Sunday, September 9, 2018

Oneness and separation

In close relationships, it is important to emphasize a secure attachment bond and the co-regulation of emotional activation. Practicing kindness toward our partners, listening to what is alive for them, caring for their suffering, and holding them during difficult times. Allowing them to matter, taking the risk to share our own vulnerability, and prioritizing connection.

It is also essential to be on the lookout for unhealthy fusion, honoring the reality that we are not only connected, but also separate. Any secure attachment must include healthy differentiation, where at times the most skillful activity will be to enact firm boundaries, actively assert our independence and needs, and be willing to disappoint others.

While the concept of oneness is alluring, true oneness does not exist without embodiment to multiplicity or without a radical embrace of the chaos, contradiction, and darker revelations of the spectrum of love. The wise navigation of opposites – staying within the complex and unresolvable tension between them – is an act of profound compassion.

Healthy intimacy is not the same as emotional fusion. Those called to relationship as path must make this discernment in the fire of their own experience and stay committed to working with the contradictions as they arise.

Yes, we can speak about our oneness with all of life, but we are also separate, each with our own unique histories, ways of organizing our experience, and distinctive core vulnerabilities. To dissolve these differences into some homogenized spiritual middle does not honor the sacredness of form.

If we do not consciously explore the reality of our separateness, it will inevitably express itself in less than conscious ways, unleashing our unmetabolized shadows into the relational field. Like all work of depth, this art evolves slowly, as it marinates in the alchemical vessel of the body.

May we be kind to our partners as we navigate this territory together, honoring the vehicle of intimacy as one of the most transformative, sacred, and challenging that we have in our modern world.

Art credit: Valentine Tree by dear Alice Mason Artist

My latest book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 

The next book, The Unfolding Heart, will be published by Sounds True in early 2020, details to come

My next event: 

The Great Befriending: A Five-Day Journey of Self-Love, Deep Rest, and Coming Alive (with Jeff Foster), September 21-26 in Loveland, Colorado