How To Make Your Relationship Work:

Learn how to love and be loved

By Anne Geraghty

 

ISBN:1843404087

 

5 star must reading.   [The following is what I highlighted during my read of this excellent book -- I recommend it on my Top-ten List of Peace resources.  My purpose in providing them is to interest you, the reader, and hope that you will obtain and read the complete work.  To properly understand the highlights, you need to read the book to put them in the proper context.]

 

 

Introduction

 

·         It does not tell you what to do to make your relationships work, but how to let your love to do it for you and love does a far better job than we can.

·         It shows you how to use your own love to create the relationship you long for.

·         To understand that what happens in a relationship is love working to keep itself alive is a radical shift of perspective.

·         …the love that lives in your body, in your heart and in your soul can bring you all you long for.  All we have to do is get out of our own way and let our love do the work.

 

 

Chapter One

Love’s Survival and Evolution

 

·         …Kinship that connects us and creates society, and the source of new life.

·         ..For a start, love is a paradox…

·         …even though we cannot explain it, we all know it, feel it, recognise it.

·         We understand love by loving and being loved, by standing under it with our own experience.

·         There is no other way.  Our relationships are our teachers, and like all great teachings, some of the lessons will not be easy.

·         Intimate sexual relationships are deeply pleasurable but also painful.

·         Love, something that matters so much to us, seems to be out of our control.

·         The problem is not that we do not care enough, but that we do not understand how love works.

·         ….and so when there are difficulties with our partners we become lost and confused as well as angry and hurt.

·         Then it can seem that nothing we do makes any difference, however hard we try.

·         Love is the currency of intimacy, the lifeblood, the energy, the chi of relationships.

·         But love often becomes stagnant or turns back on itself through accumulated hurts, various fears, social pressures, false beliefs, and other factors.

·         There needs to be a degree of sameness for there to be any meeting at all, but it is the difference that makes that meeting alive, interesting, sexual. 

·         ….And also what leads to the fights.

·         …finding out what is happening to the love..

·         ..find out why things are happening.

·         The love that can teach us how to love is clearly far more than mutual liking, simple sexual attraction and warm feelings towards each other.

·         …Knowing that we will never understand love completely, and would not want to, let us explore…

·         Love is a living energy and, although invisible, is as real as what we can see and touch. 

·         And in its struggles to remain alive and growing, love like all life evolves in complexity, richness and diversity. 

·         The conflict and confusion we experience with our partners is love working to survive and grow – though it rarely feels like this when in the middle of a fight.

·         We tend to conclude when there is conflict and pain, that something is wrong, that it should not be like this, and then we either try to fix it or walk away.

·         But at a deeper level there is nothing wrong. 

·         It is exactly at the points of conflict, rage and misunderstanding that there is the potential to extend beyond our current limitations, to expand our understanding, to go beyond whatever is restricting our capacity for love.

·         We can in fact, use the conflict to make more love.

·         Our love unconditionally loves us.

·         Which makes learning from the relationship much easier than learning from our partners, who naturally have their hidden agendas and vested interests, just as we do.

·         …knowing that love has levels and complexities beyond just the two of you helps greatly in times of trouble….

 

 

 

Chapter Two

Seven Seas, Seven Heavens

 

·         There are seven aspects of human sexual love, each of which presents us with a challenge.

·         …uniqueness, complexity, vulnerability, interdependence, surrender, sexuality, and transcendence.

 

 

1. Uniqueness:  each relationship is unique

 

·         Others may be able to offer insights of useful suggestions, but ultimately the only experts on the relationship are the couples themselves and their love.

·         But if no-one truly knows a relationship other than the two involved, and there is no expert with the answers, who or what can we turn to when we need help? 

·         It has to be something intimately connected with both partners, yet greater than either individually.  Our love is exactly this.

 

 

2. Complexity: every relationship has a complex and diverse ecology

 

3.      Vulnerability: the power needed in the world is opposite to the vulnerability needed in intimacy

 

·         Intimacy, involves very differences processes – being with another without doing anything, letting go of control, having no protective barrier to separate us, and dissolving the boundaries between self and other. 

·         But when we let down our defences, we become vulnerable, literally able to be wounded.  This makes intimacy both something we long for and something we are afraid of.

·         Many of the fights we have with our partners come from our attempts to control them, and their natural resistance.

·         And they will continue to do so until eventually we understand that freedom, both for ourselves and our partners, is an essential part of love.  But it takes a lot of love and a lot of fights to realise this.

·         Our first vulnerability to love is out of biological necessity, our later surrender comes only after many struggles.

·         Like all great journeys, we end where we began, the difference being not in the place, but in us.

 

 

4. Interdependence: no –one, and no relationship, is an island

 

·         However hard we try, we cannot escape the fact that we need others, just as others need us.

·         In sexual relationships we are confronted by the challenge to integrate the needs of the self with those of others – How to be both separate and together, how to respect both the “I” and the “we” –more intimately than anywhere else.  And if we cannot work it out at home, how can we hope to work it out on the bigger stage globally? 

·         Yet most of us find it hard to think beyond what we ourselves need and sensitive to what the relationship needs.

·         Physicists now say matter itself is created out a network of relationships and not, as previously thought, out of individual sub-atomic particles or charges of energy.

·         Relationships not only matter –now, it seems, they are matter.

·         Our differences with our partners are exactly what will cause trouble and exactly what will force our love to grow beyond itself.

·         …love, possibly the greatest untapped energy resource of our planet, begins at home.

 

5. Surrender: love asks even more of us than we ask of love

 

·         Trying to make our relationship how we think it should be and trying to find out what our love is trying to achieve, are radically different approaches. 

·         The first is about developing power and control over love, the second involves a commitment and surrender to love.

·         The overarching intelligence here is love.

 

 

6. Sexuality:  the animal instincts of the body are outlawed by society yet integral to sexual love

 

·         Our animal body is the seat of the unconscious.

·         When two people make love, therefore, there are far more things coming together than we know – two worlds, not only two persons.

·         Making love brings feeling and sensation back into the body.

·         Its very physicality awakens the passions.

·         ..we will at times hate most the one we love most.

·         So the problem becomes how to allow and express such feelings without overwhelming either ourselves or our partners.

·         The surrender into the instincts of the body in sexual love requires us to go beyond our minds and personalities and into the instincts and energies of the unconscious.

·         Love is an energy that permeates existence, but only sexual love makes that love material.

·         Sexual love brings love into the body, makes it flesh, and in the holy communion of sexual love the most earthy and animal becomes the most sacred and spiritual – incarnation not transcendence is what it’s all about.  Making love, literally, makes us love.

 

 

7.  Transcendence:  love is beyond our personalities and our minds

 

·         This way of thinking, however, has made it harder for us to understand the workings of love.

·         …it is hard to change the way we think about things.

·         When people love each other, their loving creates an energy field amount them.  This is love.  Love is not an abstract concept but a real living force.

·         …love will bring to the surface anything that is interfering or blocking the flow of energy.

