So, here I am, at the end of another amazing adventure in conscious relationship.
Fortunately, I don’t measure the success of a relationship by its longevity (though we spent nearly two years together), but on how much healing, growth, learning, and transformation took place.
And this relationship was extremely rich in all of this. But nevertheless, we decided to go our separate ways as there was just too much triggering and we couldn’t get our breath in time before another wave of emotion submerged us again. The lack of trust became an issue and, in the end, it felt like we were a wounded boy and a wounded girl who desperately wanted to be close but old, unhealed trauma meant that intimacy and vulnerability were just not going to happen.
We both experienced extreme trauma in our formative years, and I feel that we did incredibly well to travel as far as we did when you bear this in mind. But this ending is different this time, because the relationship facilitated massive progress in purging old, emotional wounds and helped me come home to myself, which I believe is the true purpose of all conscious relationships.
There were initially some waves of grief I had to be present with once I had said my goodbyes and thank yous and left. I still thank my absent partner for all that she gifted me, regardless of whether it was beautiful and joyous or painful and uncomfortable. God she was an awesome, if at times, ruthless, teacher! But this time, in this end and beginning, a new awareness has arisen and, with it, the question:
“What if love never leaves?”
And so this has become my healing mantra.
You see, it seems that society encourages us to find a mate and to expect that they should be the primary source of love, but perhaps this is unrealistic. Especially when we remember that you can only love another to the extent that you love yourself.
And what if we take this truth about the source of love a little deeper and consider what the mystics have been telling us, that in our core, our very essence is love. What if we are love but we have been misled and have forgotten this essential truth?
In the past, I would have been re-traumatised by the ending of a relationship because it would have triggered the emotional residue left by the death of my mother as an infant. But this time, since the majority of the trauma has been transformed, my wounded child is not taking centre stage. Instead, the man who I am can choose different thoughts. With the help of my mindfulness practice, I can see that this ending is also a beautiful beginning—new adventures and a break from the extreme challenges that were increasingly present with my ex-partner. A deeper realisation that I am love and that love never really leaves.
As children, our mother is the embodiment of love and when she leaves, as mine did, a child believes that love is gone. And, when the mother does not return, the conclusion is that love will not return either. But now I am an independent adult and I am remembering that I am love and this idea of love leaving becomes absurd and untrue.
For a long time now, I realised that the death of my mother was a gift as it motivated me to go in search of the love that I had tasted so briefly and then lost. But society teaches us to look outside ourselves, particularly in romantic relationships, and so this is what I did for many years until I began to consider that I was perhaps looking in all the wrong places—and perhaps, that which I was seeking was also seeking me!
It becomes clearer and clearer that if we can just stay still, stay present, and be with whatever life brings our way and allow the layers of trauma (of which we have all experienced to varying degrees) to disintegrate and fall away, then what is increasingly revealed is love.
To expect our insatiable thirst for loving union to come from one other wounded human becomes ridiculous. It puts far too much pressure on the relationship, especially when the inner child within both people does their best to sabotage things because it believes it is safer to remain separate and isolated rather than risk intimacy, connection, or losing a loved one again.
Perhaps love is really just another word for consciousness or pure awareness, and this is both eternal and infinite.
The concept of love generally accepted by the masses is, in my humble opinion, for the most part just co-dependency dressed up in various costumes and this is a poor substitute for the reality of love. Love is who we are, and when we begin to realise this from within, then we can merge and commune with the love that is actually all-pervading and always present.
I have learned that while on this journey back home to love, it is not wise to put all my eggs in one basket. Even though I do not have a partner now, I can feel love from my friends and family, I feel love from the people who I work with, and those who are grateful for the books I have written and the healing services I provide. I feel love all around when I am out walking in nature, and I am beginning to feel a deeper sense of love when I lie in meditation on my bed.
Love is revealed when we have the courage to stand in the fire of love and allow the flames to burn away all that is false within us. And conscious relationships will provide plenty of fuel for this fire!
So wherever you are in your relationship, I wish you well. And especially if you have recently become single or are considering leaving your relationship, it may be worth entertaining my question:
What if love never leaves?