It is so natural to long for deep relationship with another, a fellow traveler with whom to explore the great secrets of union. Someone to accompany us as we enter into the mystery, explore the uncharted lands of the heart and wild terrain of the body, unsure where the journey will lead but pulled by the aliveness of intimacy and its fruits.
“I want to share the burning,” we cry out! The tenderness, the joy, and the aliveness of what it means to enter into partnership with the holy other. To no longer hold back, to give everything to remove the remaining shreds of separation, to lead with vulnerability and courage, to give and to receive fully and no longer postpone entry into the temple of the beloved. This yearning is pure, it is valid, and can be honored for its authenticity and power.
Alas, the prayer is heard. In response to this primordial call, the “other” appears. Sadness rushes onto the scene: “But when will you practice intimacy with me?” Loneliness is next, pleading for a moment of your undistracted attention. Anger, despair, grief, self-loathing, jealousy, fear, and shame: “Us too! Please do not abandon us and turn away for some other lover! We are here and long to share our essence. Your yearning for true intimacy has been answered! We have come.”
Out of the earth, the mud, and the stars, the ancient companions will always respond to this longing, spinning and shifting the forms of the phenomenal world, arranging meetings and encounters with the other in all of his or her glory.
As the lost soul pieces and displaced aspects of psyche, the beloved appears not as an enemy come to disrupt, but as the most true, faithful lover, never willing to truly abandon you. He or she comes not to harm, but for just one moment of your presence, attunement, and the light of your holding. While there may be a memory of being rejected in the past, they come nonetheless, never losing faith in you.
In that encounter, we are reminded, in ways that will be unique for each of us, that we will never be able to be more intimate with another than we are with the unwanted lovers within. If we do not provide shelter for the unmet within us, how will we ever truly live, dance, and play with the beloved?