·         Love as well as taking us on honeymoon, will force us to encounter our worst nightmares, deepest fears, and if necessary will break our hearts in order that we open to ultimate truth of love.

·         This love reveals profound truths about ourselves, our partners and the soul of humanity.

 

 

Chapter Three

Kinds of Loving

 

·         …life with our sexual partners is rich, fulfilling, complex and creative but also confusing, turbulent and difficult.

·         …five basic forms…

·         ..Instinctual love, romantic love, reciprocal love, redemptive love and transcendental love.

 

Instinctual Love

 

·         Instinctual love has little awareness of the inner workings of the relationship, and love is not seen as something to be explored or reflected upon.

·         …the drives and passions of the instinctual forces are at the very heart of sexual intimacy..

·         …instinctual love is the invisible web that maintains all life on this planet.

·         …in the subtle bio-diversity of love, intellectual and self–reflective types and instinctive–feeling types are often attracted to each other.

·         ..yet another scenario for misunderstanding and conflict as well as learning and expansion.

 

Romantic Love

 

·         Romantic love, unlike instinctual love, has an idea of love, though this tends to be idealised, where the beloved is seen as perfect.

·         ..it is the opposite pole to instinctual love.

·         When there is conflict and trouble, they tend to assume that something must be wrong…

·         “The magic has gone.” 

·         When the romantic view of love dominates a relationship, it is assumed there is very little that can be done about conflict-you either endure it or walk away.

 

Reciprocal Love

 

·         A more pragmatic love, reciprocal love, recognises the human frailties in us all and does not seek perfection.

·         Reciprocal love sees relationships as a transactional exchange.

·         Unlike romantic and instinctual love, where it is assumed we have very little or no control over the forces and feelings of love.

·         … here the opposite is assumed, that we have the power to control love.

·         But it can also lead to a nightmare.

·         Like nature, however, there is an aspect of love that requires us to surrender ourselves.

·         ..respect for the powerful anarchic forces of sexuality.

·         ..there will be a component of this form of love in every committed sexual relationship where two people are creating a life together. 

·         Without enough of this love, a couple will find life lacks stability and coherence.

·         Reciprocal love as it grows seems to evolve into an appreciation of relaxing and simply being together.

·         ..love, in its great wisdom, brings into being the opposite polarity from where it began.

 

 

Redemptive  Love

 

·         When two partners are attuned to the psychological world, then another kind of loving evolves, a love that explores these inner realities, a redemptive love.

·         Conflict is seen as an indication that each needs to explore themselves and discover the ways they defend themselves, from their partner, the baggage they bring from other relationships, and their unconscious desires to destroy the relationship.

·         A relationship is seen as a journey that involves a voyage of self-discovery through an exploration of the past, especially our childhoods, our parents’ relationship, previous sexual experiences, and our hopes and fears about love.

·         The idea behind this is that once we have become aware of unconscious patterns of relating, they can no longer operate destructively with our partners.

·         Redemptive love is a potent process.

 

 

Transcendental Love

 

·         Transcendental love contains all the loves previously described and is greater than them all.

·         …the focus is on the love rather than two individuals..

·         …love is understood to be alive and doing all it can to remain alive…

·         Conflict and distress, therefore is a manifestation of love’s attempt to remain alive, in balance and growing.

·         Looking at relationships from another dimension, however, there is never anything wrong, just a dynamic to be explored.

·         …which means that the couple can start to become interested in finding out what is going on rather than trying desperately to get it right.

·         When everything happening is seen as a manifestation of love at work, even when it does not look like it, a couple become co-detectives trying to work out together what is needed.

·         They explore the relationship rather than each-other, which is a lot less confrontational and divisive.

·         It reconnects the partners with the real reason they are together in the first place, which is that they love each other.

·         Each relationship has a unique combination of these different aspects of love.

·         This combination will change overtime.

·         …the most reliable and most closely attuned source of guidance will always be your own love.

 

 

Chapter Four

Across the Great Divide

 

·         …how we do it?…

·         “Linking” is a set of processes and techniques that help you link into and learn about your love.

·         The idea is that you link into and access the third force of all relationships, the body of relationship…

·         This process, especially useful in conflicts, achieves several objects.

·         Both of you are completely free to say whatever you wish to your love.  The love will take care of what is important.

·         ..the relationship is seen as a whole…

·         Love is more than a feeling, it is a state of being…

·         In this situation one of the priorities is to find out whether the individuals still love each other or not…

·         … a love that is not evolving into greater creativity is devolving into greater destructivity.

·         When love has died between a couple usually a good funeral is the best option.

·         No-one other than the couple concerned knows, the truth about whether they love each other or not.  The couple always knows, though neither may admit it, even to themselves.

·         If you sit side by side with your partner facing the body of your love on an empty chair in front of you, you will know truth about whether you love each other or not.

·         Our feelings are not the best guide for whether we are in love or not.  Love is more than feeling – it is a state of being.

·         You can love someone but not want to make love with them.  Loving someone means you have welcomed them into your heart and let them live there, but it does not necessarily involve a physical intimacy.

·         In sexual love, however, we are literally making love, creating a body of love that grows to surround us.

·         ..sexual love is the crucible in which it is made.

·         Living in this love is being in love..

·         A couple may begin making this love through their sexual intimacy and create a body of love that is then fed through emotional intimacy, but it originates in the sexuality of their love.

·         If a couple stay together when they are no longer making love, either physically through sexual intimacy or emotionally through an intimacy of their inner experience, then slowly they will fall out of being in love though they may still love each other.

·         …may not be a conscious choice…falling in love with someone else…

·         …not really in the realm of choice at all.  The freedom lies in what we decide to do.

·         …the most important way to attune to the energy of love is to pay attention to the sensations in our own bodies.

·         Attuning to your instincts

·         One aspect of the struggle with love that emerges in all intimate sexual relationships is that love keeps trying to teach us how to love, and we don’t realise how much we have to learn.

·         Another aspect of our struggle with love, which we all engage in until we don’t, is that love makes demands of us to let go the defensive positions of our egos and discover the realities of life beyond our fear.  And we resist this.

·         Love can transform struggle, confusion and pain into more love…rather than making the woman work through her processes and the man his, Linking focuses on the relationship.

·         Love is operating according to a deeper wisdom than we can ever fully know.

·         ..when partners simply lay everything they think and feel at the feet of the relationship…then something profoundly revealing and healing happens.

·         By simply bringing ourselves to the relationship, love transforms the situation.

·         And what is more, it only requires one of a couple to do this.

·         One of the principles behind the way loving relationships work is that whatever dynamic can be seen operating from one person to the other will have a similar dynamic (though this is usually hidden) working the other way.

·         The wound could not no be dealt with as both were in their different ways ignoring it.

·         This much later affair was not a conscious attempt on the man’s part to put the relationship to rights, but it could be seen as love’s way of bringing to the surface a deep wound that had never healed and which needed to be addressed for their love to grow. 

·         There was a potential at this point in their lives, now the children had grown, for deeper intimacy between them, and their  love was doing all it could to bring about the right conditions for this. 

