I am not in love with you anymore

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I don’t know if I dread hearing those words from someone more than I dread knowing I don’t feel it for my lover any longer:  I am not in love with you anymore.

It seemed harmless enough when you heard it used as a pick up in Top Gun:

You never close your eyes anymore when I kiss your lips
And there’s no tenderness like before in your fingertips
You’re trying hard not to show it, (baby)
But baby, baby I know it

You’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’
Whoa, that lovin’ feelin’
You’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’
Now it’s gone…gone…gone…woah

Now there’s no welcome look in your eyes when I reach for you
And now you’re starting to criticize the things I do
It makes me just feel like crying (baby)
‘Cause baby, something beautiful’s dying

But then you live it. And you know something beautiful is gone. Possibly for good.

But Jed Diamond says that is not necessarily the end. It is the invitation into deeper love. He reminds us that psychology has mapped four stages of love. These are:
Stage 1: Falling In Love
Stage 2: Becoming a Couple
Stage 3: Disillusionment
Stage 4: Creating Real, Lasting Love

When we hit disillusionment, many couples believe they are with the wrong person. They do not lack love – they lack the skills to get through to something deeper.

“We get sick more easily, sometimes seriously sick…We usually don’t recognize the illnesses as stress reactions. It’s terrifying to feel love slipping away.” -Jed Diamond. I used to get chronic bronchitis at this time of year. My cough could get so bad that I had to sleep sitting up. And when my dying relationships ended, so did my coughing. 

“This is the stage where many marriages fail. We go our separate ways, eventually fall in love again, we repeat steps 1, 2, 3, and the cycle repeats itself. But that need not be the case. Disillusionment does not mean you’ve picked the wrong partner or the love you thought you had has drained away. It means you are ready to let go of the illusions of love and get down to the real thing.” – Jed Diamond

I have been in a few serious relationships and I can attest to repeating steps 1 through 3 across a decade. The disillusionment stage has led me to look elsewhere instead of going deeper. In fairness, I have not had those skills and so I attracted partners who did not either.

“Now having been married for thirty-five years, I understand that there can be some pretty terrible times. But getting through those times together is how we learn about real, lasting love. Over the years we learned to heal old wounds, quit blaming our partner for not fulfilling our needs, and reclaiming our lost power. It’s not easy to work things out together. But knowing about the four stages of love and remembering the words of Carl Rogers and the look of love between him and (his wife) Helen has guided my journey. I hope it will help guide yours as well. The end of “being in love” is the opportunity for “real, lasting love.” It doesn’t happen fast and it isn’t ever all sweetness and light. But there’s nothing better in the world to do with our lives than to learn to love, deeply and well.” -Jed Diamond

I recall Adyashanti describing the one thing spiritual partners need to keep a relationship healthy. They both need to value the third entity they are creating – the relationship. I cannot imagine what it takes to be willing to open myself past the disillusionment stage. I don’t even know if I will open to the falling in love stage again.

But I agree – there’s nothing better in the world to do with our lives than to learn to love, deeply and well.

I am not in love with you anymore

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I don’t know if I dread hearing those words from someone more than I dread knowing I don’t feel it for my lover any longer:  I am not in love with you anymore.

It seemed harmless enough when you heard it used as a pick up in Top Gun:

You never close your eyes anymore when I kiss your lips
And there’s no tenderness like before in your fingertips
You’re trying hard not to show it, (baby)
But baby, baby I know it

You’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’
Whoa, that lovin’ feelin’
You’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’
Now it’s gone…gone…gone…woah

Now there’s no welcome look in your eyes when I reach for you
And now you’re starting to criticize the things I do
It makes me just feel like crying (baby)
‘Cause baby, something beautiful’s dying

But then you live it. And you know something beautiful is gone. Possibly for good.

But Jed Diamond says that is not necessarily the end. It is the invitation into deeper love. He reminds us that psychology has mapped four stages of love. These are:
Stage 1: Falling In Love
Stage 2: Becoming a Couple
Stage 3: Disillusionment
Stage 4: Creating Real, Lasting Love

When we hit disillusionment, many couples believe they are with the wrong person. They do not lack love – they lack the skills to get through to something deeper.

“We get sick more easily, sometimes seriously sick…We usually don’t recognize the illnesses as stress reactions. It’s terrifying to feel love slipping away.” -Jed Diamond. I used to get chronic bronchitis at this time of year. My cough could get so bad that I had to sleep sitting up. And when my dying relationships ended, so did my coughing. 

