In close relationships there may always be ruptures which arise in the field of lovers and friends. When we take the risk of allowing another to matter, when we open our bodies and our hearts to them, a call is sent out to the lost ones of the inner family, an invitation to return home.
Relationship has an uncanny ability to illuminate those parts of ourselves that we have lost touch with – the orphans of the emotional world, and the emissaries of our unlived lives. As wisdom-guides, they remind us of the two great relational fears, of being abandoned or overwhelmed by the other. We’re just not sure if we want to take that kind of risk.
As we deepen along the way, we may discover that the “other” is not only those fellow travelers that we meet, but that there is also an “inner other” who also longs to be known, to be held, and to be a part of the love story of our lives. This “other” yearns more than anything for intimacy, to no longer be shut out, and to enter into union with us exactly as we are.
The lost sadness, the disallowed joy, the unmet rage, the repressed grief. The barely remembered peace, the dissociated despair, the forgotten beauty. These ones are alive and will continue their journey to find you. They will never give up and will continue to take form as your lovers, family members, and friends, including those who irritate you the most.
The invitation of the beloved, in each of its forms, is to step fully into the crucible of relationship where we no longer limit the mystery of love’s expression, resisting the temptation to have the fires of love conform to our requirements. And to open to the reality that perhaps the purpose of relationship is not to provide consistent feelings of safety, certainty, connection, and validation.
The beloved has not come to confirm what we think love is – or the ways we have come to believe we must be seen - but rather to introduce us to the creative terrain of the unknown, and to the poetic depth of our own hearts. To reintroduce us to the inner family and the soul parts that have become lost along the way.
As we reunite with these ones and allow them safe passage, we remove the burden from the external other to take care of this sacred task for us, which was never theirs to carry. They are able to return it to us, as the ultimate act of love, where it will be safe enough for them now to come closer.
Art by Gustav Vigeland
The next book, The Unfolding Heart, will be published by Sounds True in early 2020, details to come
The next event is The Healing Shame Retreat: Spiritual Awakening and Transforming the Core Wound of Unworthiness, April 24-29, 2019 at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado, with co-facilitator Jeff Foster - details to come