·         Freed from the demands of parenthood there was also more emotional energy available for the relationship, which would be needed to digest all this from their past.

·         Love had chosen its time well.

·         ….acknowledge that both had played a part in what had happened.

·         Neither was therefore the victim of the other.  This is extremely important.  By each taking responsibility for what happens in a relationship, a couple is no longer divided.

·         ….both will take a deep breath, a sort of sigh of relief, which neither may notice, at exactly the moment they recognise a reciprocity in the relationship…safer and more at ease.

·         …once they have acknowledged their love for each other and each has taken responsibility for the relationship, this can be seen as love operating again to bring their relating back into a healthy balance by balancing out the hurt.

·         Because of the depth of their denial about the earlier hurt, this crisis had to emerge in a very flamboyant to bring attention to the hidden wound.

·         He also felt less guilt…she felt his presence in the relationship more…

 

 

The 10 steps of Linking into the relationship when love is in crisis

 

1.      An exploration of the love in the relationship…

2.      A shift of perspective ..to one of focusing on the relationship….

3.      Explore side by side their relationship and their love.

4.      Taking the pressure off the individuals to change.

5.      Expressing freely

6.      Exploring the history of the relationship

7.      Finding the key areas of imbalance.

8.      Understanding the meaning of what has happened is happening rather than judging it as right or wrong.

9.      …both are therefore responsible for the imbalance and the rebalancing.

10.  Trusting love again.  Which is not the same as trusting the other person.

 

·         …teaching us, through the relationship, how to love wholeheartedly again…

·         …our love is not a force that will ever actually harm us.

·         Linking into our love helps us trust the process of relationship, even when we cannot trust our partner. 

·         And we cannot always trust them as they do not always know what is going on any more than we do.

·         Yet we can always trust love.

·         …love will bring into our life what our love needs..

 

 

Chapter Five

One Plus One Equals Three

 

·         …examining them systemically as whole bodies.

·         ..a “strange force”.

·         ..trust my instincts and intuitions..

·         We find our mates, as do other animals, through our sexual instincts, through the energetic processes of the body.

·         …in what is probably one of the most important decisions of our life, we rely on our reptilian lower brain stem..

·         An affair can lead to a renewed intimacy within the relationship as the individuals are forced to deal with issues between them that they had ignored.

·         Once we know love is at work, we naturally want to find out what something means, what is the context which gave rise to it, what are the forces this is trying to rebalance, and where are the hidden symmetries.

·         Early psychoanalysts were the first to encourage people to voice their hidden thoughts and feelings and to give them a meaning.

·         Lying in our partner’s arms, sharing secrets, feeling ourselves in new ways as we emotionally and physically let go, deepens the bonding.

·         ..the energy field…

·         Sometimes you have to work with the love-body on your own..

·         ..when one partner discovers the hidden balance, the other immediately responds even when they have not been involved in the exploration in the first place.

·         ..every sexual relationship requires both partners to have a separate life as well as a life together

·         The coming together would have no meaning otherwise.

 

 

 

Chapter Six

Love’s Invisible Blueprint

 

·         …examining them systemically as whole bodies.

·         …overarching intelligence designing things.

·         There seems to be, in the workings of love within intimate relationships, the same overarching design or visible blueprint that determines complex biological, social and physical order.

·         Two become one then three, the mystical equation of the alchemists, the holy trinity of relationship, the primal magic from which all else springs.

·         …the deeper the intimacy and love, the deeper the level of conflict that can emerge because it is safe to do so.

·         This couple was too overwhelmed to find time for couples counseling, and too exhausted to talk in depth with each other, and so for this particular family, at this particular time, this crisis brought out exactly what was needed.

·         Linking…would try to discover what the love is attempting to do…

·         Once a relationship has reached crisis point, the only way to uncover these deeper dynamics is to enlist the greater wisdom of the relationship.

·         What imbalance between them is this…trying to address?

·         She felt she was not being cared for in the relationship as the man’s psychology was so different. 

·         He had a strong sense of himself and could not imagine that anyone could have such a fragmented and insecure sense of themselves.

·         The woman was therefore struggling with this alone, trying to give herself substance.

 

 

Chapter Seven

Intimacy and Freedom

 

·         We have developed various protections to prevent others from hurting us, such as keeping people at a distance, being false and putting armour on.  Love, on the other hand, requires us to be open, available, unprotected and vulnerable.

·         ..nowhere can we have the complete freedom that emotional and physical intimacy with our sexual partners allows us.

·         ..intrinsically..

·         True intimacy requires us to stay connected with both our individuality and our belonging to something greater than us – the relationship.

·         Loving relationships need us to be absolutely honest and transparent.

·         However much we long for the pleasures of intimacy, a major difficulty repeatedly surfaces throughout the life of a relationship.

·         …. – the conflict between the need for freedom and the need for intimacy.

·         Without freedom, we have no integrity, power and authority, while without intimacy we have no connectedness, no closeness and no real meeting.

·         True intimacy rests upon the freedom to be apart.

·         Loving relationship need both partners to have separate lives, as well as a life together, otherwise coming together in intimacy has no depth.

·         True intimacy is the gift of yourself to another. 

·         If there is no difference or separation, if we cannot be alone, then this gift is an empty offering.

·         Love sometimes requires us to spend time alone, not in relationship, learning the value of freedom.  Being alone and discovering freedom is an essential part of the journey into love.

·         In loving relationships there are five essential processes through which we create an energy field of love and begin to embody love.

 

1.      Presence

2.      Emotional Closeness

3.      Honest Dialogue

4.      Dealing with everything

5.      Sexuality

 

·         We need all five. If any one of these is missing, our relationships become less loving

 

 

Chapter Eight

The Art of Being Yourself

 

·         ….three processes..

1.      Bringing all aspects of ourselves to the relationship.

2.      Embodying our energy, not only talking about it.

3.      Simply being without necessarily doing anything.

·         ..in other ways our partners know us better than we do.

·         ..our partners are different from us – we have chosen them for this very reason.

·         …only through loving what is different does our love grow.

·         ..stop looking at each other and instead look at the relationship, things become easier immediately.

·         They realise this problem affects them both and is one they would both like to resolve. They are on the same side and agree about this at least.

·         …up against one of those struggles that has it roots in the fact they are so different.

·         If they know about love’s hidden balance, they will know that this difference is the other face of something they need and love in each other.

·         ..makes the situation safe..

·         Both can realise that each has some of what the other needs.

 

The Pain of alienation from the one we love, forces us to deepen our understanding of love

 

·         It takes sameness for there to be a meeting at all, though it is the differences that make the meeting interesting.

·         We are attracted, like opposite poles of a magnet, to those who manifest different energies from the ones we are familiar with in ourselves.

·         This is one way we encounter, through the relationship, dormant or buried aspects of ourselves.

·         That human love is so difficult and challenging is exactly what makes it so creative and compelling.

 

Love will always take us away from what is false and into what is real

 

·         Our partners relate with who we really are, not our beliefs or stories about ourselves.

