“To love means to embrace and at the same time to withstand many endings, and many, many beginnings — all in the same relationship.” – Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Estes teaches that in love relationships, each partner “challenges, nourishes, and transforms the other.”
Let me begin by stating the obvious — the way we’ve been relating to each other in love and companionship since time immemorial isn’t working. It is often steeped in disempowering layers of co-dependence and patriarchy. I’m not the only one who has felt the heaviness of love — the distinct surrender to its angst. Poetry, prose, and song is a testament to love’s hope and eventual disenchantment under the wrong conditions.
When we look back through mythology, it is clear that love seeks to be the panacea for all manner of ills. We crave relationship. We seek genuine companionship.
It’s not a lack of enthusiasm or initial effort that shatters our heart. It’s the eventual decline into expectation…but more than that, deeper — it is our fundamental understanding of love.
In honest contemplation, how much challenging, nourishing, and transformation actually happens in relationships? That is the hope, isn’t it? We begin with great intentions. We do aspire to it, we believe in it. I think that the framework for love is the issue, not love itself. We’ve simply misunderstood it from the get-go.
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