"Love or Growth - Excerpt"
FORWARD by Ian Haycroft ... continued
Like it or not the crucible of intimate relationship only intensifies the essential spiritual journey to discover who I really am. The initial stages of infatuation and excitement in love may divert the cry of the soul for discovery, but it will not extinguish it. Rarely do two people walk the spiritual path in lockstep, and it is the times when the pathways diverge that the quality of the relationship will be tested. History would indicate that it is women who have most often been forced, overtly or covertly, to suppress their spiritual awakening for the sake of maintaining a relationship. The once and future challenge for all of us is to fashion relationships that support both love and the freedom to discover self.
A thousand years from now, when the way we define relationship and intimacy may be very different than today, a woman may pick up this time capsule of a book and marvel at the struggle of this woman clawing her way forward to freedom and self-discovery. Even today, when you pick up this book, you will also marvel at the struggle. Barbara articulates question after question, and often leaves us begging for an answer. Yet this is an honest portrayal of relationship, where so often we live with unanswered questions or with answers that don’t really satisfy. And so we march on trying to step carefully between our need for safety and comfort, and our need to discover the most profound truth about ourselves.
Barbara’s book is full of the fears we all must confront if we are to discover what kind of freedom we want. She writes, ”Every fear can be a motivator towards my initiating the steps that will take me beyond the rigor mortis of playing it safe…We each, in our own degree, exist in fear’s grip.” By revealing her fears, and her successes and failures in confronting them, Barbara reveals to us all that “fear can be the friend that propels me beyond my limitations.”… This is not a feel good book for the self-actualisation junkies, but a raw account of a modern western woman’s journey. Read it with caution and awe, and it will reveal much to you.
Noosa, Queensland, Australia