·         We do not, therefore, encounter our deeper selves by thinking or talking about them, but only by experiencing them.

·         We embody energies when we feel them.

·         ..when we do not feel our anger, fear, sadness, or other feelings and sensations, then we cut off from our partners to the same degree we are cutting off from ourselves.

·         ..listen to what their anger or fear is trying to communicate.

·         Sexual love makes us feel a lot, and needs us to feel a lot-there’s no way around this.

·         “I love you and I’m afraid of you”.

·         ..as you cannot step into the same river of energy twice

·         More life and love flows through our bodies and when our life force flows freely.

·         When we commit ourselves to a common goal so completely that there are no separate egos involved, no hidden agendas or ulterior motives, something magical happens.

·         In counseling and psychotherapy, the deepest healing is when neither client nor therapist is doing anything, when both are simply being together and there is no separation from each other and the truth.

·         Partnership and family involve both forms of love.

·         We continually move between facing each other in intimacy and closeness, and standing side by side facing the world and working together to make a home and care for any children.

·         Sex is love in the body, and when love is present in the body, the sexuality of love naturally flows.

·         When completely present in the silence and stillness of non-doing being, we are utterly open to the moment.

·         This is the source of wisdom.

·         Being present is the oldest, most primitive and yet most potent and creative force in existence.

 

Chapter Nine

Protected on the Streets, Naked Between the Sheets

 

·         ….we both long for intimacy and afraid of it.

·         Whenever we are close to another with our protective defences down, we can be hurt..

·         ..in different ways we are all afraid of deep intimacy.

·         Some protect themselves by trying to control the relationship and others by not fully engaging in the relationship.

·         This is familiar scenario to many of us in intimate sexual relationships, especially as we are attracted to those who embody the opposite polarity energetically to ourselves.

·         Realise that neither you nor your partner has the whole picture.

·         Realise too, that each will have certain elements, insights or energies that are needed for deeper understanding to emerge.

·         Assume your partner, however wrong they seem, has a view that can teach you something new about them, the relationship, yourself or all three.

·         Put yourself in the other’s shoes, see through their eyes and feel the world the way they do. For example have the same argument with each playing the role of the other.

·         Put your body into a posture similar to theirs.

·         Say some of the same phrases they do.

·         Whatever it is you are accusing your partner of, actively look for the hidden symmetry where you are doing exactly the same, though less obviously.

·         When you find it, let them know.

·         You don’t need to apologise, just tell them how it is.

·         We have learned to control what happens to us in order not to be harmed.

·         ..it is a major obstacle to intimacy.

·         By the time we are adults, our protective strategies for controlling others have become automatic, and we no longer know when we are being open and when we are controlling things.

·         …relationships are power battles.

·         To cope, we find ways to avoid the full impact of the relationships that both sustain us and overwhelm us.

·         The animal in us knows how to survive, and every technique an animal has evolved to ensure their survival – to fight, webs, camouflage, create alliances – has an equivalence in our human armoury.

·         If you don’t know the ways you protect yourself through controlling what happens in relationship, ask your partner they’ll know.

·         There are essentially five ways to protect oneself in a relationship.

 

1.      A flight from the relationship by being unreal and hiding our true selves…

 

2.      A rejection of the relationship either by:

(i)                 Denying the need for a relationship and trying to go it alone….

(ii)               Refusing to grow up and take responsibility for the relationship…

 

3.      A fight with the relationship either by:

(i)                   Trying to control things overtly through bullying…

(ii)                 Covertly through undermining the relationship….

 

4.      A resignation in the relationship, which is loving and caring on the surface but underneath is angry and jealous…

 

5.      A distance from relationship – love is there but the other is kept at a distance..

 

·         ..the chameleon, the lone ranger, the baby bird, the bully, the seducer, the servant, and the stoic.

·         …in the intimacy of our adult love affairs, they get in the way.

·         Here is the difficulty. We develop our power to protect our vulnerability, but without being vulnerable we cannot be close to anyone.

·         We cannot simply listen to what our partners say, as they may be telling us things about ourselves – as part of their defence system, and not because it is the truth.

·         Through the conflicts and fights we have with our partners, the relationship gradually shows us how we defend ourselves without knowing what we are doing.

·         By resolving such conflicts we learn about our defence patterns as well as discovering the pleasures of relaxation and peace that come with disarmament.

·         Eventually, the love in a relationship will precipitate a healing crisis where each is presented with a choice – which is more important, the relationship and the love, or the protection and control?

·         It is often a crisis that confronts us with the consequences of what we have been doing and gives us the chance to change things.

·         ..it is only when we realise that our protections no longer serve us that we explore better ways of protecting ourselves than avoiding the reality of relationship.

·         Mature protections do not diminish our capacity for love or limit relationships they respect them.

·         ..it’s necessary to let our love, rather than our fear, guide us.

·         ..love has designed it so that we get exactly the partners we need to teach us what we most need to learn.

·         Love always keeps its deeper promise though – to make enough love to heal all the wounds in both.

·         …first the wounds have to come to light.

·         ..cures usually involve the disease worsening for a period before the body begins to heal itself in a new way.

·         True marriage is not the ceremony in the church but a commitment to go on this journey together, where there is nowhere to run to nowhere to hide from love.

·         Once we commit to go on this journey together, where there is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide from love.

·         Once we commit ourselves to love, we eventually discover that what we have been defending against, protecting ourselves from all this time, is simply life, and that the great truth, mostly unconscious and known only by our bodies, is that we love life.

·         We have been protecting ourselves from our own love.

·         The secret hidden in all our hearts is that we love ourselves, we love others and we

      love all life, and that we always have and always will.

·         It’s better to discover this truth before we die, otherwise death will be an agony

     of remorse, not a release.

·         The agony of death is not the death itself, but the realisation as we leave this life that we have never really loved it enough. 

·         As and old African saying advises: “When Death comes to find you, let him find you alive. And even better, in love”. When you fall in love, keep falling.

 

 

Chapter Ten

The Truth Lies Between the Lies

 

·         Honest dialogue is the currency of intimacy and leads to a mutual inter-penetration of worlds.

·         Without it we would neither meet nor understand each other.

·         Honest communication is absolutely essential for making love.

·         We understand the words, and think the meaning is clear, when the reality is very different.

·         It is essential to be able to lie. Without the capacity to lie we can have no inner life.

·         We would be transparently available to anyone who cared to look.

·         Living in such utter vulnerability, with no privacy or inner safety, would destroy us.

·         While the freedom to lie leads to power, the transparency of truth leads to intimacy.

·         We need both truth and lies.

·         The art is in knowing when to say which and to whom.

·         Lies are often seen as a betrayal of trust, but it is more important to find the meaning of a lie than to condemn it. And, anyway, we all lie when we don’t know the truth..

