There is an Italian saying, “La Donna e’ amore.”
Woman is love. Indeed she is.
As the mother, the daughter, the sister and the lover, we are the force of nature that is capable of instilling love into the hearts of men.
It is an important job for us women, and one that can be fraught with uncertainty. What is required of us above all else is that we know ourselves, and that we explore the depths of our being—which includes our shadow too.
Who are we really?
How did we get here?
Are we living our own life or someone else’s?
I have come to believe this truth in my bones: I did not fully know who I was until I found myself in the abyss of my co-dependency. I didn’t even know that it was possible to be addicted to another human being until I hit rock bottom and I had to face the fact that I was to all intents and purposes, hooked on my own brand of heroine. Days turned into nights and even years, before I finally found the strength to pull myself out of oblivion. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life.
The object of my desire could have been anyone, I just chose one person to do the job and take me down.
I say that because I’m sure now that on some level I needed to go that far in order to drop any doubt off and finally step into my power. The power that I finally drew from was unexpectedly solid. I didn’t even know it dwelled in me and like a faithful sentinel it has stayed with me ever since.
If I could use one word to sum up the medicine that healed me, it would be connection.
It was in understanding that true connection was possible (and that I was worthy of it), that I climbed out of that abyss. True connection isn’t draining and doesn’t leave you in a fog. True love is like sunshine that doesn’t need, want or ask anything of you except to radiate for you and be in your presence. It is always on and it is always giving. To understand this and feel this meant that I could never accept anything less.
My relationships today look quite different. Don’t get me wrong; this arena is still where I get triggered the most. It’s a container that allows all of my moving parts to be taken out and put under a microscope. It gets gnarly. Yet I now have more trust in the process, and myself, so that in those rare moments when I want to withdraw, disconnect or disappear, I now know there is another way.
I know that by pushing out in the midst of the discomfort, I am on my way to unlocking the gates of true freedom.
The path to connection has become a practice for me, and like any other practice it takes dedication and repetition to become a master at it. There’s a sweet spot where, if you learn how to play, magical things can unfold.
Here are five rules to the relationship game:
1. Slow down and listen: Relationships can tell me everything I need to know about myself. All relationships, good and bad, are a mirror being held up for me to see myself better. I am an active participant in everything that I create. What have I created today? How does it feel and how do I want to feel instead?
2. Relationships are a crucible for healing: In the alchemical fire of my body, any painful, negative energy can be burnt away. In order to allow this alchemy to happen I visualize all the suffering and pain going into a crucible at the center of my belly to be transformed and transmuted into fuel for manifesting something awesome—like my dreams! What do I want to manifest today?
3. Stay connected: The only real thing that is required for relationships to be effective and work their magic is that I have the courage to stay in the game no matter what. In other words, short of abuse, the only thing I can’t do is run. You have to stay present and connected to what is, to see it through to the end and reap the rewards. How can I create connection today?
4. Develop your communication: There is always a way through any block. If I feel disconnected, angry or withdrawn, it could be because I haven’t communicated or shared something. What can I say, reveal or admit to someone today? It’s important to say things out loud to alchemize them and support the growth of any relationship.
5. True power is in surrender: In letting things be just as they are I find more power. I breathe deep and I let every part of me fully relax. What seems an impossible mess to tackle from the outside is much less scary once I’m looking at it from the inside.
And so I learnt to take a leap into the unexplored realms of true connection, in order to slowly build a bridge back home to my heart. Love is an infinite game and if played correctly, there is never any reason to disconnect. There is only the fulfilling bliss of diving deeper in with someone than you ever thought possible.
Author: Carlotta Mastrojanni
Editor: Caitlin Oriel
Image: Kristina Litvjak/Unsplash