TrueHeartWork | Relationship
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Relationship

Baby, I have been here before

 

Strange, isn’t it, how a frisson of a fragrance, a sliver of a song, can reverberate like the striking of a bell, redolent across the veils of time. Long after my tears have dried, I cannot now listen to Imogen Heap’s haunting voice singing Hallelujah, or Mark Knopfler’s Romeo and Juliet, without connecting instantly to two men I have loved with wondrous, wild abandon.

Baby I have been here before
I know this room, I’ve walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah” (Leonard Cohen)

Love.  “A broken Hallelujah”. Or a place to rest in the Heart of God.

Love. One syllable, that has divided kingdoms, fractured families, glorified, bankrupted, enslaved, enraptured, broken open, annihilated, made holy, triumphant with Joy.

Love.  An act of courage and truth that pierces the darkness of separation and time.  

“It’s been seven months now,” says my neighbour, a stoic veteran of several over-40 online dating forays. She has  garnered enough first-and-last dating experiences to hold a dinner table in stunned disbelief. I admire her courage and fortitude; her resolute belief that she will find her Prince if she kisses enough Frogs.

It’s easy to become shut-down, cynical.  To barricade ourselves behind emotional barbed wire. Love hurts, love scars, love wounds and marks… movies, songs, literature, portray Love as the sacrificial Flame that consumes. Passion always means pain. And anyone who has loved and lost will say that it bloody well does.

The day-to-day minutiae of committed relationships seem sawdust after the intoxicating ambrosia of a passionate, heroic love affair.

We have assimilated the belief that True Love is a form of suffering that paradoxically vivifies and “completes” us.  And so, as dangerous, magnificent, desperate and tragic as Love is, we find this an irritable impulse that draws us to the sacrificial flame.  Western culture has no history of romantic Love within the convention of marriage. The concept of romantic love did not even exist until the 12th Century.

Only in Hollywood do the love stories (mostly) have a happy ending. Watch a French movie to find out that life and love are more often messy and always open-ended! Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolde, Lancelot and Guinevere did not grow old together, or live happily ever after.

Historically marriage was a social, economic, or political construct, usually involving some exchange of Power – land, livestock, jewels and gold. As we evolve spiritually, this old paradigm is just not working any longer – witness around you the age of Disposable Marriage and Broken Hallelujahs.

According to spiritual teacher, Gary Zukov, we have now crossed the threshold to partake of the sacrament of Spiritual Partnership. He writes, “spiritual partnerships have four main requirements—commitment, compassion, courage and conscious communication.”  Gary says a spiritual partnership is a dynamic that can be entered into with just one intention…spiritual growth. “It doesn’t mean you go out and you say, ‘I’m going to create a spiritual partnership,’” he says. “It means that your intention is to become aware and responsible for yourself.”

It requires a heroic heart to nail your colours to the mast of a marriage or committed union.  Setting sail on a spiritual partnership comes at a cost – personal growth and differentiation always does. Your well-polished beliefs, the stories you tell yourself about the world and The Other,  and the “self” you thought you were,  will  transform with a seismic shudder. Being in a conscious partnership is not for the faint-hearted!

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And so you’re back … from outer space …

An email from an old lover arcs into your sedate suburban life, a flaming comet of passionate destruction. Out-of-the-blue, a familiar face smiles beguilingly, inviting you to be her friend on Facebook, taking you time travelling to that place where it all began. Ghosts from the past, lovers and friends, who once towered like Colossus in our lives, suddenly reappear, ripping at scar tissue, straining against carefully bandaged memories; gifting us with an opportunity to bathe in the elixir of Forgiveness – for them and for ourselves; bringing to our awareness those places within us that still hold the currency of Victim, Vampire, Rescuer, or Redeemer Archetypes.  Reminding us that we are all part of the Matrix.  Interconnected in the Web of Life.

With Mercury in Retrograde effective until August 26th and Mars in the instinctual water sign of Cancer, holder of memories and nostalgia, until September 18th, we will find both Diamonds and Rust in the precious and painful memories of those we once danced with in those sepia-coloured days gone by.

