The Seasons of Relationships

I have talked before about how relationships and weather follow similar patterns and seasons. I think there are seasons of a relationship. We have lovely, sunny, warm, bright, and encouraging days of spring after long, dark, difficult, cold periods of winter. Your heart feels big and open and absolutely hopeful in the spring time as trees begin to bud and tiny crocuses poke yellow heads above still almost frozen ground. For me spring is about feeling more comfortable and free and far less vulnerable then the ice and snow and brutal winds of winter. As I see it a new relationship is fragile while also being exciting, challenging while also very hopeful, always new and magical, much like spring. There is a delicious mystical, magical, mysterious fragrance and flavor both to spring time as it flings itself into our waiting and welcoming hearts, and to new love as it bursts into our mind, body and soul.

To me the contrast between the newness of spring and the toughness of winter feels similar to what I see happening in relationships. When a new relationship begins it is tentative, like a baby bird peeking out over a warm safe nest and looking at the huge world all around. And then in every relationship it is inevitable that the time will come when the roads feel slippery and covered in black ice and the cold brutal reality hits us hard, right in the gut. It feels like the days just are not long enough to make a living and nurture a relationship and face life’s challenges simultaneously.

There was a full moon eclipse the other night. It lasted a little over two hours from start to finish. Many folks, including myself, had a very restless sleep that night. Nature affects us. We reflect what is happening in nature. There is an amazingly dramatic connection between us and the earth. Some few years ago I lived every day with a heart that refused to beat rhythmically. It beat especially rapidly during a huge thunder storm one afternoon and as the winds and rain and lightning and thunder surrounded me with its chaos and distress, its demands and willfulness my heart became more and more erratic. As the storm began to move on toward other places to deposit its wrath elsewhere and I focused on even, steady breathing and clearing my mind of chaotic fears, my heart began to slow down. It took a while, but I settled and could breathe easily again once the storm left me to my own resources.

There is also a dramatic and unseen connection between you and your partner. We often mirror each other in surprising ways. Your moods and your partner’s moods affect each other. Your joy is contagious. Your anger gets mirrored back to you. Covertly over the years you absorb each other’s energy and essence. When you are not clear thinking and individuated, you become ONE. You do not want to be one! You want to be two wise and mature people who are interdependent. You can count on each other, you need each other, you support, understand and comfort each other, and you help each other feel safe. What you don’t do is become lost in each other and lose the unique you that gives you a sense of self and independence. What you want is to feel and be healthy in a togetherness that leaves room for an individual you. I think of two hands cupped in a way that makes a full circle and there is a hole in between the hands. We are whole with a hole that gives each of us a complete sense of self and a complete sense of intimate connection.

Sometimes you and your partner storm, sometimes you hum and skip and dance. Spring brings each day a variety of unexpected moments sometimes making you smile sometimes making you want to head for the hills, or at least head for cover under an awning over a shop down the street. If the two of you persevere and are committed to keeping each other safe, the sun will shine in your heart even when it is raining outside. It is inevitable.

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