Given that we have been blindly navigating the terrain of relationships without the guidance of ancient sacred knowledge to steer our ships for many centuries, the majority of modern day relationships have mot matured past the stage of falling in love with a projected ideal. This coupling of the inner maiden and knight is depicted in the Tarot as the ‘Three of Cups’ card. This level of relationship is where we feel ‘in love’ with our own unexpressed aspects, projected externally on to another. So we feel incomplete without them, hence the old relationship paradigm term, ‘my other half’. This relationship model is known as co-dependency, a dynamic where we rely upon ‘the other’ to do that which we think we are unable to do for ourselves. Understandably, this status quo eventually creates feelings of neediness, disempowerment, suffocation & resentment until we individuate from the other in order to grow into a fuller version of ourselves. If we don’t use this time on our own to embrace the White Path of Tantra: Creating Sacred Union Within we simply fall in love again with our projection of the perfect partner & then reject them when we realise they too, are human & incomplete.
Unconscious partnerships play out in three stages:
1. The Honeymoon Phase. This is when we fall in love with our opposite or disowned self externally in someone else. Our euphoria is fuelled by the expectation they can save us from the suffering we have unconsciously created for ourselves. This is when we revert back to ‘baby speak’ giving each other pet names as we take it in turns to soothe & parent each other’s wounded inner child in exchange for affection, reassurance & the perception of emotional security. At this stage of relating we unconsciously try to get from our partner what we feel we didn’t get from our parents.
2. Polarisation. This is when we lean on each other’s strengths to the point where we completely avoid doing those activities we don’t feel confident doing. To disguise our growing sense of disempowerment we start to develop a sense of superiority about the tasks we are good at. This leads us to minimise & judge the tasks our partner does so resentment grows & the passion dies. When we don’t appreciate & respect one another we end up bickering like siblings. This creates a dynamic of unconsciously competing with each other which undermines any effort to build something lasting & sustainable together. This is marked by both parties putting the other person down, either directly or behind their backs to their friends or shared children to bolster their own sense of self-worth.
3. Rejection To Reclaim Personal Power. This is when we have become so polarised that we feel righteous and superior to our partner. To avoid taking responsibility for our own imbalance, we blame our opposite for sabotaging our happiness and then break away in order to reassert our sense of authority over our own life. It is women who are usually the first to leave. Not because they don’t love their partner but because they don’t know any other way to end the destructive dance of polarisation & conflict. This stage can be very frightening when we love our partner but feel we are betraying our own values by staying with them.
This stage is inevitable if you value truth & recognise something needs to change if you are to continue to grow. So rest assured, if you are currently in this place of needing your relationship dynamic to change & contemplating ending your partnership…you are ready to enter the new paradigm of Sacred Union.
4. So What’s the Solution?
When we embrace the path of ‘Sacred Union’ in partnership, instead of trading our partner in, only to repeat the same process with someone else, we strive to take responsibility for embodying our disowned selves. We do this by acknowledging our partner as our teacher, one who mirrors everything we need to see and accept in ourselves. Whilst they may act out our core wound in the opposite way to us, the issue they are illuminating is what we have not healed in ourselves. Similarly, their thoughts, words & behaviour toward us reflect our subconscious beliefs about ourselves & what we think we deserve.
The Key to Everlasting Love
For a relationship to grow beyond the honeymoon phase & survive the polarisation phase with grace & mutual respect it is imperative that a sacred practice be entered into which assists each partner to see & own their disowned selves. This focus shifts the ego’s need to blame ‘the other’ to one of personal responsibility so both parties remain humble, open & receptive. In other words, if there is not an agreement to regularly face the other in complete vulnerability & acknowledge your unconscious thoughts, words & actions they will be projected on to the other. These will accumulate over time, destroying trust & mutual respect, making intimacy on any level impossible.
This process needs to be holistic (honouring of the whole self or soul) rather than just a psychological negotiation as often occurs in couples counselling. A soulful approach encourages couples to ‘get out of their heads’. As viewing a situation from a rational perspective of right & wrong can further entrench polarisation. Instead, both need to be encouraged in a safe space to reconnect with their feelings which their righteous indignation has been trying to protect. For only then can they connect soul to soul with their partner.
When we view our relationship as a path to enlightenment we become gracious about the lessons learned through our human flaws & hurts. So instead of becoming increasingly bitter & cynical about love, marriage or an entire gender we come to appreciate how every experience in our relationship is highlighting what we need to do to resolve our own inner conflict & imbalance. It is this shift in our perspective that restores harmony as we genuinely feel gratitude towards our partner, warts & all! This is because we understand how both their strengths and their weaknesses serve us. This makes it possible for us to feel truly safe, loved for who we truly are, rather than pressured to be perfect or face rejection. The only essential ingredient is that both partners are willing to show up & do the practice to regularly own their shadow. Given the pay off is multi-orgasmic sex & the alternative is divorce or a cold war it seems an obvious choice!
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