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Stories that transform our lives, Stoicism in our Relationship Culture.

Updated: Oct 11, 2022

Regression Therapist Amanda McGregor takes us through the challenges of our changing environment.

(The pronouns used are directly relevant to the historical story)

Our culture is still very active with persons, that use emotional avoidance as a form of control; to steer relationships, to avoid responsibilities, to create casual sexual experience, to control destiny on their terms, rather than being transparent, connected and open on an emotional, spiritual and physical level.

This seems to have arisen from a historical experience of stoic behaviour, in our culture, that has formed an illness in its self through a gross misunderstanding of the philosophy of stoicism in itself.

'Ancient Stoics are often misunderstood because the terms they used pertained to different concepts than today. The word "stoic" has since come to mean "unemotional" or indifferent to pain because Stoic ethics taught freedom from "passion" by following "reason". The Stoics did not seek to extinguish emotions; rather, they sought to transform them by a resolute "askēsis", that enables a person to develop clear judgment and inner calm.[33] Logic, reflection, and focus were the methods of such self-discipline, temperance is split into self-control, discipline, and modesty'. (Wikipedia, no contributor directly mentioned.)

'A Stoic does whatever they view as important. This can easily be misconstrued as selfish — and a true Stoic must do everything in their power to make sure they do not deceive themselves. But a Stoic believes that the universe is an interconnected web and that they must behave altruistically'. Alex Lego

Stoic behaviour is a developed philosophy, that fully experiences emotions, it not about suppressing emotions or to avoiding them through the deceit and the abuse of unequal power dynamics in relationships; but to grow through them, to find ways of emotional regulation, self control and clarity. Finding inspiration through nature and universal consciousness.

Throughout British history, powerful males found freedom by withdrawing from emotional transparency and accountability in meeting the opposite sex, through relationships, taking power to self serve their needs, deceiving themselves and others. Many women in modern times, are reporting heavily abusive traits in dating and courtship, they feel a need to surpress their emotions and pretend they haven't formed an attachment, instead of the nurturing of mutually respectful relationship, this is specific to British society. Our relationships whether at work or play need to be constructive in growth, enjoyable, designed to help us flourish in all ways, sharing connection; in the dealing with life, whilst respecting the laws of relationship, the science of attachment, emotion and physical desire. Cultural history has allowed us to turn our backs on attachment theory, healthy emotional understanding; this article is written as a journey in to scientific recovery.

I regressed to a story to demonstrate these thoughts -

My attention in my vision is drawn to a small dog that needs feeding; In this vision I saw a white terrier, he loves cuddles, play, living an active and rewarding life. The story started to move as the little dog looked at a cement sculpture of another dog in the garden, he raised his leg on the sculpture and peed on it.

The three children in my vision don’t think about that, they play with the terrier, calling him over, the eldest girl, in her teenage years, throws a ball, they are all excited, running around, enjoying the play. They are a family, from Regency times, there is a sense of commitment amongst the children who are close.

The father comes in to the scene , he has period clothes on from the Regency era, early 1800’s silk breeches, silk scarf, jacket. He is well dressed, looking charismatic and styled, he is not so well engaged with the children as a father, however he spends a bit of time with his children, he is curious about them and their interests but struggles to form a meaningful relationship with them.

The father goes off about his day, he looks back behind his shoulder, at the children, indicating he feels drawn to spending more time with them, however he has a more pressing interests in talking with his male peers bout politics, news, trends and business. He keeps focused in this way, looking at paperwork, the papers, analysing the news, stocks, everything relevant to paper and papers; lines of enquiry about trends, import, exports, markets. Women are on the edge of life in this vision.

Women represented the trends of fashion and wealth, they were a direct expression of that, they also create a glamorous experience and entertainment. In the vision they are beautiful, wearing silks, large hats, lace, sensual hand crafted experiences. There is a sense of togetherness, however I feel a distance between men and women, accept in the intimacy of the bedroom where there wasn’t so much of a relationship. A man at this time would make a decision as to whether to contain his relationship with his wife or ‘play away from home’, he would make that decision on his own. He would judge this on how much the relationship is contained, how much he receives from the relationship and whether or not he needs extra marital sexual experience, away from his wife, due to the limits of the woman he is relating. He decides this process, irrelevant to how she feels, or why it is happening, that is just the way it is, accepted in society in this way. He may therefore quite often have an affair or multiple sexual experiences with someone or others.

