For those of us who harbor old ghosts (doesn't everybody?), it is in our relationships that they surface, and then we are confronted with a choice: Either we learn to manage the ghosts or we settle for distance or instability. Some can learn the managing part on their own; some, like me, need the help of a trained professional to put the pieces back together.
I believe that the moment I met Ted, I intuited that this man was the one my heart could finally, fully, open to. I thought that all the elements were there for the kind of deep soul-to-soul love that I had never really had with anyone before. Ironically, this was why I fled from him at first and was so skittish when we started going together: I was frightened of the vulnerability that comes with the heart's opening and was scared of being hurt and steamrolled. With Ted I was determined to put this fear behind me. I wanted us to be two fully authentic people meeting in mutual affection, communication, affirmation, and respect—and I assumed that's what he wanted as well. After all, he was constantly talking about wanting intimacy and reminding me that I was afraid of it. It never occurred to me that he was too ...well, not afraid of it so much as incapable of it.
The crisis with Ted was actually a blessing, because it had brought me to Beverly Morse, who turned out to be the perfect guide for the next part of my journey to...what shall I call it? Wholeness. Heartfulness. Authenticity. Integration? I had been living for so long in my head. What was essential for me now was to get back into my body, where I hadn't been since adolescence—to be reembodied. I have discovered that there are different degrees of embodiment, and certainly, with Ted's love, I made major forays in that direction. But Beverly's method of using breathing techniques and bodywork—"somatic therapy"—took me to a deeper level. Over the years, with her help and a lot of hard work on my part, I was able to gain confidence. I learned to forgive my mother and so was able to forgive myself for my shortcomings; to know that I had done the best I could with what I had at any given time, just as my mother had; that I was no longer the woman with little love to give. I was learning to love myself. Baby steps at first, a beginning.
More About Jane Fonda:
Jane's life now, her new love and passion for fitness
Jane's first interview with Ted since their divorce