It’s wonderful to have a big bag of positive-thinking tools and spiritual philosophies to apply to our reasoning when we need to.
But have you ever wondered why we actually need them in the first place?
What exactly are they attempting to resolve, suppress, cover up or hide?
Allow me to explain what I mean…
Intimacy – In-to-me-you-see
I adore my husband. When I look at him, my heart expands. I feel a physical change in my being. I don’t think he knows just how often I quietly take in the beauty of everything he is. Something about him touches me to my core. I have come to know him so well. Not just on the surface. I know him. I can see into his soul. I understand what motivates him, how he thinks, who he is deep beneath his skin. I love everything he is beyond words. Did we both have to evolve to reach this place. Yes.
I am in awe of the journey we have shared. I’ve been reflecting on how much we’ve both opened up, learned and changed, individually and as a team throughout the years we’ve been together.
When we first met, our journey was about positive thinking. Then when we learned about the ego, and more specifically about our own egos, our relationship and work took on a new and much deeper direction. We began experiencing ourselves underneath that layer of positivity, by taking a good long look at our own patterns, behaviour and responses, and seeing and understanding how the illusion we call our ego, plays out for us as individuals. We also saw for the first time what our individual ego patterns brought into our relationship.
That answered so many questions… in fact it blew my mind wide open. It blew my eyes even wider open. Believe it or not, most people simply don’t see their own ego. In fact, many would happily say that they can see everyone else’s at play, but would add that they themselves are not like that. That’s how good our ego is at convincing us of its non-existence. We can be very quick to point out how difficult someone else is to live with, have a relationship with, and so on, but we rarely see how difficult we are to experience those same things with. Yes, humanity is blissfully blind to its own ego, yet spends much of its life living through it and at the mercy of it, colliding with everyone who gets in its way.
If we weren’t at the mercy of our ego, we wouldn’t get angry, annoyed, judge others, feel superior towards others, feel hurt, anxious, guilty, ashamed etc, and nor would others have the ability to change our inner state at the drop of a hat. So if you feel any of these things regularly, then it’s your ego at play, and it’s desperately trying to protect your motivating drive. This is why we react to things differently – because our motivating drives differ from person to person, therefore what we seek to protect is different too.
Coming face to face with your ego, or shadow side, is a profound experience. What unfolds from there is evolutionary. By this I mean that the journey begins with new vision, because you lift the veil from your eyes, and from there, the journey doesn’t end. It simply evolves, as you begin to see more and more of yourself and others.
Positive thinking tools and spiritual philosophies can be used for a lifetime, but until we have tamed the underlying ego that is the very reason we need these tools in the first place, our patterns and reactions to certain situations will continue simmering away beneath the surface just waiting for the opportune moment to rise once again.
During the early stages of our relationship when Andy and I began to see and understand our own and each other’s behaviour with a new awareness, we made an agreement to hold up the mirror to one another when our limiting patterns came up. It’s very powerful to have someone who genuinely cares for you, who is willing to hold you accountable to be the best version of yourself. Until then, those patterns had caused challenges in our relationship. Once we were able to see, identify and actually understand them, our challenges fell away and our relationship evolved to a whole new level of awareness. Suddenly our differences were not about the other. They were about the person experiencing them, which allowed us to stop taking offense and making the other’s way of perceiving life somehow ‘about me’. With each conversation, we opened up a little more, delving further and further into our truth as our journey into conscious awareness was given the space and freedom to expand.
We’ve reached a place in our relationship where sharing our truth is fundamental and the only way we choose to be. When we witness our own illusionary behaviour in action, we will talk openly with one another about it, holding our hands up to it with full awareness. There is little point in hiding it or denying it, because we both know better than that. The quickest way through it is to understand why it’s showing up in the first place and own it, then work through that. Then it dissipates very quickly.
It’s a very profound experience. Because instead of just witnessing others, now I’m experiencing how I witness others. Life is happening through me, rather than to me. I no longer feel at the mercy of something which I cannot see. I feel deeply empowered by the full realisation that I truly am responsible for everything that takes place within my own consciousness.
Andy does the same. He stands strong in his own authenticity. Masculine, decisive, yet open, transparent and vulnerable with his heart. We have no shame or guilt about our ego. It is part of being human. Rather than pretending we don’t have an ego, or shouldn’t have one, or are somehow above having one, we have embraced our entire existence into the truth we share with one another so that we can move into a deeper level of intimacy. This has taken us into a more truthful (not filled with illusion) experience of life which is exceedingly peaceful. We can both clearly see what is illusion and what is truth. If we can share that journey with the one we love, enabling the expansion and growing up of our souls, then that to me is the highest purpose of a relationship.
We all have an ego. It never goes away, but it can be tamed, so that it is no longer controlling your experience and reactions to life. Your ego is not bad, it’s not your enemy. It is simply creating your illusion. That’s all. There is a huge difference.
What I love most about this level of intimacy, is that it allows us to hold the other in a safe space when sharing their truth, free from judgement or criticism. It’s a space where we can share our deepest experience of what it means to be alive.
This awareness has brought me to understand the meaning of unconditional love. I want Andy to be with me because he chooses to, not because he feels obligated to. Should he ever fall out of love with me, I would want him to feel able to share that with me. I love him enough to let him go should he ever discover that his happiness is not with me. Yes, of course I would grieve (rather a lot), but I would never want my inability to allow space for his truth, to force both of us into living a lie. All I ask of him is that he shares his truth with me, whatever that may be. For him to be able to do that, I also have to be a woman who has taught him that she is able to hear his truth for what it is. This doesn’t allow for ego games. He does the same for me. As a man with the freedom to be his own man and make his own choices, he protects and nurtures my heart with everything he is. It’s a beautiful journey, it really is. It’s very true that love can never be forced, trapped or manipulated. All that happens is that two people live a lie instead.
I feel fully seen, understood and accepted. I know Andy does too. He says he’s never experienced anything remotely like this before. He loves being himself, being accepted, being understood so deeply, and has never been so transparently naked and ‘got’ by anyone before now. Neither have I.
For any couple, the level of intimacy reached will depend upon the ego games each partner plays, and the amount of space given for truth to be spoken and heard. Both of these are entirely dependent upon the ego, and the vast majority of us are blissfully unaware of our own. So our relationships end up stagnant or painful. The illusion in all of this is that we feel we don’t have any control over changing that. We can change it though. Very much.
To reach a place of transparent intimacy, we have to face all of ourselves. Yet so many are unwilling to see or accept their shadow side, instead icing over it with positive thinking tools and spiritual philosophies. Yet the more the shadow is ignored, suppressed or iced over, the more tools and philosophies will be required as life goes on and we attempt to force them to work. The Self becomes more and more restless as reality begins to dawn that none of the tools are having a lasting impact. What is actually being sought, is the peacefulness and clarity that follows when our shadow is no longer running on automatic, driving us into continual collisions.
This is why we are so passionate about helping couples achieve this level of intimacy. And achieve it they do. We all can. A deeply intimate relationship is not just for a select few. It is there for each and every one of us if we truly want it and are willing to take that journey inwards. It is an evolutionary journey, and the most incredible ride into powerfully transparent and conscious in-to-me-you-see there is.