The Universal Law of Attraction states that we beckon those into to our life who push our buttons, trigger us, and reflect back to us our wounds and darkness.
When a relationship goes sour, most of us vow: NOT AGAIN.
“I won’t fall in love, again,” we tell ourselves and our friends.
However, time passes, wounds heal, we forget our hurts; and soon find ourselves in the embrace of another relationship. And, perhaps even commit similar indignities which got us in trouble before in a previous relationship.
We seem to pursue “relationship” with a passion that we rarely put into other spheres of our lives.
What is it about interacting on a deep, intimate level with another that thrills us to ecstatic highs and also chills us to the very core of our existence?
What is the energy that drives us to for a relationship? What is it that propels us time and again to be with another?
Of course there is the physiological answer – to perpetuate the species.
However I feel that on the spiritual level we find the deeper meaning of relationship.
Relationship is responsibility (toward oneself)
We know that the Universal Law of Attraction states that we beckon those into our lives who push our buttons, trigger us, reflect back to us our wounds and darkness.
Why, one may ask, do we need to get our buttons pushed and stir old wounds? Let sleeping dogs lie, some say.
I would say we should – in order for us to become aware and conscious of them!
And…. then what?
To heal. Heal ourselves and ultimately those around us. For as we shift and correct our energetic patterning to align more with our divine nature, others close have the opportunity to shift, too.
Many times, it is not a pretty picture, nor is it fun to have a perpetual mirror 24/7 in one’s life and to be shown our dark areas and wounds.
But this is our journey and we do have a choice – the way of the hero or the way of the victim.
We can choose to take responsibility for our life, accept that which is being shown to us, dive inside, and heal ourselves in order to uncover our true nature and peaceful center.
Or we can choose to ignore, blame, judge or run in the opposite direction, which is also another way to find peace and quiet – albeit, temporarily.
However, unhealed wounds have a way of circling back around, rearing up to bite us again.
Relationship is a journey
Joseph Campbell, the great American mythologist, said, “The hero’s journey has been compared to a birth; it starts out warm and snug in a safe place; then comes a signal, growing more insistent, that it’s time to leave. To stay beyond your time is to putrefy. Without the blood and tearing and pain, there is no new life.” (1)
So it’s the taking of the first steps, often without knowing there will be support that is part of the hero’s journey.
And those first steps can be falling in love and walking into a relationship, or at the opposite end of the spectrum, leaving the warmth of a relationship.
“After a life of so much wandering and looking and hoping for meaning in people, places and circumstances outside myself, I grabbed the essentials and dove inward,” shares author Anne O’Shaughnessy.
“It has been, and continues to be, a slow, often bewildering trip, consisting of many baby steps on wobbly legs. Speaking my truth or hearing another’s truth still makes my heart pound in my chest. But what I keep discovering is that truth coupled with love and grace has a magical quality – creating doors where there were only walls and providing light on a path once hidden. A light so bright I can see it even as I drift from the known-untethered and a little afraid – into the unknown.” (2)
That magical quality which Ms. O’Shaughnessy refers to is what Mr. Campbell calls bliss, and what I call following your heart. I feel it is not only our right, but an essential part of our destiny to follow our bliss, our heart’s beckoning.
Not to do so would be allowing the mind to lead the heart. And a life devoid of heart’s involvement is an expedient life of mediocrity. As a species, we need to follow our own inner calling and intuition, not someone else’s path. It is vitally important to our survival as immensely creative beings. We need to get out of our heads and into our hearts, stay there, and trust what we feel and hear and see.
Relationship opens doors
Joseph Campbell says, “Follow your bliss. If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be. If you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn’t have opened for anyone else.” (3)
As we follow our bliss, our hearts, the magic, we may find ourselves in a relationship which may at times, seem caustic to say the least. However, and this is the big however, if we indeed followed our bliss and our hearts, then we are in the correct place with the correct person. This person is helping us heal our wounds, lighten our baggage of “stuff” and soften our ego- the ego, which is the spokesperson of the mind.
