The second task to love
Nancy Juozapavicius - [email protected]
Final revision by Françoise Killick - [email protected]
This is the second of a series of four texts aiming to inspire the reader to practice the four necessary tasks to learn to overcome the illusory nature f romantic love, and, even so, have a life of passion. Come back to the previous text and reread the myth of Psyche.
The first task consisted in the importance of identifying and expressing clearly our values, feelings and needs. Now, the second is about looking beyond ourselves: understand that the universe is bigger than our own world.
In the second task, Aphrodite orders Psyche to gather some hair from the big and aggressive sheep made golden by the sun that while grazing around the river, they fight disputing the ownership of the herd.
At the beginning, Psyche even believes she’ll handle the task, but confronted with the power of aggressiveness, once more she gets desperate and plans to throw herself in the river. But the god Helios (the sun) reflected in the waters of the river warns her: “At night, the sheep fall asleep. You can then pick up the wool form the bushes they rubbed during the day.
The challenge of this second step teaches us to deal with the power of destructive forces, as well as self-aggression. The myth tells us to abandon the competitive spirit to reach our goals. It inspires us to negotiate instead of assaulting. This is, use our subtlety and self-power in the competitive world without being frightened by this world, what would make us stiff and concerned.
When the competitive spirit settles down in a relationship, it becomes intoxicated: irritation arises, as an alert that there is no available energy for the attraction, I mean, wish to be close. Without noticing, competition shows up even in the ability to prove who loves better! Anyway, in this step there is no room for victimization. For example, who always gives up his/her real priorities because of the other, must redo the first task!
When it is established in the relationship a code saying the one who loves must sacrifice, the couple starts competing in the pain: who can stand more quietly avoiding expressing his/her own needs. However, this image of tolerant and heroic appearance makes us every time less available to syntonize with the deeper needs of our partner. It is like it was established in the relationship a secret rule on which nobody is entitled to have privileges, only duties! Thus, without noticing, we will be competing in the capacity of bearing an implicit tension that starts to grow under the appearance that everything is ok.. while no one us complains about!
The artificiality impedes the healthy communication between two people, because it arises an attitude of caution that is the opposite of trust. When there is no room in the relationship where both can express their deepest feelings, something becomes paralyzed, as well as the heavy air before the rain. When the rain falls, it brings freshness and renovation. The feelings, when exposed to fresh air, let the relationships energized.
Feelings of a deep origin such as rejection and abandonment can be covered by attitudes of indifference and even contempt for the attention of others. But they are there inside of us, waiting for attention, conscience and clarity.
The antidote of an implicit competition is the expression of truth: each one must find a way of exposing his/her hidden needs. Wait for the other to guess them is a torture for ourselves and a trap for the other. Because, if he can’t guess, he will be judged and punished for his insensitiveness. As a woman, I can confess that I recognize the us women face easily as rejection the fragility of a man. Sometimes they simply can’t express themselves!
When we feel blocked, not understood or unable to understand, we start to have the uncomfortable feeling of not existing in face of the other, as we disguised our presence acting like we “didn’t need’ to be seen. Instead of filling this emptiness with fantasies of self-annulment, the best is simply declare openly to your partner: “I need more elucidation”!
The one who is afraid of expressing himself is afraid of not being accepted, so he thinks he needs to please the others all the time. However, it is tiring to be with people who don’t reveal themselves.
Once, Lama Michel told me: “It’s not because someone is not ok with you that you have to be not ok with this person. What’s left to you is a training in patience“. In this moment, is like wish to organize the clouds... it’s impossible! There is a right moment for everything, sometimes we need to let go the conflict and wait for the things to self-organize, because we end up creating interference when we want to organize them. Other times, we have to act promptly.
Dr. Harville Hendriz, in his book All the Love of The World, says: “In my work with couples, I have witnessed some many times this phenomenon on which the healing manifests itself as a two-way process, that now I can assure that the most part of husbands and wives have identical needs, but what one of them recognizes openly is denied by the other. When the partner who denies can overcome his resistance and satisfy the need he declares, part of the unconscious mind interprets the new behavior as existing for its own benefit. Love for yourself is obtained through love for the other.”
It is interesting that when one of the partners reveals honestly and with love something that bothers him, the other starts to listen to him more openly, because she knows then, that this way he will have the opportunity to express himself without being defensive. Thus, gradually, the competitive spirit dilutes and it arises the confidence of being able to see the other and be seen by him.
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