Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Confronting the beloved within

It is so natural to long for deep relationship with another, a fellow traveler with whom to explore the mysteries of intimacy. Someone with whom you can walk into the uncharted lands of the heart, unsure where the journey will lead but pulled by the call to union.

“I want to share the burning,” you 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, and no longer postpone what you know is possible. This yearning is pure and can be honored for its authenticity and power.

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 projected lover! We are here and long to share our essence. Your prayer for true intimacy has been answered!”

Um … okay, but this is not what you expected. This response simply does not conform to your fantasies of the way you thought it would be. Where is the soul mate? The twin flame? The “good other” come to remove the existential flatness, the unbearable loneliness, the penetrating emptiness, and to confirm who it is you think you are.

Out of your genuine yearning, the ancient companions will always respond, as an embodied confrontation with the unconscious is required in order to realize intimate union. The lost soul pieces come not as enemies but as true, faithful lovers, seeking just one moment of your presence, attunement, and the light of your holding. While they remember being rejected in the past, they come nonetheless, never losing faith in the undivided condition of your true nature.

As you go deeper, you will encounter a profound truth along the way: you will never be able to be more intimate with another than you are with the unwanted lovers within. If you have not provided shelter for the unmet within you, how will you ever contain the wholeness that is the beloved?

Art by Cameron Gray

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