by Kahlil Gibran
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
Love relationships start because our non-conscious mind correlates traits of the other person with internal beliefs we have about our own needs for a quality life we desire. Some people stay in a relationship to fulfill a physical quality that their partner supports such as security, beauty, presentation, survival, wealth, power or control. Others stay because of ideological-sociological qualities or to fill a childhood dream or ideal that their partner can fulfill for them, such as alignment of beliefs, religious purpose, intellectual compatibility, virtue or goodness.
Others develop relationships to escape emotional suffering and oppression, seeking in their partner reciprocation in love, joy and peace in the other’s arms. A minority of people remain in a relationship because their partner gives them a spiritual connection to life. And there are however, many who choose to maintain a relationship in order to capture and use another person for their own advantage.
Opening our inner-selves to another also opens up all kinds of conditioned behaviours, beliefs, rules, ideas, memories, wants, needs, and desires that can jeopardise the love connection. There will come times when our deepest wounds and fears reflecting our rawest emotional injuries will present themselves—and if you are quick to recognise these times, and can treat them as opportunities to step up, your chances of falling from grace in your own eyes and in theirs, will be lessened. Loving someone can be an opportunity to grow spiritually—can be an opportunity to focus upon and work with our own wounds, anxieties, misinterpretations and the illusions about ourselves that are usually unconscious.
All emotional and psychological strengths and wounds we carry from the past are relational in nature, being influenced prior to conception by our parents, then the influences in utero, and then strongly driven from birth to fulfill genetic needs to feel wanted, needed, equal and part of the family group. Love is a gene momentum to mature this connection for our survival quality and predictability into the future. We identify with others to make our life happen.
With time, our relationships become the territory over which we roam, forming and reforming the beliefs of ourselves, the rules we live by, the things we have to do to get our needs met while fending off any possibility of being hurt, manipulated, controlled, rejected, or abandoned. When wounded, the difficult but rewarding course of action is to put extra effort in understanding our partner’s perspective and needs. Most of us take the easier course and bow to the tendency to flee, either physically or through displacement activities such as work, obligations, hobbies, and other practices to avoid our feelings, personal issues, and negatively developing situations.
The problem with fleeing when a relationship becomes difficult is that we are also turning away from ourselves and our potential breakthroughs. This is a form of self-rejection and self-abandonment that turns our feeling body into an abandoned, and haunted house of Self. The more we flee our shadowy places, the more they can fester in the dark and the more haunted our house can become—and the more we dislike ourselves. This can develop into a vicious circle that keeps us cut off from experiencing our real nature—we feel deficient and don’t know our real value or potential.
Usually our long-term view of our partner is coloured by what they do for us—how they make us look or feel, be it good or not—and shaped by our internal movie about what we want them to be. This makes it hard to see them for who they are in their own right. Khalil Gibran penned this (see above), “And stand together, yet not too near together; For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.” Two partners not holding themselves separate, while remaining totally distinct—“not two, not one”—may seem like an impossible challenge in a relationship and it continually tests each one of us.
If however you work at the ideals in your relationship – as two partners gradually freeing themselves from the prison of conditioned patterns – a time will occur when old expectations will finally give way; old movies will stop running; and a much more comprehensive acceptance of self and other can open up within the relationship.
The Japanese word: Shoshin, translates as ‘beginner’s mind’, and means a state of mind in which a person ‘continually sees the world as a child does—with fresh wonderment, brightness, hope, beauty and passion’. This is one of the ways that leads to enduring relationships.
To discover how to reignite the wonderment, brightness and passion in your relationship or how to ensure it endures into the future, join my six-week Harmonious Relationships course. This course can help people find the spark in all types of relationships. If you are are feeling unhappy in your relationship or moving towards separation, then consider giving this course a go. If you are already enjoying a passionate happy relationship then this course can give you tools to maintain that drive for the years to come. Using a unique blend of therapies and techniques derived from psychobiology and raja yoga, I will give you a broader understanding of what love is and practices that give you a new appreciation of yourself and your partner.