∴ Meet Ann & Paul—A Collaborative Couple
A: Work on the relationship with yourself first. After that, many things will make sense!
P: There’s also a fine line between exploring your natural collaborative chemistry and trying to change yourselves to induce collaboration. You know, how well do you naturally speak and understand each other’s love languages? Is it an effort already and why? I think those types of questions can be helpful if they’re oriented internally and shared together honestly, about what it is you’re looking for and want out of the relationship with each other.
There’s an unspoken level and an articulated level to this. Harmonizing those is the key in my experience, and that’s I think also what Ann is saying by getting attuned to yourself first. When you are, then you’re going to speak your truths organically, and your partner is going to speak theirs, and clarity is going to ensue. It has to. It doesn’t mean that that clarity will be what you were expecting. In fact it could bring you closer or drive you further apart, but if you’re honest with yourselves, I think there’s an evolutionary spectrum you’ll find yourself on about whether this relationship is healthy in terms of where you want to go. Collaboration can be difficult and beauty still ensue. It’s your choices that conduct that orchestra. And by all means, if you don’t want to work at it. If you want something easier, not because you’re copping out, but because you honestly believe that exists out there or even right now between you two, beyond all the mire, follow that, and you’ll find your truth. And conversely, if you believe that it takes dedication and hard work, and that the most difficult moments will not be for naught, and you own that, you will be pleasantly surprised by how right you are as well.
I don’t believe there’s any disappointment or jadedness that love isn’t innately designed to breathe life back into and transform into original beauty. I love the Martin Luther King Jr., quote about justice being love correcting everything that stands in the way of love. If you want fairness, equality, reciprocity and justice in your relationship… Love. Reach into your deepest being and define what love is. We all know what it is. It’s beyond words and it animates all words. Its simplest kindred starters are kindness, care, empathy and compassion, boldly and unabashedly applied to yourself and each other. Even if you lose faith in these, it will find you. And even when you think you’ve got it all figured out, that you know love’s telephone number by heart now, and you’re about to dial it right up, it will change. In all the right ways. It’s playful like that, through age. And it’s a spiral and a golden mean and π’s infinite number all rolled into one, manifested in the entire universe, culminating right where you stand. And you are both a part of that.
I could keep going, but suffice to say, the taoist tenant about the thing you’re looking for being already right in you, is as good a note to end on a beginning for.
The Parable of Empathy and Sympathy.
One day, someone fell into a deep well. “Help!” They yelled, hoping someone would hear and come to their rescue.
Sympathy came walking by and heard the shouts coming from the well. Sympathy, believing that keeping company would be the answer, jumped down into the well. Although the victim now was not alone, the problem still remained.
Empathy came walking by and heard splashing about, coupled with grumbles and groans. “Is there someone down there?” Empathy yelled into the well. “Yes, I need help!” The victim shouted back. “I’ll be back soon, Empathy yelled back before walking away. Empathy returned with rope. Tying off one end to a tree, Empathy threw the rope down into the well and shouted, “when you’re ready, I am here to help lift you back up.”