Romance and Reality

Is romance something that we need to jettison as the years go passing by? Most people associate romance with Spring, newness, magic, yearning, adolescence, hope eternal, the anticipation of delirious desire, a kaleidoscope of infinite delightful variations. In that calculus, Romance's evil twin, reality, is a cold stone, a shock alarm, a home invasion by time and space, adulthood’s cloying cubicle. Waking up (and growing up) is hard to do!

When we fall in love, everything is numinous and luminous. What creates magic is how we feel about ourselves. We’re given a respite from our burdensome scripts and revel in the fact that someone finally gets us and has finally arrived to fill in our gaps.

We come to life as whole beings but are shattered by circumstance. As we become socialized we become traumatized. One prime cause for our wounding is that our primary caretakers weren’t always able to cater to the immediacy of our needs. Very often we blame ourselves. Thus, we go through life searching for their image in our future partners for redemption and healing.

Ultimately, our quest to complete ourselves needs to lead back to the realization that we are the answer to our own prayers.

We often pick partners who complement the repressed areas of our psyche. The shy seek out the gregarious, the artistic the staid, the optimist the pessimist, the fuser (need for intimacy) the isolater (the need for solitude). But life’s irony often entails choosing partners who offer the promise of healing and redemption but who ironically and unwittingly become players in the scripted roles of our initial wounding.

Our Imago is formed in our earliest years, it is the composite image of our perfect partner based on what was familiar to us (or the exact opposite) even if we had a painful past. The greater the correlation the greater the attraction. This is often the formula for fatal chemistry.

When we meet our Imago there is a caveat. The rose of our hopes and dreams bear the thorns of dreams dashed. In the final analysis, we either pick imago matches, project them, or provoke them.

This is where most relationships end before they’ve really begun. To become a conscious couple entails a necessary rebirth. There can be no birth without labor pains and birth pangs. A match made in heaven needs to pass through the underworld to get there.

How can our relationships not only sustain, but deepen and solidify? Here is a list for Conscious Couples to contemplate (print it out and place it on your refrigerator):

1. The healing of childhood wounds is often the prime driver in our search for a partner and the search for ourselves. This is a Hero's Journey.
2. Assuming that our perfect partner is out there somewhere is an illusory and somewhat naive notion. Our partner is not our savior but a fellow traveler on the path to wholeness.
3. To receive the love we want we need to communicate the love we want, from a place of self-care, not selfishness.
4. Conscious couples aspire to be the right partner rather than demanding that their partner be the right partner for them.
5. Prize your partner’s needs as highly as your own.
6. Hit pause before speaking when your partner disappoints. Try to assess the root of your disappointment and err on the side of compassion.
7. Just as an orchid needs the right environment to blossom so too do we need to create a safe space for our partner for intimacy to blossom.
8.Commitment to commitment makes our partnership sacred! There comes a time in a relationship when it's time to go deeper or go home. We need to be willing to stay present and do the work together. Press "pause" on your escape clause.
9. The major emotions that arise in relationships are anger and fear. Anger harkens back to old wounds. Fear is a preemptive emotion so as not to be hurt again.
10. In conscious relationships, our learning trajectory entails the understanding that our partner’s viewpoint and specialness are different from ours and encompasses some of the richness of reality that we have missed out on.

Relationship is a school and we are students and teachers to one another, writing the textbook as we go. Romance becomes real when love becomes Love and we are truly centered in our heart.