·         ..there are basically five forms of communication:

1.      Placating – keeping it nice, being subservient.

2.      Blaming- attacking, criticising.

3.      Intellectualisation – detached analysis, meaning observations that are disconnected from feeling.

4.      Distracting – irrelevancies, telling stories

5.      Direct – honest, truthful, real.

·         There are two ways to nurture dialogue:

1.      We enter the other’s world and listen to them from there.

2.      We are resolutely honest irrespective of the effect of this honesty on the other.

·         Both are needed..

·         The first, empathy..

·         The second, honesty…

·         Understandings and ideas were born out of the relationships between people, rather than the survival of the fittest in a war of beliefs and dogmas.

·         Despite thousands of years since the Socratic Dialogues appeared, many of us still haven’t learned the art of dialogue.

·         ..we want to win the argument rather than find the truth.

·         One of the most painful experiences we can have with someone we love is when the full truth of what we know and feel cannot be spoken because there is no space to receive it.

·         ..the importance and power of love in everyday life.

·         Love is about reality, not happiness, and true happiness can only found in reality.

·         Love will rescue us from the tyranny of even our sweetest dreams, to show us the deeper goodness in reality.

·         When Buddha himself returned home after seven years seeking enlightenment, he was met by his wife who, hurt by his absence, asked:  “If what you found is the universal truth, why could you not have found it here with me? He replied:  “I had to leave in order to discover there was no need to leave”.

·         …with your partner you can slowly develop a trust in which you can share everything.

 

 

Chapter Eleven

Love is in the Detail

 

·         …what made them successful.

·         Three factors:  The first was daring to have a big vision, the second was persistence, the third was attention to detail.

·         …wars begin long before they are declared, and most arguments in a relationship begin a minor irritation, a slight hurt, an unattended detail.

·         This drama will be played out in different forms again and again, in increasingly painful scenarios, until they turn around and consciously address it.

·         In loving relationships everything matters.

·         What we feel in any situation is our natural response to life through our particular genetic, social, psychological, spiritual heritage.

·         We are not responsible for what we feel, only for what we do.

·         The fact we are angry, sad or sexually attracted to someone who is not our partner is not something we can be blamed for – it is simply a fact of life.

·         What matters is what we do about it.

·         Do we, for example, let our fear control us? Or do we feel our fear and it anyway, or not, as the situation demands or we decide?

·         Never….ignore either your own hurt or your partner’s.

·         If you don’t, it’s like ignoring a pain in the body – you run the risk of serious disease setting in.

·         …meta-messages (the hidden messages behind the surface of what is being said), are hard to decipher as often neither one knows these deeper current

·         There are four steps involved in uncovering what underlies a recurring argument:

1.      Don’t  dismiss the fight as trivial or unimportant

2.      Acknowledge you do not know what the fight is really about, and be willing to find out.

3.      Listen to thoughts and feelings that might easily be dismissed as ‘petty” or “silly”.

4.      Find out what your behaviour is saying, not only what your words are.

·         …becoming co-detective.

·         …embrace all aspects of both poles.

·         ..major conflicts.

·         …have their roots in persona histories, events earlier in the relationship, cultural issues and collective existential aspects of life, as well as the immediate.

·         ..the currency of emotional intimacy is the flow of feeling.

·         ...when you feel hurt, resentful, guilty, afraid or unhappy, even when it’s so slight you feel embarrassed to bring it up, make sure you tell your partner about it.

·         ..encourages an exploration..

·         Pay attention to the small things and the big things will look after themselves.

 

 

Chapter Twelve

The Spirituality of the Body

 

·         polarities struggling within us, and challenges us to acknowledge both poles.

·         Sexual love, more than any other human activity, confronts us with these opposing.

·         And it does this intimately, intensely and relentlessly.

·         If, while making love, we feel in love with our partners, then all the technique, multiple orgasms and sexual yoga in the world could not take us to a better place.

·         The difficulty is that while love’s sexuality requires the release of our anarchic animal instincts, human culture depends upon their repression and control.

·         This dilemma is at the very heart of our human predicament.

·         To create peaceful ordered societies, we have made laws that inhibit the free expression of our instincts, and have traded our natural spontaneity for the comforts of civilisation.

·         The greatest gift and greatest curse of our species has been this collective betrayal of our animal nature.

·         ..when the animal in us retreats, so does the sexual expression of our love.

·         Feng Shui is really about encouraging an energy flow through a home in ways that support our natures, and this is not an abstract disembodied ‘spiritual’ thing – it is about attuning to our natural animal needs.

·         ..respect the routines of your partner, however meaningless, illogical and irrational they appear to you.

·         The body is the unconscious.

·         Life happens.

·         Our instincts take care of it all.

·         As our energy begins to flow we realise that our personality, who we thought was us, is in fact only a relatively small part of who we are.

·         Animals live with unconscious integrity.

·         Human beings have to lose this integrity, this wholeness, in order to find it again and live with conscious integrity.

·         Later in life we have to discover for ourselves our own true integrity.

·         True integrity involves evolving principles that no longer violate the unconscious integrity of the body.

·         Any ideas or principles that violate this will be challenged repeatedly, either in the form of conflict with our partners or the loss of the sexual expression of our love.

·         …only when our mind, body and spirit are fully integrated, can we be whole, integrated and no longer divided from ourselves and life.

·         The body does not ascend to the spirit – the spirit arrives in the body.

 

 

Chapter Thirteen

From Fear to Freedom

 

·         What opposes love is not hatred or anger, but fear.

·         Fear contracts us away from life, whereas love takes us into a deeper engagement with life.

·         Sexual love helps here in two ways.

·         It first brings to the surface our buried fears, then offers the safety we need to deal with them through our being physically held and loved by our partners.

·         If we are identified more with our feelings, this tends to be experienced as a fear of death. If we are more identified with our thoughts, this tends to be experienced as a fear of madness.

·         ..until we face our fears and realise we are stronger than they are, we will be controlled by them, and this leads to neither freedom nor love…

·         Fear of death is really fear of the unknown is really some projected fear from what has already happened.

·         We can only be afraid of something that has, in some form or other, already hurt us.

·         Fear of madness is really the fear that comes from being ungrounded and uprooted from the reality of the body.

·         When we lose touch with our bodies, we become disconnected from what is real and existentially insecure.

·         What we call madness is simply the raw chaos of constantly changing life beyond the ordered constructions of the mind.

·         Both fear of death and fear of madness are really different forms of the same fear – fear of life.

·         It is only when we are no longer afraid of death and madness that we are no longer afraid of life.

·         And it is only when we are no longer afraid of life that we are no longer afraid of love.

·         .. it was a long time before we realised we had the most powerful process of all in our own back yards – or even closer, in our bed.

·         Our bodies know we are from love, and of love, are born to love and are love.

·         Lovers know God, too.

·         They know that  everything is holy, that no place, person, time or thing is more special than any other, that it is all here, all the time and everywhere.

 

 

Chapter Fourteen

How to Make Love So You Make More Love

 

·         …need information, knowledge and the wisdom of others.  The difficulty is that when we listen to the advice of others, however expert, what they are telling us may not be what is right for us.

