Why am I not able to connect or commit to my partner?
When Tarun came to me, his single complaint was that he couldn’t remain committed in a relationship. Now, for me as a therapist, this was not a new thing that I was hearing in 2017. Out of every ten clients coming to me, eight would talk about relationship issues, and out of that at least three would tell me about their commitment issues. For Tarun, I would have assumed the same, that maybe he is also one of those lost souls of the present time who is suspended between wanting love and not allowing it to come near him, probably too scared of being tied to one person.
I went ahead and asked him to elaborate. He said clearly that it wasn’t that he didn’t want love. In fact, he was sure he wanted to be with one person.
He said clearly that it wasn’t that he didn’t want love. In fact, he was sure he wanted to be with one person.
But every time someone came close to him and the relationship grew, he would find himself withdrawing, and disconnecting from the person. He said, even when he was in any relationship, he was always in transit, as if dangling between something that he could call home and something that he yearned for; he didn’t know what he yearned for.
There was nothing in his history
When I enquired about his history, I didn’t find anything significant that could indicate a withdrawing nature or a sense of disconnect that he felt with every relationship. Currently he was in a relationship with a new person, it was only a month old and Tarun, at the age of 37, was scared that here too he may withdraw and disconnect and leave her. He was so consumed by this fear that it drove him to have a court marriage with her, thinking that if he was bound by a formal marriage, he would not end up acting funny! But then, the feelings of withdrawing, transit and disconnecting showed up again and Tarun found himself at a crossroads once again.
Since I couldn’t find anything substantial in his childhood and developmental history, I suggested that we do a past life regression for him. For it is only in regression that we could discover where the origin of his feelings lay.
Related reading: Osho on commitment and possession issues in marriage:
The story revealed by Past Life Regression
In a session of Past Life Regression, Tarun moved into a life where he finds himself as a man in present day Pakistan. He reports a scene from Partition and he is perched on a train to India. There’s a lot of disturbance, curfew and a war like situation going on in that place. And inside the train is his newly married wife. He seems to be angry with her and in a state of agitation. On probing further, Tarun reveals that while perching on the train with his wife, he was about to help his father (from that lifetime) to climb on board the train, and just then his hands slipped and the father remained in the station. Tarun in that lifetime had to lose his father in that station and could unfortunately never go back.
He remained angry with his wife because he felt that she was the reason he couldn’t save his father. If she wasn’t there he could have been able to jump off the train and somehow help his father. But at that moment his sense of commitment and responsibility didn’t let him do that. He remained with the grief of losing his father, and reliving the sadness of how his father couldn’t find a home, how he could never get back to him, how he always was in transit.
The leftover anger and withdrawal remained
Tarun was carrying impressions of that past life, with charged words like disconnect, transit and withdrawal, and perhaps also the anger that just because he had committed to his newly married wife, he had to suffer the misery of losing his father all his life. When we worked on that life, we healed those parts which dealt with those feelings of disconnect, withdrawal and also the feeling of anger. But it’s not the resolution that mattered the most. The actual story got revealed when a week later he came over to tell me that the story that he had seen during his regression was not his story.
Related reading: He was traumatised and afraid of sex, but she helped him heal
The actual story was shocking
When Tarun went back home and told his mother about what he had seen, his mother was shocked, for it was only then that she revealed it to him that ‘that’ was the story of her father. It was her father who had lost his father in the train station during Partition. The story was never discussed in the family so far and no one wanted to present Tarun’s grandfather in a bad light, that he never took care of his wife and spent most of his life in the grief of losing his father. Tarun himself had no recollections of his grandfather, since he’d died when Tarun was seven years old.
We finally concluded that whatever Tarun saw was clearly a past life memory, but someone else’s. More than understanding it from a past life regression perspective, Tarun and I both understood that this was a story that was seeking release from the family unconscious and Tarun was that unknown loyal carrier of the feelings of his grandfather of which he had no awareness. Once the story had come into awareness, Tarun could let go of his feelings of disconnect and withdrawal from his system and could finally begin to love his wife without any kind of fear plaguing his life.