It’s hard to accept that true love takes work. For most people, true love means an end to personal suffering They want to fall in love and live happily ever after. Don’t expect that the other person will be able to fix those things that you couldn’t fix yourself. Marriage as a fairy tale ending is an adolescent notion. Relationship is a crucible. It makes you more accountable and forces you to put childish concepts to rest. We know someone who fell in love with what seemed the perfect woman. Then they fought every day for two years. He could not understand how the two of them could seem so compatible and yet be fighting so much. He started to think that there was something fatally wrong with their relationship or his judgment. Sometimes the deeper the love, the more the surface friction. Intimacy is a scary proposition. We all want it but we are afraid of letting down our defences. Now after four years that couple is still fighting, but with a deeper understanding of their dynamic and a more powerful commitment to the process. Falling in love can only be a growth experience if we are willing to stick it out and find solutions through the rough spots. True growth occurs when we meet obstacles. That is how a relationship deepens.
THEN MORE WORK
In yoga and dance we often hear that we need to become soft to become strong. Where there is tension, energy stagnates and nothing can happen. No growth. No deepening of our experience. Everything feels much too difficult. Our hips and joints feel pinched and our limbs feel like cement bags. Likewise, a relationship can feel heavy and entirely too much work, unless we are willing to let ourselves be vulnerable. This is not as easy as it sounds. Those defences took years to put into place, beginning with our relationships with our parents, siblings and babysitters etc. When you feel tension building try to back off. If performing downward-facing dog hurts your wrists you modify. Maybe you use straps to take some of the weight off your arms. Then you investigate to see if the problem might stem from tension in your shoulders. Finally, if you can’t find a solution, you ask a teacher s advice. You don’t throw away your arms away and look for new ones! Committing to finding solutions in your yoga is what truly deepens your practice. It works the same way with a relationship. Try not pushing for the result you want. Try to see it from another point of view. Try your partner’s point of view. Understanding is a much better path to happiness than controlling. You need to be flexible enough to try another direction when no headway’s being made.
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A CAUTIONARY TALE
A friend of ours has been in a relationship for 10 years. She recently confided that they no longer had a sex life to speak of. She said that a few years back they had had a horrible fight in which she was very sarcastic about his sexual technique. Their sex life was forever damaged because of this one angry outburst. Try to speak about things that are upsetting you when tempers are cool. How you speak about something is often more important than what you actually say.
Whether you’re on your own or in a relationship we hope that you will continue to open yourself to loving and being loved and be fearless in all your endeavours.