The man I am seeing in this vision, has a mysterious lover, the situation with the lady is very frivolous, in that he lets off steam, finds release thorugh sex with her. He likes the style of her body, she is quite plump, her body has not been contorted through fashion, she is available and open in a relaxed way, her body is about her body, not her fashion, he likes that about her, she is an observer of life, she has a stillness in her way, a calmness. Her body was considered an art form during that time, she was celebrated In her voluptuous form which held no compromise. He finds her flesh, her skin, very interesting; the sense of whiteness, paleness. There is a plump green apple I see him bite into, there is a vividness in his willingness to taste raw fruit in sensory sharpness and awakened life.

Experience is symbolised in fruit, in bearing fruit, in being fruitful; he looks at her and his choices, in an artistic way, but then he leaves, he detaches. He has his own wife, who is considered, she talks about various strategies in the household and in life but she is quite serious about living and life, he therefore finds it hard to fully relax in a playful way that enables an expression of nature and beauty that is free or about wildness, swimming, riding, eating cake, sex, drinking, spending time in folly etc.

There is a feeling of trust between husband and wife, that is not completely measured or understood, but it is present underneath the surface, they have a way of going on. He masks his feelings, he has lost transparency long ago, they have a distance between them. She feels let down by him and appears quite lonely, she confides in her maids and her household but she struggles to feel she can reach him, there is an area of regret about the whole situation.

He keeps his cards very close to his chest - it is very hurtful for all the women involved. The man has full control and power which is considered acceptable in this society. He sometimes goes away to have a break from all of it, from the questioning and the intensity of feeling, the tensions, the questions and grief around the separations.

He will take time to write his notes and write his journal, he strides forward to live a fully fledged life in that way, feeling operative. There is a feeling of adventure, of going to a foreign land and having an wonderful experience of culture on his own, being engaged with other parties of women, being fully involved in wildness when he is away. He has an expanded life, that is not contained around one women but very much on his terms and free of needing to explain himself. He might be living as a bachelor, but he has assets; women and children, household interests such as property. He carries on in this way and doesn’t have to be accountable, this is conditioned in the British culture of this time. This behaviour goes on so long questions are asked, what he is up to? He answers in a very frivolous way, he keeps his cards close to his chest, he knows as long as he is emotionally unavailable, no body has a hold over him.

He plays the field in this way and protects his personal space, from not having to be involved with women on an emotional level, or form a healthy communication structure for his marriage. All the women that he comes in to contact, feel let down, abandoned and hurt, no matter what happens. This is carried through as a status in society and culture, without any need to address it, or understand attachment theory or avoidance, or the meaning behind marriage or the soul mate connection, in divinity. He is really just using marriage for his own needs and wants, totally self serving, this gets to a point, that they are living separate lives in all respects, this method of emotional avoidance, is then passed down to the children in expectation; the sense of neglect and abandonment, with an ill advised stoic perception, suggesting if a person is emotional unavailable they can be free, they created less weight in emotional baggage, and can conduct their affairs on their terms. A woman is expect to tolerate all behaviour and simply rise above emotion, being contained to the home and her interests at home.

The idea of emotional intelligence within a relationship that is constructive and available, was thought to be a tie. The care is delegated to others, not the marital couple, the need to be caring is emptied out to the marriage and legacy and passed down as a form of service and servitude, a lower form of employment and deployment, thereby taking kindness and care out of the marriage and objectifying the marriage roles giving it to servants or home help.

Over the last hundred years we have gone though a journey of change, the need for caring for the relationship is found through a healthy marriage, the relationship. There is a movement beyond stoicism to dissolve the gross neglect that it can create by suppressing emotion and blind sighting abuse. There is now a move beyond emotional unavailability but there is still very much a complication in emotional presence being just as important in every day connection and mindfulness, creativity, spirituality and physical expression.

Using empathy on both the matriarchal and patriarchal side is a considered high standing in a relationship, to enable both persons to flourish. However there are many men out there that still carry the unhealthy patriarchal stoicism, many mothers and wives out there unavailable to their own emotions, loosing their centres and drive. Some men will still control a relationship by resisting emotional transparency, even in momentary encounters, often at the sake of great hurt to the women, they will control their freedom by dominating and nurturing the womens emotional openness, holding back, allowing her to become very vulnerable, whilst not taking responsibility for the relationship. If physical activitiy is shared this can create huge heart ache and pain by not respecting the science of relationship in attachment theory, emotional honesty - whether avoidant, avoidant dismissive, or anxious, into secure. We have grown and nurtured a culture of a ‘avoidance dismissive’ men through our distorted culture of stoicism in the country, a very disabling and undermining relationship dynamic that often only happens if there is a genuine connection between two persons, yet that genuine experience of connection is abandoned and dismissed to create a power dynamic.

