Reflections on Enduring Love

I have some Valentine’s reflections on the ever-emerging truth of love in my life.

As those I love and I grow old, I feel us becoming more and more ourselves: eccentric, asymmetric, singular. Weaving life with other singular humans in enduring intimacies, we make a web where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Because of the intimate, intricate weave of each particular us, I am empowered to keep on becoming more fully me.

It is the work and play of sacred intimacy to make love to our habits. When we feel resourced, excited-enough, and challenged in manageable ways, we can gradually let go of habitual numbing, dissociation, anger and appeasement – and our attachments to chronic fear and pain. We can better notice persistent fascial contractions, and open chinks in our own obstinate armor. When we are cherished in our singularity, without being invaded our evaded, we can better burrow through traumatic acculturation, and find our way home to who and how we want to be. We can learn to hold irreconcilable differences within and between us. We can grow our desire until we want to come home to love, and be welcomed – even to have the most unlovable, hidden parts of us welcomed home. As we learn to feel ourselves more fully, we can each lean further into our uniqueness. I speak the love language of this singular universe, on this singular planet, by becoming the one that only I can be, in love with you.

Becoming the one I am is a relational process. Trustworthy, loving relationships are how I feel empowered to unfold self-trust; my capacity for loving connection is amplified simultaneously. Without enduring love, I get crushed – by my own habits, or by surrendering to others’ expectations and entitlements. The bridges of open-hearted love we make can spiral out to touch the world around us, while they spiral in to hold us ever more intimately. I cannot be me without our love.

The graphic describes what I see as four different quadrants we traverse in enduring intimacies. I’m grateful that today I can consciously cultivate my neurochemistry in different aspects of my intimate relationships. I keep on falling in love; I find ways to fight without breaking. We settle for each other, finding acceptance for parts we don’t like, even as we continually – sometimes even choicefully! – transform….