“This is the stage where many marriages fail. We go our separate ways, eventually fall in love again, we repeat steps 1, 2, 3, and the cycle repeats itself. But that need not be the case. Disillusionment does not mean you’ve picked the wrong partner or the love you thought you had has drained away. It means you are ready to let go of the illusions of love and get down to the real thing.” – Jed Diamond

I have been in a few serious relationships and I can attest to repeating steps 1 through 3 across a decade. The disillusionment stage has led me to look elsewhere instead of going deeper. In fairness, I have not had those skills and so I attracted partners who did not either.

“Now having been married for thirty-five years, I understand that there can be some pretty terrible times. But getting through those times together is how we learn about real, lasting love. Over the years we learned to heal old wounds, quit blaming our partner for not fulfilling our needs, and reclaiming our lost power. It’s not easy to work things out together. But knowing about the four stages of love and remembering the words of Carl Rogers and the look of love between him and (his wife) Helen has guided my journey. I hope it will help guide yours as well. The end of “being in love” is the opportunity for “real, lasting love.” It doesn’t happen fast and it isn’t ever all sweetness and light. But there’s nothing better in the world to do with our lives than to learn to love, deeply and well.” -Jed Diamond

I recall Adyashanti describing the one thing spiritual partners need to keep a relationship healthy. They both need to value the third entity they are creating – the relationship. I cannot imagine what it takes to be willing to open myself past the disillusionment stage. I don’t even know if I will open to the falling in love stage again.

But I agree – there’s nothing better in the world to do with our lives than to learn to love, deeply and well.

Human nature as spiritual practice

If you read my blogs enough, you could get the impression that I am always kind and calm. You could get the sense that I don’t lose my temper or never say mean things.

I sure do try to be that way. I tend to beat myself up when I am not kind or calm or lose my temper. I also see those moments as times for me to look at what belief was surfacing. I now see them as gifts that focus my awareness on awakening.

“Some people enter spirituality thinking it will help them address everything in human life. Their pursuit of enlightenment is that if they can have the right realization then all of their difficulties will be solved. It almost never works out to be that way. We have to look at spirituality with more mature reasonable eyes. We exist on multiple dimensions of experience and perception.

People try to see life as an unimportant dream state and that is why there is tremendous sense of freedom. But if you hold yourself there you are doing it out of fear, out of avoiding your human nature. Human nature will pull anyone down into humility. It is hard to be human and grandiose at the same time.”
~Adyashanti
From the Nisargadatta Webclass Nov 2014

I don’t want to deny my human nature.  I am not trying to be a saint. I am not devaluing this existence. It is a joy.

I will continue to live and love from my place of truth. Sometimes circumstances will make it more likely that I have fear triggered and I will work through those.  In that moment I will see the truth. And more and more often, I will let go of beliefs and live what is real. It happens now.

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Wanting and Desire: Two Aspects of Aphrodite

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Chocolate or vanilla?

Italian or Chinese?

Chicken or beef?

So often we see the idea of wanting as choice between options. Sometimes they are options of things in front of us. Other times its things we have seen that now we would like on Life’s Menu for us. But really, these are preferences. 

A few years ago, I attended “Priestess School”. I participated in a full day ritual exploring the dual aspects of Aphrodite.  Aphrodite is the Greek Goddess of Beauty, Fertility and Love in its most noble and pure form. However, she also appears in another but no less powerful aspect, in her role as the Goddess of Sexual and Pleasurable Love. We performed a ritual where the women who identified with the noble and pure and spiritual form of love formed one circle, and the women who identified with the sexual and pleasurable love formed a circle within it.
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I identified with the spiritual love and felt a sense of belonging with the other women who did as well. Our power was in spiritual consciousness.  We were intent, the movement of energy. I was moved and stirred by the women who identified with sexual love. Their power was in desire, in letting their wanting be apparent and open. We paired with a woman from the other group and released into eye gazing. I felt union with a woman whose name I do not know. I felt the connection I have felt with others in Tantric energy and spiritual practice. I felt envy that these women were connected with a knowledge of wanting that I did not have at that time. It was not limited to sexual wanting – it was an inner connection to what she wants in tangible concrete forms.

For those of us that are Aphrodite rising out of the foam of the ocean, knowing what we want is more subtle. Our wanting comes from the Silence. It comes from the darkness of the ocean. Our wanting shows up in our souls. What we want is the same as the Aphrodite of desire: love, union, oneness. For us, it doesn’t have to take the form of romantic relationship.  For us,  it is manifest in all aspects of our lives.
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What do you want? Recognize that the answer is not in preferences.  It is not going to be more money, a trip to India, or more success at work. It will be subtle, and will be more of a feeling, an energy, a movement of energy. It may be completely opposite from what you think you prefer. Yet there will be a peace when you can sense it. There is a slow and honey sweet Yes that emerges in you.