The premise of a women relating around this aspect is like a dance, the next step of this dance is to assess the influence of neurodivergent behaviour, in Aspergers, Autism, ADHD in all ways and how that fits into over-excitement, communication and avoidant styles. The women needs great courage to work out how to position herself with security, communication and in knowing how to resolve the space between her and him. That does not even go in to non-binary experience, gender reversal, androgyny, same sex experience or sexual identification, we are still healing from our historical past.

The inadequacies we experience can then get highlighted with technology, screen time, a loss of presence though online and social media activity, sexual promiscuity; in which there is little need to be accountable or present in any depth. Society once again promotes an unhealthy stoicism away from a holistic presence, transparency and mutually respectful outcome in which boundaries and values are clearly communicated, understood and respected.

Through the relationships I have with my clients and therapy I have noticed that we as a society and culture, are very much trying to dissolve the sense of hierarchy from abuse of power through this controlling hierarchy found in our historical times; from the politics, stoicism, emotional avoidance. We are trying to dissolve emotional dismissiveness and avoidance, by bringing awareness to constructive forms of presence through understanding the whole self, scientifically and explaining the importance of showing up to ourselves and each other in deeper ways by recognising centred behaviour, emotional process which allows us to reflect find clarity and become strong and stoic in a centred way that is accountable and meaningful and operates with altruism.

We seem to have single minded neurodivergent experiences, in which there no need to show up to each other on any level unless interests are fully aligned. In our society there huge levels of abuse in control and relationship manipulations, in power games and in unhealthy power dynamics that has been in motion for hundreds of years. The exit strategy of most relationships is gross disempowerment to the other, a disabling, disarming and silencing act of abuse.

Through spiritual intelligences we can have a deeper level of experience in which we know what values we are working on, in showing up to ourselves and our partners. We can understand our soul history, develop gentle communication, light language, transparency, by aligning to love care, beauty, wisdom, eternity, foundation, understanding, dependability and grace.

All of these values get lost in this cultural system that runs riot in the United Kingdom. Britains need a strong scientific and cultural shake up because it is very harming to the next generations, we are fighting a vacuous gender war that is causing havoc with the roles we play, ideas of 'stiff upper lip', have been a way of covering up abuse for centuires, it is time to take care of our bodies, lives, children, marriages and even reconnect with the true understanding and values of Stoicism.

'You have the power to strip away many superfluous troubles located wholly in your judgment, and to possess a large room for yourself embracing in thought the whole cosmos, to consider everlasting time, to think of the rapid change in the parts of each thing, of how short it is from birth until dissolution, and how the void before birth and that after dissolution are equally infinite.' Marcus Aurelius AD 161 180, Meditations of Stoicism

Check into your self -

  • How do you know when you are centred?

  • Are you able to bring context to your feelings, when asked ?

  • Do you feel the need to use privacy settings on wattapp to control boundaries instead of communicating your vulnerabilities and needs?

  • Are you able to understand emotional attachement and assert healthy boundaries and values?

  • Are you needing to use deception to control your sense of boyancy and well being?

  • How well do you feel you regulate your feelings when you feel let down, frustrated or put out?

  • Are you able to to openly explain awkward and painful truths about things you struggle with in your partner and yourself?

  • Do you have a communication strategy for intimacy in talking about finance, sex and the children?

  • Do you want to exit a relationship but are concerned about creating a constructive process out of the relationship?

These are areas that create stress in most relationships, in modern society we have many techniques to help with communication in intimacy -

  • Non- Violent Communication

  • The Bridge Encounter

  • Tantra for Containment in Monogomy

  • Understanding Tantra in Polyamorous Relating - Equal in love with transparency.

  • Counselling to engage with one's feelings and centre with the self.

  • Regresssion Therapy - enables deep emotional processing and understanding around soul mate relationships.

Amanda McGregor is an artist and therapist known as 'The Healer',

I thought I was the opposite to stoic until I researched this article and have found I am stoicism in its true sense, somone that uses universal consciousness to regulate emotions and bring peace and calm.'


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