Couples Relationship Healing (Part 3): Lights Up On Center Stage.
“Most people in our society share a peculiar belief: We imagine that we should be able to establish a rich and satisfying relationship with someone we love, even if we have never learned to relate to ourselves in a rich, satisfying way”
– John Welwood from Love & Awakening
[This is part 3 of a 3-part article]
This is the final post in a 3-part series about the path of awakening to one’s own wholeness through the difficult challenges of intimate relationship. Here is where the we come to that which originally inspired love itself. Here is where we are granted passage from that which has most kept us hidden from our truth; our beauty; and our own ability to love and be loved.
…Here is the doorway:
Until or unless we, in our marriages and close relationships, learn how to enter together into a self-examining process of “eyes wide open” honest self-disclosure, there is no hope of moving beyond the tyranny of hot buttons, finger pointing negotiation, competitive positioning of who is more wrong, and Band-Aid approaches attempting to recover the comfort of relationship between personalities rather than to experience true intimacy of the heart.
Simply said: unless and until we learn how to reclaim our own true self, we cannot ever truly meet or be in true relationship with another. It is impossible (as highlighted in the quote by author, John Welwood at the beginning of this article).
As I’m sure you have directly experienced in your own life: We don’t tend to change when things are good or status quo. Things normally have to get quite uncomfortable or intolerable before we surrender into the gift that lies in wait behind the wound that I spoke to in Post 1 of this series.
Odd but true: We change and grow mainly when our old ways no longer work – when the protective masks get too confining for the soul which is ready to be lived – and we start to wake up (to remember…). As I wrote in Post 2: “Our very own ‘early inoculation systems’ – aka the emerging ego – set up an ingenious protection mechanism in which to hide and protect the innocent heart …until it is safer and ready to come out.”
It is through the passageway of crisis, that a couple is presented with a true (maybe even a once in a lifetime) opportunity: The calling to let die their old self-referent secular marriage so that a new self-healing opening of the heart may enter into their arena of intimacy and grace them each with the sacred inner marriage of true intimacy and open honesty – an intimacy and honesty that starts with oneself!
~ ~ ~
Let’s play a little here: Pretend, if you will, that you are sitting in the audience of a play…
STAGE LEFT: Man talking on the phone:
“Yes, I hope you can help. I have had some indiscretions – several bad choices – Well I have been having an affair and watching some porn. My wife just found out and she is devastated. I don’t blame her. I love her deeply but we can’t stop the anger and the questions and she says she will never trust me again. We’ve been going to therapy but it hasn’t helped. Is there anything I can do to give this marriage another chance?”
STAGE RIGHT: Woman typing out an email:
“My husband and I have fallen apart. We have a sexless marriage and separate bedrooms. We argue all the time. It’s a cold war. I don’t know if there is any hope, but we used to be so in love. Can you help us?”
CENTER STAGE: Smoke and mirrors slowly clear away to reveal a little old wizard looking up into a soft clear ray of blue light. He coughs and then speaks:
“Yes. I understand. I will. Ok. You’re very welcome. Yes, Thank you.”
He then turns a few dials and flips on a large power source – kind of like the main circuit breaker to your home. The stage becomes gradually less smoky as it is more and more illuminated and quickly it grows clear.
Then the little wizard sits down in a simple chair off to the side, leaving a man and a woman, facing one another other center stage. They look as if they’ve been crying; certainly they’ve’ been through an ordeal.
Now that the lights have come on, the man and woman are looking out past their places on the stage for the very first time. They rub their eyes as if waking up. They shake their heads as they look around at all the props and costumes. They stare at a stairway leading down from the stage, look back at each other again, hesitate.
Then they do something miraculous: they set drop their own costumes and props; they hold hands; and then they walk off the stage together.
Turning to look back at the remains of the story, suddenly the woman starts to giggle, and the man, he starts to chuckle. Then they each look into one another’s eyes. They look for a long deep moment. They look until all truth is seen. They look until Soul is reclaimed. They whisper something into one another’s ear. And with an eternal smile of inner self-knowing, they calmly turn and walk out of the building into a brand new day and a whole new (wholly holy) way…
This is the gift that lies in wait under the tremendous struggles, betrayals, and hurts of life – when we learn the art of self-disclosing conscious communion, and when we have the courage to step off the stage and truly honor it for what it has served:
The stage was just that (a stage one) – a story-drama built to self-protect us, but only meant to do so for a time, and then designed to eventually dissolve under the scrutiny of the true house lights, so that each actor can remove his and her mask of pain, protection, and false identities and step into the light of true intimacy with one’s self and ones world.
May your relationship challenges and the egoic personality cracks of living, shine its light on your awakening journey from secular self-protection to sacred partnership, where love serves soul and becomes a miraculous pathway to being more wholly (holy) you.
[…Back on Stage, the old wizard is heard mumbling aloud to himself as if speaking to the puddles of costuming and props left strewn around on the stage. He organizes them, catalogues them, sets them back into misshapen place. But this time he doesn’t turn the House lights back down. He simply goes back to his place on stage, clasps his hands in front, and gives a small head bow.]
“There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets through” – Leonard Cohen “the man!
Ronda LaRue, M.S., D.D. is a spiritual author/teacher and self-healing guide. She is founder of Center for Soul Arts and the SoulArts Process of Awakening ™. Ronda works from a novel and contemporary approach to the ancient tradition of one-on-one sacred apprenticeship for facilitating radical transformation, healing wholeness, and direct Self-Realization at her private artisan retreat in Ojai, California, and in small groups internationally.
Center for Soul Arts, Ojai California: Rated one of the top 10 spiritual retreats in the U.S. and world for this artful approach.
copyright ronda larue, 2014
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