As I recently struggled with the status of my relationship and the repetition of romantic patterns that don’t lead me to my desired result, a friend suggested, “Maybe you just like falling in love.” (featured image from pinkparis1233.deviantart.com.)
“The use of the term ‘fall’ implies that the process [of falling in love] is in some way inevitable, uncontrollable, risky, irreversible, and that it puts the lover in a state of vulnerability, . . . .” ~Wikipedia
Hmmm . . . I’ve never thought of myself as “that girl.” Well, I allowed myself to consider his suggestion because in seeking an elusive answer we have to be open to every possibility. First, I understood how my friend could think that his suggestion would fit my situation. After all, my romances lately have been limited to the falling-in-love stage. Second, I “tried on” the concept. It didn’t feel like me, though. It felt awkward, like a dress that we think might be the answer to the needed outfit for an upcoming event, but once we put it on, the fabric and the feel aren’t quite right. Third, I adjusted myself a bit in the mirror, ya know, like picking at the dress here and there to see if I altered it, would it fit better. Then I considered adding a belt or a scarf? What if I put a slip under it or wore a different bra? Nawww. Nothing worked. The dress – his suggestion – wasn’t for me. So, I took it off and handed it to the sales associate to return to the sales floor for the next woman for whom it may be a perfect fit.
Now, I’m still without a solution, without an understanding of what’s going on in this area of my life. Like my friend asked, “How is it that you’re a beast in all the other areas of your life and struggle so here?” His question made me feel like Olivia Pope. Ha! Yet if I’m true to my spiritual practices of being present, aware, conscious, mindful, assured, in the flow, etc. – then there’s actually no press to figure it all out, right? All things work together and everything happens in its time. I will know the answers I seek at just the right moment. In the meantime, I decided to be at peace in this space of perplexity (so hard for me). Lao Tzu refers to spaces like these as times when we need to “let the mud settle.” I realized that the more I sloshed around seeking answers, the murkier everything became.
Then. It. Appeared.
The mud was settling.
A few weeks ago, OWN rebroadcast a throwback episode of the The Oprah Winfrey show during its “Super Soul Sunday” series. (I’m sure I saw it back then as I was a certified Oprah-Show Junkie – but it didn’t connect with me. It wasn’t time. ;-)) Oprah’s guest was Dr. Harville Hendrix, author of Getting the Love You Want. Honestly, I started not to watch, almost changed the channel. I usually find such books and their advice to be hokey, warmed over steps that the public buys into like good-luck charms or pixie dust which never truly address the root causes of our issues. Nevertheless I continued to watch as Hendrix revealed my answer right before my eyes. He explained that our unconscious selves are determined to become healed and whole. Therefore until this happens, we continually attract the same person (different body) romantically. The goal is to resolve open issues from our childhoods. The people we attract will either be like our parents or they will evoke behavior in us like what we experienced from our parents.
Just like that, the puzzle pieces fell into place. I began to understand that although I seemed to be stuck in falling-in-love mode, I was actually making progress. I realized that the men I was dating were increasingly more of what I want and need in my romantic person (a la Grey’s Anatomy). More than that, I realized that these improvements were more about my progress in healing my childhood ish than getting closer to finding the “ideal man.” (Another book that was immensely helpful which I initially resisted is If the Buddha Dated: A Handbook for Finding Love on a Spiritual Path by Charlotte Kasl.) Essentially, “I attract that which I am.” (~Deepak Chopra)
For me, the determination of my unconscious self to be healed and whole explains the inevitability, risk and vulnerability in the Wikipedia definition of falling in love. I think of one of my most favorite Michael Jackson songs, “It’s the Falling in Love.” (~David W. Foster)
“now we’re just a web of mystery
a possibility of more to come
i’d rather leave the fantasy of what might be
but here i go falling again”
And so MJ brings me back to my original quandary – after I fall in love, what’s next? How do I get to and through the next stage that will eventually lead me to my desired result? How do I resolve the struggle of constantly going around the same mountain in a seemingly endless circle? Well, that answer is about being in love – the part that makes Mr. Jackson and the rest of us “cry, cry, cry.” And that will be the subject of my next post. Until then, I continue to celebrate this revelation. Yea! Thank you, G~d!
I hope you’ll celebrate with me, but along with all that I’ve written above, I leave you with one more consideration until the next post:
“Where I am impatient I lack trust. When we have trust that the unfolding will be in alignment with life & that the impulse for right action will arise from the centre of our being, we are not impatient. Learning to let our mud settle is learning to trust the sacred life force within to prompt us when action that will make a difference can be taken. Of course, most of us can appear still & be churning up the inner mud continuously.” ~Oriah Mountain Dreamer
(c) 2013, candi dugas, llc