By Pepe Danza
Well, being Valentine’s Day, naturally February brings up questions and issues related to relationship… and we all know how that kind of Ship tends to sink. We are at a time when the old paradigms clearly don’t serve us anymore, but we really haven’t found new workable models to take us through that ocean of loneliness and confusion. We are in a grey, experimental zone, wanting to have fun and freedom and clarity, yet not at all free of the “happily ever after” myth that we were fed since our first fairytale.
From soul mates to polyamorous, the Ships are bouncing on the stormy sea of the Kali Yuga, a time of darkness when the Light of Spirit and Truth seem to be ever so unattainable and most people’s energies are fully engaged in the mere act of surviving.
One popular saying comes to mind that I think is very valuable as a general guideline,
“Hold on tightly and let go lightly.”
How does it translate to relationship?
Well, let’s look at the first part… In spiritual philosophy there is a great emphasis on unattachment. A great misunderstanding of this principle often leads “spiritual” people to become greatly attached to their unattachment! Added to this is the general North American disposable culture… “easy come, easy go.” Everything is breakable (sooner rather than later), everything is replaceable. Too often this leads one or both parties to not being fully present in the Ship. As a beloved teacher of mine once said, “You can’t have your two feet on two different boats.” On a deep level, this applies to modern life in general as we hardly “show up” for our lives. We live on automatic pilot, survival mode, most of the time dwelling on the past or considering the future or simply daydreaming our time away, hardly ever arriving at the proverbial and mystical, in fact, the eternal Moment, where the real Life is waiting for us in all it’s juiciness and magic.
So… we can take the “hold on tightly” part as “show up fully in the Ship!.” While you are there, Be There!, and show it both in word and deed. A firm and solid relationship that one can trust and depend on is a wonderful gift and foundation for personal power and peace. There is no worse loneliness than the one we experience within a relationship and a Ship that is in bad working condition depletes our energy tremendously. The responsibility is ours to fix it or leave it.
That’s where the “let go lightly” part shows up. From the old patriarchal model we are deeply conditioned to think that unless we celebrate our fortieth wedding anniversary together and in love, we failed… Breaking up a relationship is absolute, personal (and painful) failure. Is this truly so? We know that the only constant in Life is Change. Relationship may serve us for any amount of time, but it may well also, at any given point, stop serving either or both parties. And what does “serving” mean. It means supporting, adding joy, motivating and cultivating our inner growth, empowering equally both partners, creating a whole that is much greater than the sum of it’s parts.
This, however, is not like an instant soup or coffee, it requires deep, long and committed work. When this work is skillfully and lovingly done, the dividends are immense in personal growth and satisfaction. Relationship has the potential for being the greatest spiritual aid, mirror, path, and achievement.
However, if and when we realize it’s time to let go, it is advisable to observe how attached we are to our pain, how we almost build an identity from it. Negative emotions such as anger, self pity etc…, steep into our cellular structure and literally become poison in our systems. We don’t want to deny or repress our pain and it should be fully and honestly experienced but this is not a case of “holding on tightly”. Let your pain wash over you like a deep river that feeds your power to empathize, your compassion, your ability to love yourself and your power to heal and grow.
Always remember that the most solid Ship you are meant to build is the Self… that ship will carry you through any storm.
Happy Valentine’s Day!