People re-appear in our lives for a purpose. They mirror our Shadow. They invite us to go deep within and heal those places that still weep and haemorrhage from wounds we thought we had healed in hours and years of self-growth work. As long as a wound is not fully healed, it will bleed when someone inadvertently bumps it. Circumstances and experiences, will keep repeating the more we blame others, and ourselves.

 “There are no guilty people, only people that suffer,” says author and personal growth teacher, Lise Bourbeau, “the other person is not responsible for your suffering.”

So when a person re-appears, a swift parabola from the past, we need to go within and connect with our Authentic Self.  Does it feel soft and easy being with them again, or is there a sense of dis-ease and dis-comfort in their presence? What is the Wisdom in the re-union? Perhaps the lesson is forgiveness, in the knowledge that we did the best we could, given what we knew at the time – and so did they.  

Sometimes we stand at a crossroads. It is time to let go, to say goodbye, to gain new experiences, to Love again. Blending our journeys may not be possible, or there may be a high fee to pay the ferryman if we forgo our own Journey and become a passenger, swept along by our partner’s dreams. These times of partings may be painful. They may come early on in our relationships or after many years. And although we may find ourselves surprised when we arrive at the crossroad, there are no accidents. The time has come to be free to plan our own journey, to embrace our own destiny.

Anyone who has loved deeply, has felt  abandoned or rejected, will resonate with the defiant lyrics of Gloria Gaynor’s anthem, “I willsurvive”, or the evocative voice of Joan Baez who finds “Diamonds and Rust” in the precious and painful memories of a relationship past.

Venus (relationships, what we truly value, how we express ourselves in our relationships) now in Leo, (July 28th to August 21st) and the Leo Sun now at his flamboyant zenith, remind us to be magnanimous and also to consider why we are being re-visited by these people from our past. 

If we are anchored in our own secure self-image, we will be in our integrity and be able to allow others to shine brightly; to bless them on their journey, to thank them for gifting us with experiences of love, loss and renewal.

Re-visit the past on U-Tube with Gloria Gaynor, and Joan Baez.

Diamonds and Rust

Words and Music by Joan Baez

I’ll be damned
Here comes your ghost again
But that’s not unusual
It’s just that the moon is full
And you happened to call
And here I sit
Hand on the telephone
Hearing a voice I’d known
A couple of light years ago
Heading straight for a fall

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Crossroads

Should I stay or should I go? The one-hit wonder by punk rockers, The Clash, epitomises the encased in concrete immobility of making a debilitating difficult choice.

Choices crucify our energies, catapult us to the crossroads, and entomb us in that stuck place of indecision.  We can toss a coin, practice EFT, take a walk on the beach, and still the demons of doubt claw and gnaw and wake us in the darkness of the night.

 My Gemini husband and I (a vacillating Libran) both know the torment of indecision; two air-heads, with Mars in water signs. Mars, simplistically, suggests how we express our Masculine Core Essence. Mars is a planet of action, assertion, yang expression, which prefers definitive direction, a mission to accomplish!

Mars moves into the intuitive, water sign of Cancer on August 4th until September 18th. So if we look to the skies we garner the medicine of deeper awareness and authentic (real, truthful) connection with Who we are.

In our intimate relationships and close friendships, how often do we calcify in our assigned roles – the rigid controller, the diffuse compliant (and resentful or subversive) partner? How do our fears hamstring us? Fear of risk taking, fear of failing, fear of success?

The Sacred Masculine Essence is a samurai in times of crisis and of change. In Cancer, the assertive masculine energy of Mars fizzles and steams, yet also displays nurturing qualities of the sensitive, intuitive, open-hearted male.  So, for those of us with Mars in Pisces, Cancer, or Scorpio, taking action when confronted with challenging choices, may be a tipping point into a new awareness and self-empowerment.

The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them,” is the much-quoted wisdom of Albert Einstein.

