The other day I received an email from a dear friend who has been actively pursuing his own interest. He was sharing the insights he has had about how his ability creates distress and distances in his dealings with others. He then reminded me of something I "learned" a moment ago and that life continues to give me the opportunity to learn again. Namely, this: When you are running the show, things do not go so well – we feel anxious and desperate and find the need to control others to get their consent and wicked security that we believe their approval will bring. When we can step outside the self, to ourselves more and let go of control of the situation or the other person, we immediately find relief, relaxation, peacefulness, and truly true to another person from love and affirmation and not despair and need.
This encouraged me to think about my relationships and some of the great lessons they have given me.
As Clarissa Pinkola Estes writes in "Women Who Run With The Wolves" is a natural cycle of life / death / life relationships and in order for a relationship to become deeper and grow and become a mature love, we need to be ready to attend every others during the "death" and trust that a new life will come to the connection in time. In our community, we seem to have forgotten (with me) the second "life" course. We get fine on the first phase of life of the relationships (often called "romantic love" or honeymoon) and we believe that there is something we can do to be there – to keep our relationship in perfect, everything is the wonderful phase of love. We can't. It is a natural flow in a relationship where, when we have enough security and time with someone, our "shadow" begins to surface.
These thoughts, feelings, and behaviors we held in order to show only our best self begin to emerge. Likewise, the deepening of the relationship begins to push our safety button and we begin to feel very terrible and threatened, both loss of relationship and loss of our individual. This is the "death" phase of the connection. Because the relationship begins to show its full self – the good, the bad and the ugly. This is a point where most people guard. Thoughts about "you're not the one I thought you were" or "I haven't signed up for this" in large quantities and we started teaching the other party where the relationship doesn't work. "They are changing" we think and we feel duped and angry. In fact, we feel scared because it is time to jump off the rock into mature adult love and commitment to truly love the other person, whatever.
Many of us do not realize that this "dead" phase of the relationship is just a mid-phase and not the end. And because we do not realize that we believe that the relationship has died and cannot be raised, and then we begin with someone we tell ourselves to become more real or healthier or more appropriate to us. someone who will not kill the romance with their "stuff". It doesn't work that way – as we find ourselves for 6 months or even years, or even next week, again in a new relationship that will lead to the death of the cycle.
The solution to the communication of the revolving door is to realize that the deaths are at the level of life – a new life is coming. Stay there! As we see ourselves moving forward and continuing with the revelation of each other's shadow, and with our own vulnerability, we are blessed with the thriving closest, the connection, the commitment, and the love, unlike what we always know in romance / honeymoon love. The romance is there, love is there, but there is something else now and there is a deep understanding of your presence and continued love for your partner. You are there for each other and you know it. This is true love. This is a deep love. This is the connection we all want but very well, but so few of us ever get because we return too soon. We turn when things get tough and the shadow appears instead of holding fast and keeping our hearts open for our love.
Certainly, there are situations where you should consider turning back – if your spouse is offensive (verbally, emotionally, or physically) or violates the core values (ie, has a case or lies to you). If your spouse is not prepared to take responsibility for his or her role in the relationship and do his or her work to be the best they can be and grow out of harmful behavior, then leave the relationship and connect with someone who will share the load with. you and who are committed to emotional health and well-being first and foremost.
And I believe that in other circumstances, leaving the scene before the relationship has had the opportunity for rebirth – or the second phase of life / death / life cycle but only your continuing stay in the air. We all want depth and security and commitment and true love, and it comes only with the second phase of life. We have to go through the death of initial connections to find a real gem within.
Several other things are standing before me when I looked at my relationship before, recently or otherwise, that I want to share with you.
I am more interested in having my partner in my life but I am interested in being "right".
If I'm not careful, I can easily lose my balance and put all my eggs in my basket. This means I can find myself losing relationships with friends or not following self-defense (exercise, yoga, meditation, magazines, hobbies, etc.) that creates more dependency / urgency about the relationship than is necessary or healthy.
I've found it difficult for people, especially my important others, to see my mistakes / imperfections. This stems from an old story we should all be perfect / good enough to be loved. Not only did this require perfection to lead to untruth (which meant it was difficult for me to be very close to one another), but it also gave my spouse a feeling that he needed to be perfect to follow. This is so ironic, so I have informed him of his ability to be real and sensitive and imperfect and to strive to do it himself. It also led to my partner's first putting me on a pedal that I immediately fell off and it was a great proposition for both of us.
~ Next Week Part II of Some Thoughts on Communication ~