Community, relationships – all for growth

How are you doing, dear one? What has this week brought to you? How have you been interacting with others? How did you show up in the world? I am incredibly grateful that I have a wonderful support system, people who love me and care about me and have an open ear for me any time. I am so thankful for every one of you who I have gotten to talk to over these past few months, and a few of you have helped me keep going one step at a time when I didn’t know how (you know who you are).

As I complete another rotation around the sun this week, I feel pretty vulnerable already, so I might as well let you see deep inside. I’ve been thinking a lot about relationships over the past few months, probably over many years, as well as what it means to live in community (whether that is a little nuclear family, a shared living arrangement, or a larger community). And whether you currently are in a romantic relationship or not, maybe the following thoughts are of interest to you. As I transition into the thoughts around relationships in general and community, they will be relevant for you in one way or another.

Take a look at these two quotes by Esther Perel on romantic love:

1. “If love is an act of imagination, then intimacy is an act of fruition. It waits for the high to subside so it can patiently insert itself into the relationship. The seeds of intimacy are time and repetition. We choose each other again and again, and so create a community of two.” 

2. “Today, we turn to one person to provide what an entire village once did: a sense of grounding, meaning, and continuity.”

Therein lies the paradox. Love requires surrender and autonomy. Consequently, it is not surprising that romantic relationships are often perceived as difficult. Can we bridge these paradoxes? Can we acknowledge that we may want all of that and still fully love and accept a person for who they are instead of who these manyfold desires request them to be? And can we see all of that in one person without demanding they always fulfil all of them?

Transitioning from this thought to relationships in general: Our souls are on this planet to heal and grow. A lot of that growing happens when two individuals (whichever type of relationship they have) get close enough to touch a spot in one that hurts. When we get triggered by the action of another, we can blame the other person, for doing something that hurt us, or we can become curious about what is hurting there, and how that may heal. It doesn’t mean we let other people treat us badly – it means we take responsibility for our feelings and how to work through them.

Apart from working through old triggers that come up, we all have certain things we want to experience and achieve in life. Now how much of that comes from our ego talking, and how much comes from a higher self, helping to figure out what is good for us?

How do we bridge in between realising what we want to experience as individuals in life, living in a partnership (if we choose so), and belonging to a community (if we choose so)? It’s a beautiful dance with life, and while accepting all the things that happen on the way, even though they may not always be to our liking, let’s embrace that we get to experience the whole range of human emotions with all the love and all the turmoil they may bring along. 

Lastly, as I always strive to connect more with nature because it grounds us: How do we live a connected life while living in an urban landscape? How do we reconnect with nature to feel alive?

Here’s a beautiful documentary my wonderful brother recommended to me, and that gave me these last two prompts in particular: