Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Longevity in Love
The falling in love part is not under our control, is it? Cupid's arrows are raining down on us all the time, while the lusty currents in the earth are always reaching upwards to the sky. IF they intersect, and IF you happen to be in the path, then boom, you're in love. Open your heart - or not - expect to fall in love - or not - bat your eyelashes - or not - and it can happen, or not. My mother met her last great love in the produce department at the supermarket. I'm thinking that the falling in love part is more about Fate than anything else.
Everything goes away, both parties idealize the other, hormones dance back and forth. After that, love gets more complicated, which might be why so many people measure "success" or "luck" in love by how long relationships last. It's not the dumbest way to measure, though I know couples who have been together a long time whose relationships are not (at least to my eye) healthy or fulfilling, so length in relationship can't be the only measure, can it?
Jeb Berkeley, my very favorite couples counselor of all time (and I've seen a few!) always said that everything ends sometime - everything. To him the success of any relationship could only be measured by how present, honest, respectful and compassionate the two people were for the duration, how they conducted themselves through good times and bad times.
I've been shit in relationships - codependent, an enabler. I've kept secrets, kept my lovers at arm's length because of my "intimacy issues." I've cheated on partners, dumped them unceremoniously, been dumped just as unceremoniously. I've had many passionate relationships that lasted only slightly longer than a snowman here in DC. My, my. But I've let the love course through my heart, unobstructed, for each and every one of those people, in spite of my clumsiness.
Right now, working on these two paintings, listening to Taj Mahal over and over again, I find that I am at last prepared to forgive myself for all my bad behavior, chalk it up to being human, leave the past where it belongs and let go. This is such a powerful healing I am currently experiencing. All I can say is wow.