I’ve always been a bit of a romantic. Even when I was a child, and I used to pronounce my Ken doll to be the ‘awfully wedded husband’ of Barbie in the many wedding ceremonies I presided over between them. I guess I misheard what the priest said at the weddings I had been to. Either that or I really didn’t think much of Ken, but somehow I still thought him worth marrying off to Barbie. On multiple occasions.
Many people feel that they are looking for their ‘other halves’ and that they will only be complete when they find them. Plato tells of a time where we were whole beings that were split into two by the God Zeus, destined to roam the earth in search of our other halves. He says that…
“We used to be complete wholes in our original nature, and now ‘love’ is the name for our pursuit of wholeness, for our desire to be complete.”
I believe that we are not meant to live in isolation, well the vast majority of us, not including times when you are seeking solitude for reasons of self-reflection, to grieve, and other personal or spiritual reasons. Otherwise, I think we are meant to live in community with one another and therefore, also in partnership. That is part of a complete life.
I believe that the completion that can come from a partnership is the wholeness that relationships invite you into. But I don’t think it will be in the sense that all our problems will go away and we will find life easier or smoother, I think we will be challenged to give up on our ego’s fears and insecurities and be invited to live with consideration for another person. Another person with idiosyncrasies and different ways of dealing with and living life. In that way, we become less self-centred, wider in our world views, less sharp around the edges and more accepting, compassionate individuals. Thus we further complete ourselves.
More and more I find that the completion we seek in relationships is created by the very acts we choose and our decisions to deepen into intimacy with another through showing our vulnerabilities and being open about our feelings and who we are, in all our beautiful contradictions, inadequacies and personal dysfunctions; then finding a way to accept ourselves and someone else, in all our humanity. In that way, we move toward our full human potential and completion.
Dr Jean Houston, the American scholar, lecturer, author and one of the principal founders of the Human Potential Movement suggests that our yearning for love is essentially a yearning for the Beloved.
The Beloved is her name for the Archetypal energy that is the essence of love and the very nature of who we are. The part of us that is magnanimous, open, trusting, positive and vibrant; the source of our creativity, ‘human folly and glory’. Some call that nature God.
Have you ever noticed how everything seems more possible when you are ‘in love’? How you see only the good in others, yourself, and are able to be more accepting and joyful. It is a taste of what it is like to live in and as love
Dr Houston talks about the intoxication of new love being a result of our desire to connect with the Beloved. She says that the Beloved aches for you as much if not more than you ache for it. So in a sense, it is inevitable that we are drawn to love and feel that we are incomplete without it. It is the Beloved calling us back home. So maybe we don’t need to yearn so much to be in love by finding your other half but to be love and recognize this is the other half of you.
I’m appreciative of the intricacies of love and relationships, which I wasn’t when I was um, younger… when I would get lost in the chemical intoxication of being ‘in love’ and my fantasies of how love would fix all my insecurities and somehow make me fulfilled and satisfied in my life.
I still am a romantic at heart, but I’m more grounded and mindful of the fact that falling in love won’t suddenly make my life better or perfect and that the completion and satisfaction that can come from a relationship is ultimately the result of the work you do in it. It is the sense of completion that comes from making the choice to be in relationship and commune with your partner by opening up to intimacy, love and acceptance of them, and yourself, and how that often goes beyond what you think is possible for you. But you make the choice to, and so you do.
And instead, when you are able to be love, with all its vulnerability and spaciousness, and then intend to be open to communicate honestly and authentically, you will join with the Beloved, you will realize that what you have been searching for was right inside you all along, in a place called home.