·         If you feel in love with each other while making love, then there is nothing to worry about…

·         Unhappy bodies cannot make love.

·         And any unhappiness in a relationship always needs engaging with, whatever its source.

·         ..just as the search for the perfect relationship leads away from the real relationship, where we will find what we’re longing for, then searching for the total orgasm takes us away from enjoying making love.

·         ..basically, the sex that is right for us is the sex that gives us the feeling of being in love.

·         Simple really, but then simple things tend to become complex in our complicated minds.

·         Most sexual difficulties in a relationship fall into one of these categories – oversexualisation or unsexualisation.

·         The first places too much emphasis on sex, while the other avoids and does not engage with sex.  Both are ways to avoid the deep vulnerability involved in making love.

·         If we place too much emphasis on sex, sex often becomes like a drug, a way to sidestep uncomfortable realities and avoid what else may be going on in the relationship.

·         Rather than engaging with issues directly, we distract ourselves and our partners by having sex.

·         This undermines intimacy as it basically avoids dealing with difficult issues between you.

·         It also can lead to a sexualisation of our life.

·         We might bring a sexual charge to relationships that have nothing to do with intimacy and end up destroying them.

·         We might think sex is what life is really about and become messianic about it.

·         Oversexualisation of relationships does give an intense high, as intense as those experienced in extreme sports or partying on cocaine, which can easily create the feeling that this is what life is really about.

·         People in this situation do not realise that they might be using sex to avoid more vulnerable meetings with others, or using their sexuality to have more power over people and situations.

·         They tend to see others as repressed and less alive than they are, not aware that it is they who are in fact out of touch with many of their feelings, and that they have substituted feeling  sexual for their more uncomfortable feelings of fear, need, disappointment and sadness.

·         All this makes acknowledging oversexualisation very difficult, and people in this situation are usually in denial about what is really going on.

·         It often happens that only when they are in love with someone who repeatedly confronts them with the destructive consequences of their behaviour that they begin to acknowledge what is happening.

·         And even then, only when the body of their love has greater power than the sexual habit, will this make much difference.

·         It may be only after their partner has left them that they begin to face how they have not been making enough love, though they are likely to have loads of sex.

·         Oversexualisation of relationships has many effects on both the person and their relationships.  If this is our problem, them we:

-          Experience a lot of pressure that sex has to be fantastic, all the time.

-          We have to be sexual, charismatic, attractive, and ‘on’ whenever we are with others. We cannot relax and simple be.

-          We keep changing partners when the mundane realities of ordinary life enter the picture after the highly charged and sexual honeymoon.

-          We have difficult being real and honest but think being sexual is being real and honest.

-          We sexualise many relationships, which makes it difficult to commit to one sexual partnership.

-          The fantasy of perfect sex interferes with enjoying the intimacy of real love-making.

-          We cannot build deep and lasting relationships.

·         Oversexualisation within intimate partnerships feels great to begin with.

·         Sex is so good that you feel carried by the energy into cosmic realms where this is what life is all about.

·         But what is not happening is a level of engagement with the other person.

·         Being more real with your partner would lead to irritations, problems, demands, needs, jealousies and insecurities, all of which are not pleasurable.

·         This is why some have called this sex addition, because we turn to the pleasures and distractions of sex to avoid real life.  And, whatever our choice of drug, this will always be destructive to our relationships.

·         Often, a person does not realise what has been going on until they are older, not so attractive or as powerful in the sexual area, and find themselves alone.

·         Women tend to reach this point earlier than men, as at menopause there is then far less possibility to use one’s sexual energy as a means to have power.

·         Men especially if the have status and money, can continue this kind of life, but are no less lonely on another level, as they may have lost their family by then.  But whenever you being to realise what you have been doing, there is the possibility of recovering.

·         There are programs to help with sexual addition such as Sex Anonymous and the 12-Step Program.  As with most addict behaviour, first we need to turn to a greater force than our own addition to help us.

·         This as we have seen, is not easy. Then we need to turn to a greater force than our own addition to help us.  This will be through a connection with something greater than our own desires and fears, such as God or whatever is our version of the higher power in the universe, the love of our family, our commitment to the truth, our natural intelligence, or the energy field of all the love we have created during our sexual experiences, as not all the often will have been empathy or without meaning. And, whatever else it does, ovesexualisation does appreciate the importance of the body and its sexuality, even if this has been used to avoid love rather than to make it.

·         …work on these issues within a loving relationship, using the love of the relationship as the higher power.

·         Sitting side by side, sharing with the body of your love how you each feel about your sexuality and love-making, allows sensations, thoughts, memories and feelings to rise to the surface.

·         By bringing you present love to fears and wounds from the past, you directly heal and release them.

·         A key aspect of  this process is to first ensure you feel the energy field of your love around you, so that even when there is deep fear and shame you feel safe, held and in love.  It is easy to run away from painful memories and hurts, but this means running away from your current partner.  There is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide that would be a better place for you to deal with these feelings than your love. To reclaim your lost sexuality from where it has retreated, these old fears need to be released.  It is not that you are responsible for healing each other or becoming a therapist for your partner, it is simply that you create the possibility for your love to do it for you.

 

 

 

Chapter Fifteen

Sexual Healing

 

·         Sexual problems and difficulties can be caused by a wide range of personal issues, many of which can be healed and released using the power of your love.  Here are some examples:

-          Being hurt as children, leading to a fear of intimacy.

-          Absorbing false ideas and attitudes about sexual relationships from others.

-          Unreal expectations of what for us without needing any effort or particular engagement on our side.

-          Being convinced that the way we go about things is the only right way.

-          Constantly trying to make our relationship conform to an ideal because that is the only way we think we will get what we need and long for.

-          Protecting ourselves from the potential hurts of intimacy by closing down.

-          Someone or something matters more to us than our partner.

-          We have not sufficiently separated from our partners and so are not free to give ourselves wholeheartedly to another.

-          We have so much fear and anxiety that we cannot let go.

-          Power plays, ego games, defence mechanisms, body armour, resentments, fears and all the other inevitable consequences of our human ego that divides us from life in order to rule over it.

·         All of us will have some of these habits and fears, some of the time, to some degree.  It is part of our human cultural heritage.

·         Having identified some of the key areas causing unhappiness, the next step was to deal with them.

·         Putting up with unhappiness in intimate sexual relationships never works, neither does complaining, suffering, in silence, trying to cope alone or pretending everything is fine.  All unhappiness must be dealt with.

·         Making love involves a surrender.

·         It is rarely a physical problem.

·         It is clearer from this perspective that a sexual imbalance or problem is something that involves both.

·         What gets in the way are the same kind of dynamics that get in the way of the flow  of love on other levels – for example, closed hearts and minds, and the ways in which these affect the flow of love…

·         …creating the space for the love to flow…

·         Every other kind of relationship is circumscribed in various ways, and there are limits to what can be expressed, expected or communicated.

·         Intimate sexual relationships have at their core….our energy and not our personalities, egos or practical, managerial, intellectual and organising aspects.  Our energy is like nature – it is nature but this also means that we must respect it rather than dominate it.

