“I dont’ want to see you hurt,” said a good friend that I reunited with after several years. She was referring to my current status in relationships. She is not the first to say it either, although she is the only one to be very intimate with the situation for some time. My immediate reaction was fear – that is some way she saw something or knew something I did not. Did she see my path more clearly than me?
In fact, I have had a conversation like this around almost every romantic relationship I have had. I have had family members try to dissuade me from marrying. I have had friends do an intervention with me a week before my wedding. And now that I am in a process of creating the type of partnership I want, the conversation is a familiar one: friends who love me wanting me to be careful about what I do next. I get questions about if I am considering reconciliation with Bhikku. I get questions about if The Magus is The One. Every person who loves me has advice on how I could avoid getting hurt.
For a few days, I actually sink in to their advice. I feel fear. I evaluate and re-evaluate my relationships. Should I divorce now, to make things clear and clean? What if Bhikku finds someone? What if Bhikku takes my money? What if The Magus doesn’t want what I want? What if the Magus is incapable of the type of relationship I deserve? (That is actually the Magus himself asking that…). Each question is well-meaning, comes from an intent to love and support me…and is a commitment to fear.
I proposed something remarkable in my dissertation on suicide: the idea that the person who commits suicide is responsible for their behaviour. It required great arguments to show that two people can experience the same pain, and one will attempt suicide while the other does not. It means that all our pain has to do with the individual, and only the individual. We are each responsible for our own experience.
Gary Zukav argues “If others had the power to cause you emotional pain, you would spend your entire life – day after day – attempting to manipulate or control them in order to avoid it. You would be ever observant, always on alert for possible pain, and you would develop sensitivities to your vulnerabilities and ways to protect yourself from exposing them.” That line is meant to show how foolish it is to blame others for my pain, but I am also acutely aware that is describes my career, my relationships, and my co-dependency all too well.
Zukav also says ” every frightened part of the personality is committed to fear (pursuing external power), every loving part is committed to love (creating authentic power), and you must choose between them. What others choose is beside the point. Your choice is the point.”
Let me say out loud that I know I will get hurt. Whatever happens with The Magus will hurt as we work through it. Bhikku has hurt me, and the end of the marriage has hurt me. I am hurt by Bhikku’s patterns of repression, which he has needed to cope with one of the worst childhoods imaginable. I am hurt by his inability to hear me or to connect with me – none of which are his intent. I am hurt that The Magus does not experience attachment the way I do, and it triggers my sense of being not enough and therefore my feelings of needing control. I am hurt that The Magus thinks in such a way that I find rigid and limiting of the possibilities that may be there for us – again, not his fault as he is biologically built differently when it comes to emotions. If I am going to love someone in a human relationship, I am going to get hurt.
Marianne Williamson says, ”Relationships never end because they’re of the mind, not the body.” If they are of the mind, then we can co-create whatever we wish – if we create together. If our needs and our beliefs are such that we cannot create together, then that is the journey. She also reminds us that the Course In Miracles says relationships never end until they are made holy, meaning that the sense of separateness is healed in the awareness of our Oneness in the Divine.
I have filled my life with Spiritual Partnerships, seeing these relationships as ways in which I learn about myself and my spiritual truths. However, these partnerships are human relationships, and have the characteristics of them. My deep friendships exist for the purposes of spiritual growth, and I often see these friends no more than once a month, or even once every few months. In some cases, we don’t have a lot in common in our lives other than the soul connection. I have very few relationships based on common interests. I don’t hang out with the girls. If I spend a lot of time with you, it is because the spiritual connection and commonalities we have allow us to have the accelerated program of relationship. When it comes to the human relationship of partnership, intimacy, and sharing a co-created life, the real challenges and life lessons can arise. It is in these relationships that we get hurt. And the hurt is just a signpost to something that needs to be explored and healed.
To my dear friends reading this, please know I am not criticizing you for your concern about me getting hurt. I love you for that. But know this: I will not avoid getting hurt. I won’t. I believe in my authentic personal power. I believe I am creating possibilities, not limitations. I believe in my ability to hurt and heal. I believe that all the things that show up in my life are for my insight and growth, and are sign posts of where I am still finding my way to the Light. My goal in life is enlightenment. I am happy to share that path, and co-create with another, in so far as there is growth. And if the relationship ends because no more growth is possible, there is still love.