Relationship transforms ego
The spiritual path of the hero is to shift the ego from driver to sidekick – sidekick of the heart and sidekick of divine nature; allowing the true self to come forward, out of self-imposed hiding and blossom. Mr Campbell shares this conundrum about the ego, “How to get rid of ego as dictator and turn it into messenger and servant and scout, to be in your service, is the trick.” (4)
This is the journey, though, the hero’s journey. The journey of taking full responsibility for all that occurs in our life. And what follows responsibility? – Acceptance.
Acceptance of where the path has led you, all those you have met, what you have done, been and will be. This is a crucial key to a peaceful life. We can take responsibility for our life and trust our journey, yet not be at peace with it. In fact we can attempt to control and manipulate it as if we had a much better knowing of what is best for us!
Relationship fosters trust
“The key word is trust. Trust everything that happens in life; even those experiences that cause pain will somehow serve to better you in the end,” shares the author Henry Miller. “It’s easy to lose the inner vision, the greater truths, in the face of tragedy. There really is no such thing as suffering simply for the sake of suffering. Along with developing a basic trust in the rhyme and reason of life itself, I advise you to trust your intuition. It is a far better guide in the long run than your intellect.” (5)
We actually need to let go of the life we thought we wanted in order to be able to accept, trust and live fully the life that is waiting for us. And many times, it is beyond our wildest dreams. It is our destiny to realize that we are divine, we are one, we are inseparable and there is a grace in knowing all of this as truth.
Mr. Campbell quips, “I’m not superstitious, but I do believe in spiritual magic, you might say.” (6) He continues “It’s as though our lives were the dream of a single dreamer in which all of the dream characters are dreaming too. And so everything links to everything else moved out of the will in nature…It is as though there were an intention behind it; yet it is all by chance. None of us lives the life that he (or she) had intended.” (7)
Love will annihilate you
Split you wide open
Dashing to the rocks all fragments of your former self.
Brutal it may seem
Yet, the rough edges of the ego are hewn and smoothed
So the two may intertwine effortlessly.
If the personality still craves
The habits and routines of a former life,
The honing process is painful and clumsy.
It’s the letting go, time and again, that love teaches us.
We can accept the lesson going forth with peace in our hearts, with full awareness
That love is the culprit;
Or battle the changes each step of the way, somehow knowing
That the inevitable will eventually occur -
we will change,
transformation will happen.
So let love annihilate
As we blossom into our Divine Loveliness.
It’s merely a choice of a personal journey
For aren’t we all on the same Path?
With the same destination?
True Peace in the knowing that we are all inseparable.
I wrote this poem about a year ago during a particularly rough period of my life. I summoned whatever little courage I had left, and journeyed inside to those vulnerable, wounded places.
What I found was fear, lots of it, and anger. I sat with it all, breathed into those areas day and night, making those wounds my friends for they were a part of me. I had to realize that these wounds are part of what made me, me. They still beckon at times, yet the call is faint now, not so loud and incapacitating. When they call, I listen. I recommend you do, too – Listen to your heart. You may just see your new life turning around the corner.
“And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a God.
And where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves.
And where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence.
And where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with the world.”(8)
© Brooke Becker. October, 2013
- Joseph Campbell, from A JOSEPH CAMPBELL COMPANION, selected and edited by Diane K. Olson.
- Anne O’Shaughnessy, from HERON DANCE’S weekly email, A PAUSE FOR BEAUTY.
- Joseph Campbell, from A JOSEPH CAMPBELL COMPANION, selected and edited by Diane K. Olson
- Joseph Campbell, from THE HERO’S JOURNEY:JOSEPH CAMPBELL ON HIS LIFE AND WORK, New World Library, 1990
- Henry Miller, from REFLECTIONS, edited by Twinka Thiebault
- Michael Toms, from AN OPEN LIFE, INTERVIEWS WITH JOSEPH CAMPBELL, Harpers & Row Publishers, 1989.
- Joseph Campbell, quoted from an interview with Bill Moyers.
- Joseph Campbell, from “THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES”, New World Library, 2008, Joseph Campbell Foundation.
- Relationship image at: http://mylifebook.com/blog/?cat=489
- Road image from: http://www.turnbacktogod.com/prayers-before-a-journey/
- Transforming butterly at: http://www.thespiritualrenegade.com/can-i-get-a-transformation-please/