·         ..this is a liberation as well as the source of anarchic confusion.

·         Unlike other kinds of relationship that can only allow a degree of freedom, intimate sexual relationships allow us to be completely ourselves.  In fact, they demand this of us. 

·         When we surrender into the feelings and sensations of the body, then we will instinctively make love without thinking about it, and our movements will be involuntary, spontaneous and naturally pleasurable.

·         …because we have lost touch with our natural innocence, we often need some help to allow our sexuality its full expression.

·         Here are some ways to foster the conditions for love’s sexuality to flow.

-          Leave family, friends, therapists, gurus, pets and anyone else outside the bedroom door.  They do not belong anywhere near you when you are making love.

-          The only people that should be allowed in your bedroom are your children, and then only when they have a real need for you – unless you are ill or dying, and then your bedroom is a different kind of temple.

-          Do not talk about sex life with anyone other than your partner except in very broad terms.  It is too private and too intimate to be spoken about except to each other.

-          The only time that it is OK is when you are in protected environment, such as with a therapist, a couple’s counselor or a very trusted friend.  And none of these should be a substitute for talking with your partner.

-          Have a time together where you are not a parent, colleague, homemaker or any of the other roles you have with each other. Be simply a man and a woman.  After all, it is that brought you together in the first place.  The children, the family and the parents are born out of the woman and the man, not the other way around.

-          This usually involves having time away from the family home, where you can be together without these other responsibilities.

-          Love-making happens naturally between a man and woman who love each other, but not between co-parents, colleagues, accountants, or organisers of the school run, etc.

-          The woman and the man are the primary architects of the family, the twin pillars that hold up the home.  Children need and want their parents to be making love because that is the love that feeds and nourishes them.  Sexual happiness is an atmosphere in the home that is more helpful for your children than all the educational programs, intellectual discussions and games of football they might also need.  By taking time away from your children to nourish your sexual love, you are actually taking more care of them than were you to be always by their side.

-          Have your bedroom where you are least likely to be overheard – both for arguments and for making love.

-          Use pure cotton or linen sheets on the bed. Nylon and polyesters ones creates static electricity and the two of you are creating enough electricity for one bed to handle.

-          If your partner doesn’t like perfume or aftershave then don’t use it.  Sex and smell are intimately linked. In sexual love, beauty is in the nose of the beholder, and our natural pheromones are more attractive than chemicals.

-          Find a form of birth control that suits you both and your sexual life style.  There’s no point using a cap if you have a tendency to make love on mountains, or taking the pill if you are into macrobiotic food.

-          Spend an evening together where you do not talk. One of you is likely to find this easier than the other.  You can talk about this later.

-          Have an argument using only animal noises and movements.  If you want to scratch or bite or kick then just say “scratch”, “bite”, or “kick” as you wave your fingernails at your partner, snap your jaws or kick the air.  By cutting through the verbals and diving straight into the energy, you often find out what is causing the argument far more quickly.

-          Watch things together – birds, movies, sunsets, art, snakes, sport, museums, or whatever takes your fancy.  Side by side, looking at things, fulfills one part of you.  Later turn to each other and use your other senses for a different pleasure.

-          Loosen up the tensions in your body through dancing. Dance along pavements in the rain, in your living room, on your way to work, on the lawn at dawn.  Dance to drumming for hours. Dance naked in the dark. Dance slowly, cheek to cheek, hardly moving, and dance to hip-hop, soul, rock, or whatever turns you on.  Apart from sexual love, dancing is the single powerful way to release tension and celebrate the life of the body.

-          Swim naked in a warm sea, drink champagne for no reason, fall backwards onto soft clover, breathe clear mountain air, run into rain… Let your body and nature have fun together. They are old friends.

-          Once in while get drunk together, get stoned, take whatever is your substance of choice to help you over the edge of the known and into the energies beyond the mind.

-          Give each other a massage, cuddle together watching a video, lie in the sun and gossip.  Let your bodies enjoy each other in a multitude of ways.

-          Abandon all ideas of how sex should be – romantic, fierce, tender, passionate, intimate, silent, noisy, planned, spontaneous, quick, slow, familiar, novel, chaotic, controlled, with elaborate foreplay, straight to the point, with the light on, in the dark…

-          Let your love-making be any or all of these, as you wish.  But let them happen naturally, not when you decide.  Do not impose your will onto sex.

-          Sexual love is about a surrender into the deeper love in your body, not about doing it a particular way – except when you want to.

-          Remember that the journey is the goal, not the orgasm.

-          Be honest.  If you like something, then let your partner know.  If you don’t like something, share that, too.

-          You don’t necessarily need to actually say anything – your body will communicate it anyway.  You only need to speak if the message doesn’t reach your partner behaviourally.

-          Sexual love is a microcosm of the relationship.  It includes everything, just as the relationship does, from cosmic transcendence to a quickie in the shower.  Enjoy the full range.

-          Smell, touch, feel and sound are more important than sight when making love.

-          Remember than you and your partner are different and, although you will enjoy the same things, it is likely you will express your pleasure in different ways.  One might make more noise or be more silent.  One of you might laugh and cry and feel emotions more, while the other might smile, shake and feel sensations more.

-          Sometimes when you feel sexual, spontaneously make love there and then.

-          Sometimes do nothing but feel it and save it for another time and place.  Learning how to hold sexual charge in your body without seeking immediate relief gives you more possibilities to play with.

-          One lies down naked, the other places their hand wherever they want to over any part of the partner’s body.  Breathe into that part, before moving on to another part.  This brings feeling back into parts of your body you may have neglected.

-          Sit or lie facing each other completely naked.  One of you focuses on looking and the other simply lets themselves be seen.  Then change over.  Let whatever is there in you be seen – your fear and shame, your wish to hide, your love, your need, your joy, your vulnerability, your sadness, longing, power…whatever is there.

-          Sit facing each other naked, sharing all your feelings, sensations and thoughts.

-          Lie side by side holding hands in stillness and complete silence, with your eyes closed.  Afterwards, share any stray thoughts, images, memories or insights that came to you.

-          When making love, say when something feels good.

-          When making love, do not do anything you don’t want to.  You are there to love yourself as much as another.

-          Lie together and simply feel.  Let it all happen, bearing the unbearable nakedness of being in its most intimate form and surrendering to the pleasure.

-          Doing it right or reaching any particular inner state is nothing to do with making love.  Being yourself is.

 

 

Chapter  Sixteen

The Languages of the Unspoken

 

·         Love is all around us.

·         All behaviour in a child, however disruptive and destructive, has a meaning that is our responsibility to uncover.  It is a betrayal of our children to control them without understanding them.

·         Yet this understanding is difficult, as a child’s communication skills are rarely verbal.

·         The child parts of us hold the keys to intimacy, as without the innocent, unprotected vulnerability of the child there can be no real intimacy.

·         It’s an old choice – to follow love or fear.  The stronger the love-body of the relationship, the easier it is to move through ours fears and into love.

