This week’s topic is one that we’re all too familiar with:
- The state of our current one/s
- The demise of our last one/s
- The yearning for the next one
Let me begin with the present.
That old cliché that love will find you when you least expect has rung true. Such is the case of my current relationship. We re-connected at a time in my life when I was incredibly vulnerable; recuperating from surgery, having broken my ankle. On one of our first dates, I can still recall the humiliation I endured of being carried down the staircase from the movie theater for all to see as the elevator that had worked on the way up decided to betray poor woeful me upon our descent.
Since then we’ve continued to evolve and grow, from strength to weakness, and weakness to strength. Events of this past week left me feeling less than my usual empowered, self-sustainable self.
Li’l Ms. Needy showed up – and justifiably so. With the intensity of work so unrelenting, a car accident involving my dear friend who borrowed my car to take her seven year old daughter to the hospital to attend to an injury she sustained while playing, was absolutely the final straw to push my adrenals and everything else to the edge.
This incident rattled my overcrowded cage at several diverse and conflicting levels. From an official standpoint, as Head of Mission Support, should I have allowed her to use my car? Of course, she needed to tend to her child for goodness sakes! Had she been drinking? I didn’t even consider this. Why was she going so fast? She was freaked out and in a hurry. What if, what if, what if? Thankfully by the grace of the Gods and Goddesses ‘what if’ did not come to light, otherwise it would have been catastrophic.
Here in the Central African Republic basic healthcare by Jamaican standards is non-existent. The fact that we brought our own needles to the hospital for her blood tests will hopefully provide some insight.
Meanwhile, he, the person whose calm and soothing energy that I craved most in this moment of crisis, was on the other side of the world, engaged in a breath-giving retreat unwinding while here I was in this forelorn place so tightly spun I was perhaps best suited for an inlay in a posturpeadic mattress!
I began blaming him for something he (a) wasn’t responsible for and (b) could do very little about even if he wanted to. Ms. Needy was now accompanied by the damsel in distress!
Quickly, I found myself fully ensued in a wrestling match with myself and my relationship.
Repeat myself and my relationship.
On the mat, as I exhaled and folded forwards, I released the angst of my perceived abandonment that had me so tightly wound. If there was any abandonment taking place, it was a direct result of a harsh, self-imposed judgment of the way things should be, rather than seeing and accepting them as they were.
Let the cards fall where they may.
As my practice concluded, I was guided to reach for my deck of *Mirror Cards.
Objectivity presented itself with the following message:
Objectivity is the ability to step back from our emotions and gain a clearer perspective. By moving away from subjectivity, we can see our own and other’ behavior free from emotional distortion.
BAM! Talk about being confronted and brought to my knees in one fell swoop! I’d allowed myself to be swept up by the tidal wave ensuing between me and myself, one that had absolutely nothing to do with my relationship with the other – besides the projection element of course!
Most would agree that our intimate relationships are perhaps the most all-encompassing and challenging roles that we take on in our lives. It is no wonder that many of us, after having been repeatedly wounded – or at least this is how we see it – opt to close down our hearts and stay away from relationships as though they’re some highly contagious and incurable dis-ease.
Yet, on the other beautiful hand, it is natural to wish to share our lives with another human being who compliments our essence being. As we journey towards creating this magic, being confronted with ourselves is a necessary and unavoidable juncture that we must face. At these crossroads, the ‘obstacles’ that we encounter are most likely rooted in the image of relationships and their associated archetypes that we grew up with. For example, in the midst of having to deal with this accident at so many levels, I wanted my knight in shining armor to come galloping in on his grand stallion, sweep me up and rescue me. Even moreso however, once I managed to step away from my dramatic self, was the revelation of my desire to be with my partner.
Having been abandoned during puberty, I naturally gravitate towards relationships where I am likely to either be abandoned or at the first indication of trouble, I’m gone like a bolt of lightning! However after years of jumping ship, I’ve come to understand and appreciate that when things get rocky, I need to root firmly and maintain balance. This refutes another archetype; that of the fairytale romance.
When we’re able to compassionately and objectively witness our behavior in our relationships, only then do we stand a chance of breaking our vicious, virtuous, cyclical patterns.
In evolving beyond my puberty, in my present relationship, both with myself and my partner, I am learning how to be a stand for me, for us and to not abandon either one in the process.
Like a mirror, our partners reflect back to us who we are, both in likeness and dis-likeness of being.
And so it is.
*The Mirror Cards by Geoff Charley & Lucy Lidell – highly recommended!