The power of this statement connected at a deeper level for me last night when I remembered a scene, near the denouement of the movie, Casablanca. Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) tells Rick (Humphrey Bogart) that she will never be able to leave him a second time, but begs that he help her husband, Lazlo to escape the Gestapo.   She loves her husband, and is committed to the struggle against the Nazis, but her passion for Rick is tearing her apart …  should she go with Laszlo or stay with Rick… she says she doesn’t know what’s right anymore.  She tearfully tells Rick, “You have to think for both of us.”

There are times in our intimate relationships where we need someone to be courageous enough to make that fearful decision, because we are worn out, weary, and we just don’t know what’s right any more. We ask that they step into their Mars energy, stride forth courageously, assertively. “Think for both of us.” And, as they carry blaze through the impasse, it is we who must then soften, to trust as a little child, that our Lover will lead us safely through the thicket of thorns.

There will come a time, in the dance of Intimacy, when it is we who are required to step into our masculine energy. To hold the trembling hand of our partner …  it is we that must find our way through the labyrinth, decisively and courageously.

This is the sacred dance of yin and yang, masculine and feminine energy, that is the lustrous pearl at the heart of a Spiritual Partnership.

 

 

 

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True Colours

Dido’s raw and deeply evocative lyrics from “See you when you’re 40” surged through my earphones this morning, as I read an email from a dear friend, who lives in Ireland.  “He’s shown his true colours!” she wrote.

Betrayal, disillusionment, heart-break. Motifs I have woven into the warp and weft of my own life story.

People aren’t always what we think they are. And when they aren’t, we feel let down. Disappointed. Misunderstood.  

In love and loss, our lives so often resemble the plaintive lyrics of a Country and Western song.  Time after time, we barricade our fortress hearts, cauterise  haemorrhaging emotions.  Until, one new day, someone new comes along to kiss us awake… and with new hope, new bravado, we dare to love again, to shine brightly in our full aliveness in our True Colours.

Medical intuitive Carolyn Myss says that each one of us, in our life time will experience a betrayal. “One of the main reasons for the on-going trauma of relentless personal suffering is self-betrayal. Betrayal is one of life’s unavoidable experiences.”

I believe that betrayal is a soul contract we have with someone. A very special soul who comes to teach us forgiveness, to show us Who we really are.  A betrayal wound has a putrid odour, and seeps for years, until we are willing to notice the intricate design of the interlocked patterns that imprison us in the chains of our own unconsciousness. Only when we have really enter the quiet sanctury of self- love and forgiveness, can we shed  constricting chains, the straight-jacket of self denial,  to discover that as we joyfully cry “freedom! “ the Old Ways of behaving will not work for us anymore.  The Lovers that lured us into the fragrant arbour of juicy delights in our youth, just do not have the mettle and endurance to hold our attention in mid-life.

“Been there, got the mug and the T-shirt!” my heart-sore friend lamented. “I will not settle for a man encased in cement anymore!   He is not willing to do the self-growth work, or to hold me through mine.  I just don’t want to be with someone who stays is stuck on the hamster wheel!  I guess the gift for me in all of this is, that I have to look once again, at  how I love and value myself.”

And so, the screeching Valkyries swoop down upon us once more, and we realise that we are like wooden actors on the stage, going through Act 1 again. The lines are the same, though the actor might be someone new. We suddenly confront our own shadow in the mirror of the Bitch or Dick-head who let us down. We suddenly realise that the Unforgiven One is Innocent. They have come into our lives at the perfect moment – to show us our True Colours.  It is we who have betrayed ourselves – by distrusting our gut feel.  By settling for the crumbs. By agreeing to do those things that do not feel in our integrity. By ignoring the dream,  the sudden shock that wakes us in the dark of the  night with a strange sense of dis-ease.

Then we begin to observe that  we can run but we cannot hide. We can end relationships, angrily walk out our marriages, and still the odour of our terror and resistance follows us, like the stench of a putrid corpse. We will encounter more men and women encased in concrete – just like us – who will teach us the futility of going through the motions, acting out of our integrity.

