I get asked a lot about relationships, about love, about soul mates, Twin Flames, you name it. Freud said that love and work are the two pillars of mental health, and it’s no different when we do the Electric Slide away from the tropes of modern psychology, and boogaloo into the numinous world of human metaphysics.
It’s pretty much a given that if a client consults with me, wanting to know about their current booed up relationship, that something in the milk ain’t clean, honey. It may a big thing, it may be a little thing, but it’s something. Something isn’t sitting right.
So what do I tell people? I tell them to look. Deep. Way-down deep. It may help to imagine that this other person is represented by a vessel filled with liquid – how far down can you see into them? Why? And what do you see?
Is it clear? Murky? Filled with flesh-eating piranhas and stuff? Is the person even facing you or are they disinterested? Do they feel denser or lighter, heavier or slower, dimmer or brighter, louder or quieter than your own energy? Pay attention. You’ll get good information this way, even if you’re not 100% certain how to interpret it at first. I tell them, keep after it.
The question I ask next: what are you avoiding within yourself that you’re projecting onto this other person, thereby creating distortion in how you view them? Projection is a specific term, meaning that we tend to see the unpleasant parts of the Self about which we are largely unconscious everywhere but inside ourselves. It’s not about being a total putz, it’s a natural human foible. Foible. I love the word, sounds like I’m saying “gerbil” in 1930s NYC.
So we pick people that aren’t right for us, with whom we play out all our old unfinished business from our formative years. Over and over. It’s called repetition compulsion, and we’ll chat about it some other day. We project, they project, yadda yadda yadda. Next thing you know you’re two years from retirement with someone you can’t stand, having inane conversations about kitchen tile and crying yourself to sleep at night. Your chakras are fused and jammed and spinning backwards. Oh cheez.
I have a good friend who struggled with relationships over the years. After a particularly difficult and unexpected breakup we spent several hours talking, and she turned to me and said these apocryphal words: “There has got to be a better system of picking a partner, and I’m going to find it! I’ve got to keep refining my system.” While I admired her determination and resolution to not make the same mistakes, I found her stance puzzling and told her so. I mean, isn’t that what we’re here for? To love the wrong people sometimes? To make new and different mistakes? If we reduce this grand force running through the veins of our lives down to a methodology, we cheapen it and maybe even dehumanize it. We agreed to disagree. Take a look at this wonderful scene from Moonstruck which illustrates this, best stuff is at 3:29:
Money quote: “… love don’t make things nice – it ruins everything. It breaks your heart. It makes things a mess. We aren’t here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. Not us! We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and die. The storybooks are bullshit. Now I want you to come upstairs with me and get in my bed!”
You were right, Slightly Neanderthalic Pre-Plastic Surgery And Bad Hairpiece Nicolas Cage! Love can wreck your shit with its sheer irrational power. It’s a huge goddamned risk. But it’s the risk we must take, lest our hearts become all shriveled-up like beef jerky. And who wants a jerky heart. Ew.
Sometimes it’s a risk to get involved, and sometimes it’s a risk to leave when it comes to the way the heart works. I feel that too many worry too much about the Twin Flame/soulmate bidness; statistically, all of us have at least 10 other human beings on the planet with whom we could be a terrific match. The number is higher the younger we are and attenutates with age. So don’t worry if your sweetie is The One Flaming Twin or not. Chances are, there is more than one The One. It’s not a very romantic view I know, because it’s partly based in mathematical probabilities and statistical concepts, but my darlings life is too short and too interesting to spend a lot of time fretting about not meeting the other half of your soul and stuff. Just keep taking small risks if you’re still looking. Stay open to possibility.
So back to my original premise; if you’re asking someone for advice about your love relationship, first look within. Look within yourself but also within your partner, as far as you can see. Be honest about what’s there and not there. Learn to trust that little voice within that squeaks that maybe this isn’t the right person, but also learn to trust that same voice that tells you to take a chance. Within a few months of dating someone, you have most of the important data; people usually spot problem traits and behavior patterns early on, but don’t trust their findings. You have all the data you need.
You just have to really look at it.