How do I know? Because I have learned how to hear my wanting in the foam of the water and the flow of Spirit.

How Could I Do Otherwise?

I am tired, and there is much to be done. The animals need feeding,  and we need supper. There are footprints on my hall floor to mop, and I am tired.

But you are sick, with a temperature and a cough. You want Mommy snuggles and need chicken soup.

Every moment at work is full, and I am tired. I have politics to negotiate,  budgets to manage, and discussions to lead.

But you are my baby, my child and a little piece of myself. You own my heart. You need me and nothing else is as real as being your Mommy.

I will be here, present every moment.  How could I do otherwise?

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Enough

Mercury is in retrograde. 

The retrograde was January 5 to January 25. As much as I argue that I see astrology, numerology and other forms of forecasting as crutches to the ego, I can’t deny seeing patterns in them that apply.

“Astrologically, each planet in the sky exerts a unique influence on us, and the world we live in. The planet Mercury rules our intelligence, mind, memory and all types of communication ranging from talking and texting to writing. It also affects our self-expression and communication style. In a more public sense, it rules commerce, computers, telephones, transportation and air travel.” Elephant Journal

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I knew we were in retrograde. I have been through several before and I grudgingly recognize they effect my life.  During this retrograde,  I have watched many things in my life set back.  My finances are messy. I had problems with my mortgage. I watched relationships fall apart around me. Business issues that should have been easy to implement did not move.

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“You may be asking: “What is the purpose of Mercury retrograde?” Well, sometimes, in order to move forward you need to move backward. This gives you the opportunity to rethink your actions and even “fix what might be broken.” By doing this, when you do move forward, you will produce even better results.” Elephant Journal

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What did I learn? My spiritual partner and I were talking about abundance and prosperity. “I read that the opposite of scarcity consciousness is not abundance,  but Enough.” Enough.

I have abundance, and I was reminded about just how much on my birthday. Friend after friend contacted me with birthday wishes. By 10:00 am I had to recharge my phone from all the interactions I had with people. I went to a sensory deprivation tank for a float. I had a loving and laughter filled birthday dinner. My baby and I had a mother-daughter day. I received fabulous gifts.  And for all of this, I had enough.

For all that is, I am enough.

No word has had as much power on me as the word Enough. Not the word love. Not the word hope.

I am Enough. I have Enough.

And so it is.

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Up the Spiral

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I groaned inwardly. “Ugh – this is really bad,” I thought as I read my poetry journals about 8 years ago.  Like many young adults,  I wrote poetry as a means of purging my angst. Or maybe as a passive aggressive expression of my victimhood.  Same, same…

What stood out at the time was how little had changed. I still felt the victim angst even though my life circumstances were completely different and it was many years later. 

With some pleasure, I noticed the opposite when I re-read them now. Sure, I can imagine myself sprawled on the bed writing them. But in all other ways, I don’t connect with the feelings in the writing.

This week, I suffered a setback. I was badly triggered and had anxiety attacks. They have been manageable but I felt some sense of failure. I had not had anxiety for a year and believed the story that I had overcome it with my spiritual superpowers.

In May, my spiritual partner and I went to see Wayne Dyer. I confess that while he had been a significant teacher of mine a decade ago, I had moved away from his work. So I was unprepared for the gift of being in his presence, the love that encircled us all and the connectedness that came to my awareness while we were there. 

When I told my spiritual partner about my slippage into anxiety, she reminded me of something Wayne Dyer talks about and that she herself sees as truth. We all have heard the idea that lessons repeat themselves in life until you learn them. But she reminded me that we also spiral up, that a lesson can come back even after you have done the work, not because you have failed but to build on it to go to the next level. Sort of like powering up to the next level in a video game.

How could I forget that if I set an intention,  what follows MUST be in support of that intention? I have dedicated my life to Truth, to serving from that Truth. I personalized my anxiety as something about ME, instead of seeing it as part of the pattern of Truth being revealed.

I am not fighting where I am at. This is what is. It is neither good nor bad. I suffer when I wish this wasn’t what was. But when I embrace it as part of the Spiral,  it turns into this beautiful gift.  I don’t miraculously pick up my bed and walk (Bible reference – sorry if it doesn’t resonate), but I do relax, stop grasping at what should be, and let go.
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