Relationships are our most challenging spiritual practice. Very rarely does a couple fall in love, get married, have children and live happily ever after!! That is the realm of fairy tales. Real life is vastly different! So often, we have an idealized view of how it is going to be and when we are faced with a different reality, we feel frustrated, confused, hurt and betrayed. Relationships teach us more about ourselves- they are our spiritual teachers.
We live in a world of duality- the Third dimension- a world of right and wrong, black and white, good and bad. These dual energies reside in our sacral chakra (an energy pathway situated just below our navel) combine with the other spiritual energies to ensure that we attract to ourselves relationships which ensure our growth, which help us to become more whole. Understanding the significance of this duality/ opposite is the key to working with relationships. This dual energy has been given many names such as: anima/ animus; yin/ yang; male/ female; sun/ moon. What they all represent is a need for all of us to become whole- to integrate our likable side of our personality with the shadow (dark/ unknown) side of ourselves. This is the job of becoming conscious.
Even in science, there has been a shift from linear to circular thinking. This shift was marked by Newtonian ethics being replaced by Einstein's scientific principles. Physical science recognizes the law of cause and effect (for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction) and the law of magnetism (oppositely charged objects attract). Applied to relationships, these laws mean that we attract to ourselves, people who are opposite to us in some way, because they have something to teach us about our shadow or unclaimed parts of ourselves. They are energy attractions that help us become more whole.
For example: a typical relationship between a man and a woman:
A man and woman meet. There is an attraction. They are initially attracted to each other because the other person represents their shadow aspect that they have not yet claimed. So like a magnet, there is an energy attraction. The woman is attracted to the man because she sees him as strong, masculine, protective. The man is attracted to the woman because she is feminine, sensitive, caring. However, if that couple are not conscious of this and do not use their relationship as a means to integrate and learn from the other person the unclaimed shadow aspects of themselves, the relationship will start to go horribly wrong. What generally happens is that as the unclaimed aspect of the partners' remains unintegrated, the other partner will take on their partner's unclaimed aspect for them, because this is their strength and they know how to do it well. Therefore, the woman becomes more emotional so that her male partner can avoid getting in touch with his emotions. She emotes for both of them, while her male partner becomes more controlling and protective so that his female partner does not have to get in touch with her strong, masculine side. Now what starts to happen is that the very thing that attracted this couple to each other in the first place will start to repel them. For example, the male will no longer see their partner as sensitive and caring, but as over-emotional, fish-wife, and smothering. Similarly, the female will no longer see her partner as strong and masculine, but as controlling, aggressive, and jealous.
Also, often once a relationship is formed, we start thinking in terms of psychologically divisive and conflict-inducing opposites: me or you; mine or yours; winner or loser; dominator or dominated. What we need to do is to start looking at relationships from a circular perspective. First, we need to realize that nothing is random. Every relationship we have, whether intimate or casual, personal or professional, we attracted to ourselves because of the energy we were generating. We attracted this person into our lives because they were our spiritual messenger, telling us how we could become more whole, by facing our strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, if we like or admire someone, we need to realize that we admire that aspect of ourselves, and that we have that aspect within us. If we dislike a person, we need to realize that we dislike that aspect of ourselves that that person mirrors to us. They are our spiritual messengers. We are like magnets, attracting people to us who help us become more whole.
We also therefore need to take responsibility in relationships. We can no longer blame the other person for our unhappiness or for the breakdown of the relationship. There is no blame when seen from the circular perspective, because you can not identify the cause. The more conscious we become in relationships, the more consciously we can work with the energy of the sacral chakra. This involves releasing our compulsion to judge what and who has value. It involves releasing the compulsion to project disowned aspects of ourselves onto other people and then blame and judge them for this. Rather, becoming conscious in a relationship involves honouring the person for the message and the task they are presenting to you. It involves no longer trying to control the other person, bur rather seeing them as a mirror reflecting back to us our own qualities.