one of my sessions and without much being said I saw my own Hubris.  Once again having that circle of loving compassion and speaking out into the circle allowed me to see a part of myself that was not ‘nice’; this process allowed me to see and to know what was true and what was not; what created upliftment and what did not. Having this ongoing Process supervised by Fran and Dermot and Ross was/is Priceless. I have no doubt – left to my own devices and ego I would have dismantled the whole process long ago. Thank you again all

           

            Little by little I sensed that Hilary was becoming more open to me and to trust me a little more.  By Spring 2004 we decided to move to a better location where I would have my own space. I think it was towards the end of 2003 that I knew I needed to really look after my life and I now felt ready to do this. I took myself out of my weekly session with Ross and Dermot and Fran and the Men’s Gatherings by early 2004 as I prepared myself for the new house move. I ‘knew’ it was my time to step forward again and with the advent of our new home and my own office space (!) I was 100% ready to dive into this new journey with confidence knowing it was meant to be. 

            We moved in August 2005 and by September I had established my new office in our new home and for the first time in my life it felt I was settling down and glad to at that!  I was feeling more connected to Hilary than ever, so after many years of wandering in the desert and many trials and tribulations and spending many hours in some one else’s home, I finally knew what it felt like to be married and to be in our home.  (It feels good!!)  Thank you Hilary and universe.

            As I look back, I realize how fortunate I am to have the love and support and wisdom of the men in the Men’s Group – Fran and Dermot and Ross and the community at large.  I know now that by myself, I would never have been able to trust the Process and to bring it through to where it is today.

            Thank you Hilary for your patience and tolerance and for trusting your own inner wisdom. 

 

            Thank you for your love and support and your wonderful family.

 

            Thank you Ross and all the men.

 

            Thank you Margueretta House and all who sailed in her.

 

            Thank you Fran and Dermot and the Community at large.

 

With much love and best wishes to you all on your own unique Journeys.

 

Trust the Process.

 

George Lewis, M.B.