·         ..slowly these forgotten childlike parts entered the relationship more and more.  And with them came many others gifts, both magical and intimate.

·         There is no way any of us can go through life without being hurt.

·         Indigenous people describe themselves as having weak minds, and are proud of this.  They perceive Western minds as being hard, logical, forceful, and difficult to shake from their practical and concrete perceptions.  Weak minds do not erect such barriers to an extended reality.

·         ..our strong minds, so brilliant at keeping us alive and making money, are not necessarily so useful for keeping love alive and making love.

·         To comprehend love we need to weaken the hold our strong minds have, not only on the way we think about life, but on the way we perceive and experience life.  Reality is not what we think it is.  Neither is love. Love is beyond the comprehension of our intellectual minds.  It takes us into the forces of nature, into the wisdom of the body and the energies and instincts of life itself.

·         The mind divides matter into the smallest units, analysing and explaining things in terms of the way these interact.  Love brings things together to find the meaning, looking for the patterns in the whole.

·         ..we have forgotten that all meanings are relative, and no longer hear that earthquakes and floods, dying species and genetic deformities may be communications of a different kind.  Perhaps they are nature trying to speak to us in a language we no longer understand.

·         Once you being looking for…synchronicities and coincidences, as with the patterns of love in relationship, you will find them.  Strong minds, however, will find this harder than weak ones.

·         ..flashes of inspiration and enlightenment – share all of these with your partner.

·         One of the ultimate challenges of human sexual love is to become the embodiment of love itself,  to become a body of love – Love’s body on Earth.

·         In intimate sexual relationships the adult, the child, the animal, nature and love are involved, and as a consequence we use five languages with our partners – verbal, emotional, behavioural, phenomenological and spiritual – though we are rarely aware of them all and do not need to be.

 

 

Chapter Seventeen

The Meaning of Phenomena

 

·         For our intimate relationships to be deep, fulfilling and loving, we have to pay attention every time we hurt each other.

·         Accumulated neglected hurts eat into and destroy intimacy.  However, we don’t feel the ways we hurt our partners – they do.

·         Similarly, we feel the ways they hurt us and they don’t.

·         The trouble is that when someone is hurt, they rarely speak clearly and directly about it.

·         Whenever someone feels their distress has been ignored, they will try other means to communicate.  The more resistant we are to hearing what they have to say, the more behavioural or phenomenological will become the ways in which they communicate.

·         This can happen between nations as well as partners.  One nation may, for example, resort to violence and suicide missions if their frustration and suffering has been ignored and dismissed by the usual diplomatic and channels of dialogue and communication.  Driven by rage and despair, they destroy themselves as well as those who don’t listen.

·         This can happen in intimate relationships, too.

·         One of the most powerful messages we can give our partners, ourselves and the relationship, is to have an affair…neither may have realised the degree to which their relationship had been in trouble before this. 

·         By the time an affair happens, there has usually been a great deal of accumulated unacknowledged hurt.

·         ..it is vital to share with each other any resentments, angers, hurts and pain from the very beginning of the relationship, taking as long as is needed.  Everything is included in this process.

·         Once the buried anger and hurt have been released, what is lying underneath becomes apparent.  The key question is whether you love each other enough to go through what will inevitably be a painful journey, to find the ways in which you have disappointed, let down and hurt each other throughout the relationship.  However, it is often hard to know whether you still love each other until after the accumulated resentment and hurt has been released.

·         We cannot let something go until we have experienced it fully.  Otherwise this is another form of denial.

·         ..the meaning of the affair or deeper closeness with another can be seen as love trying to call attention to a serious imbalance somewhere in the relationship.

·         If we do not listen to verbal communications they become emotional, and if we ignore these they will become behavioural.

·         If we refuse to listen to these, then either our partners will leave or the message will become phenomenological.

·         Intimate phenomenological communications are the hardest to decipher.  These might be an illness or a disease, an accident, a sexual problem, or a recurring situation that appears to be out of our control.

·         These all have meanings, but usually ones that we least want to face.

·         ..the primary factor is our willingness to find out the truth about what is going on, however painful.

·         ..Only you and your partner can find the hidden truth, as only you know the secrets of your own relationship.

·         Love periodically reminds us that, however powerful we are in the world, in relation to love there needs to be vulnerability and surrender.

·         The most intimate vulnerability and surrender of all is to the reality of ourselves.

·         And the truth we discover, if we experience ourselves deeply, is that we love.

·         We love ourselves, we love others, and we love life  -all life.  And love is a state of being not something we do.

·         Unconditional love, which embraces all experience and allows everything to be,  is in all of us, just as it is in all life.

·         When we surrender to the truth of our love…

·         We love them unconditionally and we love ourselves in the same way.

·         We let ourselves be and we let our partners be.

·         We still get angry, afraid, upset, irritated and so on, but we no longer interfere with ourselves or our partners.

·         We may control that we do but not who we are.

·         If you don’t start remembering at least a few dreams in a couple of weeks then it is likely there is a fear preventing you.

 

 

Chapter Eighteen

Love’s Body

 

·         ..love..is as profound as it is mysterious…

·         ..wonderful, inspiring and nourishing, it is also tumultuous, challenging and chaotic.

·         …this is how life is..

·         Anything that comes between you…can be resolved by simply bringing them in front of your love.

·         ..you are free to be completely yourself and to be deeply in intimate relationship with another.

·         This may sound simple, which it is, but the first step, being vulnerable and surrendering to love, is difficult for most of us.

·         Paradoxically, what I am also saying is that when we fall in love we have surrendered to love anyway.

·         What we are afraid of happening when we let go control and allow love to guide us…

·         …will prove to be phantoms.

·         To understand the truth of love, we do not have to consciously know about the complexities and depths of love and relationships.

·         In fact, this is impossible. One person alone is complicated enough, two are more than double the complexity.

·         It is enough to keep making love, then that love will do it all for us.

·         If what I say has meaning for you, it is simply because you already know it.

·         Perhaps you haven’t yet realised that you do, that’s all.

·         The second revelation of sexual love is that all life is ultimately one..

·         Our authority lies in stating what we want.

·         Our surrender lies in accepting the form in which love brings it to us.

 

 

APPENDIX

Some Patterns of Synchronicity, Symmetry, Balance, Equivalence and Dynamic Homeostasis found in Loving Relationships

 

·         What attracts a couple initially is what will later threaten to split them apart.

·         Unresolved conflicts between the parents of each will re-emerge between the couple.

·         Each has what the other needs for healing, but also what will hurt them.

·         ..the capacity for love is equal.

·         The attraction of opposites ensures love grows.

·         Partners always know each other’s vulnerabilities, which gives them power over each other.

·         Love creates the context for the widest healing of family, society, earth, etc.

·         If an event leads to the couple separating then this is because their love was not strong enough to contain all the consequences.

·         The hopes of one contain the fears of the other.

 

 

Postscript

 

·         Peace at any price may cost us more than a war, repressing further the realities that need to be engaged not buried.