Adjacent Pits

By Greg Baer M.D.

October 6, 2014

Very few of us have been unconditionally loved, which results in a consuming fear that often we don’t even recognize. In various ways, we hide from our pain and fear. Emotionally speaking, we dig holes in the ground, hoping to achieve a temporary and superficial safety from the arrows that fly all around us.

But we’re alone in these holes, so periodically we reach out to make contact with others, who are briefly reaching out of their own holes. Sometimes we connect sufficiently with another person that we believe we can find happiness with them, so we dig our hole right next to theirs. We experience the illusion of actually being together, but we’re still in our own holes, and gradually the sense of companionship fades.

Because we still can’t find the Real Love we need, our pain grows. With various behaviors designed to protect ourselves and to find temporary relief from our pain, we dig our pit deeper. Our partner does the same, so eventually, we live in adjacent pits, so deep that we can see neither our partner nor ourselves. And, as we throw shovels full of dirt out of our pit, it lands on the head of our partner next door. So much unhappiness.

What’s the solution? In a troubled relationship, we both must get the help we need to rise from our pit—the assistance from a loving friend, for example, who can drop down a ladder or rope. Once we have climbed to the top—to the open air and light—we can begin to see ourselves for the first time. As we find the love we’ve always wanted, we can also begin to see our partners, and then a healthy relationship becomes possible.

It doesn’t matter how close together we’ve dug our pits. We must get out of them before love and joy are possible.

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About the author 

Greg Baer, M.D.

I am the founder of The Real Love® Company, Inc, a non-profit organization. Following the sale of my successful ophthalmology practice I have dedicated the past 25 years to teaching people a remarkable process that replaces all of life's "crazy" with peace, confidence and meaning in various aspects of their personal lives, including parenting, marriages, the workplace and more.

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