On this Valentine’s day what an opportune time that I happen to be reflecting upon relationship. Not romance expressly, but genuine partnership and connection between myself and others.
This triggered when Jonny, my beloved, travelled away with work for a few days. I enjoy time alone, but this time was hit with what felt like a bullet of loneliness. In our little flat, in a town we barely knew the existence of before moving here, and the change of immediate community in recent years, I suddenly felt the onslaught of deep loneliness I have been carrying for a long time.
I affronted the question: why do I believe that isolation is loftier than connection?
Am I too proud, stubborn or painfully wounded?
There is, I believe, a belief floating around which celebrates the superior strength of the individual. Especially in spiritual circles we look up to the mystic hermits, well I definitely have, the outcasts who made it by faith alone, and the pioneers who have a unique, futuristic vision to chase. For some reason we focus on the person themselves and their connection to the Universe, to God. We don’t often look to the people around them. Rarely is community the focus of how one moves through life’s path. Often we hear our voice: I must go my own way, I must abandon my family for God’s purpose, I must ascend and let go of these dead weights. This might be the case in some rare scenarios, but in my view it is barely divinely purposed to dance life’s spiral alone.
I, for sure, have abandoned many a friend, family member and place to go after the ignited spark in my heart. I treasure these memories, but in my current wisdom these are not choices I see myself making now.
The core problem, which I was too haughty and blind to see? I was afraid. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s so terrifyingly simple. Fear. To replace awareness of the dread I chose statements such as, ‘I must create my own safe space’, ‘I cannot be around this person/place as it interferes with my mission’, ‘I have a unique path, different from all others around me’. Instead of creating bridges for life-giving energy to flow, in turn nurturing myself and others, I/we create resistance and duality. We see our life as opposed to another, rather than how we might support each other. Out of pain from the graveyard of previous relationships, we raise the bar and set an insanely high standard for anyone to come close. They must have similar views, say exactly what makes us feel good, have a ‘high vibe’ lifestyle like us, of course.
What even is ‘high vibe’ anyway? Is it not subject to our own views of what purity, divinity or wholeness look like?
What if we have it wrong, do we ever consider that?
Humility. Oh what a sigh of relief my heart exhales. I had forgotten: the beauty of giving, in vulnerability. No, not foolishly without a boundary in sight! For this has been me in the past. But exquisitely reformed as my remoulded alabaster jar. The strength in growth is that one becomes adept in hindsight. The experiences of the past act as seeds for the oak tree which grows in their place. Can you not see, beloved, that you have become a mighty tower of courage? Or do you wallow in what has been, which no longer exists? Choose to see you, right now.
And, in the present, spy how each branch is as an interweaving brainwave, a strand within a tapestry. Each reach out for their neighbour, and you notice how the tree is linked with another, and another, and another…a forest. Did you know that trees have an underground network of roots which communicate with each other? Though they look solid and independent above the surface, they are actually the fruit of inter-connectivity. Strength truly does lie in numbers. And that is not unholy, or less spiritually ‘advanced’ to believe.
I once read a book, not long ago, and the key phrase which I cannot forget goes something like: how does one make someone depressive, or lose their way in life? Well, one simply cuts them off from others, from anyone actually. The author described research tests conducted on people who were sent into isolation for a period of time. All of the data concluded that the longer time went on, the more insane and deeply sad the individual became. Is it because they didn’t have an intimate enough connection to the vast, wondrous Universe? Were they not aware they are a child of God who they can commune with always? Perhaps. But that has little to do with the question of tangible, human community. We can, or at least I can, get so caught up with the star dazzling cosmos, my own journey of divine union, that I completely forget about the existence of this around me. Which, I now believe to be one of the key interfaces for God, the Universe, the Divine (however you call this).
Without the space to play with these electric bolts of connection we have between one another, we become stuck, stationary, and collapse. No one to support us, help or guide us in tougher times. Yes, we have our angelic, soul and spiritual family. But we came to earth, to have this very human experience most importantly. And to be human, is to be with other humans, on planet earth. To discover and stretch ourselves through learning about one another and our shared existence. We are merely one dot within a spiralising geometric pattern of harmony. We think we are everything, and we kind of are, but we are also merely a speck of star dust. We have the capacity to build kingdoms of abundance, to orchestrate tidal waves of bounty for humanity and to contribute our collective wisdom for true healing advancement. And yet, we shy away…. We choose our own, lonesome route, because perhaps just we know best. It’s just about me and God anyway, right?
And so, do you understand my illustration?
Our own experience is simply not just our own. As soon as we open up to another, we begin to see that we are truly all very similar. And, with appropriate boundaries for each partnership we make (learning from our mistakes), we can excel into our wildest dreams beyond we ever thought was possible. Because, for one individual it would take a very long time to draw up, build and man a space ship into the corners of space. But, for a whole team of actively participating friends, it could take a very short time indeed (depending on the intelligence and common sense of those involved of course!).
And then the question is: even if you did build a beautiful space ship all by yourself, what fun is that when you’re alone, spinning through the galaxy? Is it just not more enjoyable to play out the friendly, dynamic sometimes purely bizarre interactions we have as humans? Perhaps if we are able to heal from seeing certain scenarios as dangerous or weird, then we might let go of the ancestral warring mentality which has caused so much suffering and bloodshed. We may come to see ‘difficult’ others as opportunities to iron out our attitude, to dig deeper into compassion and to practice healthy boundaries. We maintain the desire to see union sometimes through placing a good boundary, and exercising what little relationship can still be expressed. This in turn helps to keep the life flow between us, and soon, if we are willing, our wounds are cleaned by this flow of energy. Where does this ‘flow’ come from? Perhaps the very fabric of the Universe, the heart of God-Love, is what is found present when we choose connection. Is it possible that all creation comes alive when we give ourselves to this dance? We give, we receive, and again we give, receive…the cycle continues. Death and rebirth. Found in the crux of our interplay.
Just what is possible in the bridge between two, or three, or four who gather together in mutuality?
Something magnanimous will be created. The pure act of hearts ablaze for supporting our humanity to exceed beyond poverty, abuse and control…
Why did I ever think I can do this alone? I can’t even see my own faults without looking in the metaphorical mirror of someone else, let alone deal with my challenges and move forwards.
It’s funny how we can convince ourselves to believe in something so strongly. The human mind is powerful, but, as I remember a great speaker saying, is a good servant but no master. Perhaps guidance starts in the heart, or in the shared heart-to-heart with each other.
I leave this reflection here, as it continues to unfurl, and no doubt for you also. I am moved to take the risk to step out from hiding, to open my heart just a little bit more, bit by bit. The world desires to see us, and to hear our voice. All is awaiting, just for you. Come out, come out, wherever you are! The sun is dawning, it’s a new day.
May you have a wonderful Valentine’s, and may we all know Love.