Another friend, who has just ended a relationship, shared with me how sex without true intimacy and safety felt tawdry once the novelty of the new body had dissipated.

“It just felt so empty. A parody, ” she said.

Within our physical expression of Love, sex without a deep heart and limbic connection, feels  desperately lonely as we gaze into the granite eyes of our Lover.

In my own life, it was an awakening to find more truth and balance and integration in my own life triggered by the solar eclipse on July 1st. I knew, I had to dig deeper to discover the hidden treasure and refine my spiritual container. To dedicate an hour each day for meditation.

Astrologically, this is a perfect time for  introspection. Mercury, planet of communication and thought, turns  retrograde from August 4th until August 28th.

Use this month of August, to show up for your own spiritual practice.  Journal, pray, meditate, walk in nature.  Consciously become more aware of your inner world.  What wakes you at 2am? Try to see the issues and challenges in your life from a higher perspective, as part of the whole. Look at the people around you. They reflect your own True Colours.

I dedicate Dido’s beautiful song to my beloved friend, and to men and women everywhere, who want Something More…

“See You When You’re 40”

I’ve driven round in circles for three hours
It was bound to happen that I’d end up at yours
I temporarily forgot there’s better days to come
I thought that I would give it just one more chance

Cos’ I want, tonight, what I’ve been waiting for
But I found, tonight, what I’d been warned about

“You think that you are complicated, deep mystery to all
Well it’s taken me a while to see, you’re not so special
All energy no meaning, with a lot of words
So paper thin that one real feeling, could knock you down

And I’ve seen, tonight, what I’d been warned about
I’m gonna leave, tonight, before I change my mind

So see you when your 40, lost and all alone
being comforted by strangers you’ll never need to know
not sad because you lost me
but sad because you thought it was cool to be sad

You think misery will make you stand apart from the crowd
well if you had walked past me today I wouldn’t have picked you out
I wouldn’t have picked you out

Now I’ve seen, tonight, how could I waste my time?
and I’ll be on my way, and I won’t be back
cos I’ve seen, tonight, what I’ve been warned about
your just a boy, not a man, and I’m not coming back. “

Dido.

 

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Say Yes to Love!

It may take a lifetime to learn to Love fearlessly.

Or, you can choose to do it right now, like Alex Lewis.

My romantic Gemini husband, Barry, recounted this deeply moving story to me which he came across on the bbc website. With the Sun’s ingress into the sign of Leo, the focus this month is on matters of the truly passionate, courageous, heart.

This is a tribute to the life of Alex Lewis:
Like so many young men, Alex Lewis played tennis and loved football. He had been feeling a lot of pain in his arm for several months, and guessed it was a probably a pulled muscle. At 17 he was diagnosed with bone cancer, which had already enveloped his lungs.

Despite conventional allopathic intervention – chemotherapy, radiotherapy, an arm painfully replaced with a metal prosthesis, the tumours grew. Alex accepted his inevitable death, and made a decision: the cancer would not define his life.
“It makes you realise just how precious life is. Life is actually amazing, but to make the most of every minute, you do have to look at everything in a positive way,” Alex said.

So, Alex went parachute jumping in New Zealand, riding the dunes in a buggy in Dubai, cliff diving in Cornwell, and died at 22, shortly after marrying Ali, the love of his life.

The well worn old cliché – Life is short has lost its currency. We still postpone adventures, resist even the smallest pleasures. Still we proclaim, “when I have enough money,” or “love will find me when the time is right,” or “when I retire, or the kids have moved out…”
We never really grasp the reality of what Love and Living our lives fully truly mean until we are met by some catastrophic event that shakes us to the core.

Astrologically, the sun, source of our vitality and health, ruler of our heart, moved across the elliptic of the sky into the sign of Leo on July 23rd.
A new cycle of life begins, as one year ends and a new year is celebrated for those who have birthdays between late July and early August. Happy Solar Return to all Leos! And for the rest of us, let’s celebrate Life and Love today!

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
— Mary Oliver

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