"As separate individuals, we live in separate cultures haunted by the vague memory of an intimacy that we all share. Let us, all together, chase the very horizon of existence, the edge of understanding, the point at which new sensations, emotions, thoughts and ideas begin to emerge… and let us bring this intimacy alive." ~Alex Mero
How do we know if our partner is the right one, and that our relationship is a good thing?
A relationship with someone is a temporary event, since, as with all relationships, duality exists. We know that no form of duality is eternal, but we also know that everything that brings us closer to reality, has a meaning. The only permanent relationship we have is with ourselves. The questions we must ask ourselves are the following: are we learning more about ourselves with the relationship we have with our current partner? Is it bringing us closer to who we really are, and do we feel truly united with the other person, and living a real union? An honest analysis and reflexion provides all the answers.
In your novel, there is reverence of a relationship between spiritual partners. Can you describe what constitutes a wholesome and healthy relationship between a man and a woman?
In order for there to be a spiritual relationship, there must be a solid base of love already present between the two partners. Each individual must have the ability for intimacy with himself, and harmony between his inner duality. The couple can than experience a loving life together without need of exerting power over the other, and certainly, above all else, without waiting for the other to fulfill the love in their stead. This relationship than becomes one of healing; a choice to face, head on, one’s pain and emotional wounds, to than elevate and rise above them; to purify oneself.We cannot truly love another without first recognizing one’s own source of suffering. Once this stage is passed, love naturally unfolds through the divine source and enables unconditional love; a love that completely unites the two partners, in all its grandeur and beauty, regardless of the weight and shadows that covered it beforehand. ~Alex Mero
“What do they talk about with you?” Nathan asked.
“All kinds of problems, but usually they are all centered on the same subject. Many people imagined their romantic relationships differently. They often believed they had found real love with their partners, but with time, they became totally disillusioned.” Catalina answered.
“When do we know if it’s real love?” Nathan asked curiously.
“It’s simple; love is not real if it changes when the circumstances change!” She stated.
“In a relationship, doesn’t love and suffering sometimes go hand in hand?” Nathan asked.
“Suffering comes about when a relationship is based on need, when subconsciously, one partner wants to possess or dominate the other. What sustained that relationship in the beginning was the need for love that brought about that relationship in the first place, and then it became a habit, and often, it ends in solitude.” She explained.
“Why do some relationships seem so promising in the beginning?”
“In the beginning, feelings of love are subconsciously projected on the person we meet.” Catalina stated.
“In that case, does it mean that those feelings of love were not sincere?” Nathan asked.
“Love is always present within each of us. We don’t need someone else to experience it.”
“Are you saying that we don’t need anyone else to feel love?” Nathan asked.
“No, we don’t need to search for it, and definitely, we should not want to dominate another. Many people erroneously imagine that they can find the love they want in someone else, but no one can give us what we already have.” Catalina stated.
“What does a loving relationship mean to you, Catalina?”
Catalina took her time to properly formulate her answer. Finally, she said: “Loving is taking the time to truly be interested in one another, to be with one another, but especially to find peace with one another.”
“Then I believe I have a loving relationship with Sophie.” Nathan said.
“We have a loving relationship with everyone, Nathan. What renders your relationship with Sophie particular is the intimacy you share together.” She stated.
“What is the most important thing about a relationship?” Nathan asked.
“To always dare to recognize the truth of the moment.” Catalina replied.
“The truth of the moment?” Nathan asked curiously.
“It’s what we learn by giving the other the possibility of expressing himself or herself, whether it’s disapproval, admiration, anger or joy.”
How much richer relationships are when the two parties feel complete within themselves, when they realize that Love has always been within, and then they embark on a relationship as a “sharing” of such Love rather then searching for it in the other… If you have the impression that Love is on the outside and you need to find it in another person to feel “complete”, then you’ll always be disillusioned.
“Are you having some regrets?” She asked him.
Nathan looked at Sophie.
“What is in the past is in the past. Having any regrets serves me no purpose!” He stated.
“Is there something you want to change?” She asked him.
Nathan remained quiet for a moment, and then announced:
“Sophie, I have to pursue my journey!”
Sophie said nothing. She understood that there was no longer a place for her in his life at present. She had feared for this moment from the very beginning, but she could not reproach him since he had never hidden from her that he would one day continue his journey. Knowing him well, she knew that he would never change his mind. She had promised herself that she would not try to hold him back at the risk of losing him forever. After a long silence, Nathan continued: “You’re the one who is silent now…”
“You have taught me that we should never limit the freedom of another. I will give you all the space necessary for your inner well-being.”
With these words, Sophie’s eyes filled with tears. Nathan held her tightly in his arms, trying to help her find the strength to overcome her grief. Slowly, she regained her composure.
“And you? Are you also sad that we will be separated?” She wanted to know.
“Naturally… but at the same time, I also feel a form of happiness.” He answered.
“What do you mean?” Sophie asked, looking up at him.
“The fact that we will miss each other is also a form of happiness!” he stated.
“Does that mean that you will come back?” she asked hopefully.
Nathan looked deeply into Sophie’s eyes and holding her hands he said: “Sophie, I will never leave you, regardless of what the future holds.”
Nathan’s journey involves a separation from the one he loves, and thinking in emotional terms, that’s a hard one to swallow. But thinking in the broader sense of Love, and its true meaning, it is the most natural and loving thing to do; letting the other pursue his inner desires, those that come from Truth and Wisdom. Most of us have a hard time understanding this, especially if there’s a difference in our goals, because we base our relationships solely on the emotional. And with that, there is expectations, and even control, but there is also a lack of growth, both as a unit and as an individual, because when you don’t feel the freedom to pursue what you’re meant to, there is no growth, and perhaps even, there is a regression of it. And this can only lead to problems in a relationship, not just a relationship as a couple, but in all relationships. There is a lot of misunderstanding about what true Love is, but true love would never limit another, because true Love is an understanding and acceptance of each other’s life path. In the end, it enriches a relationship…
Nathan remembered what Adnan had told him about the power of images. He knew he had to discover the secret behind these shadows. Some of these shadows had made a point of presenting themselves to him, and therefore, there was significance to that. First there had been Curiosity, then Attention and lastly, Confidence. Nathan wrote down these names in his notebook and reflected on them for a while. It was clear that these names represented feelings. He picked up his notes again. Little by little, the words became clearer. These three feelings had personified themselves as autonomous Beings to introduce themselves to Nathan. The shadows were then feelings. They were the spiritual entities Rachid had told him about who accompanied all men. Nathan realized that what he had just experienced was simply an unusual vision that said much about human behaviour. He reread what Rachid had said: “In the end, we decide for ourselves which feelings accompany us.” Nathan understood now that we are always in the position to choose which feelings we allow to dominate us.
You CAN choose your feelings, and depending on what feelings you allow to dominate, you attract life events that “glory” those feelings. If you’re constantly in a state of worry, sadness, or loneliness, you attract the situations that will continue or even enhance those feelings. Whereas if you choose the more positive feelings such as confidence, calmness, love, then you attract the situations that bring about those energies even more. Of course there are situations that come our way that initially bring about the negative feelings, such as anger, and it’s fine to acknowledge and feel them, for that moment and that situation (within reason), but then you have the choice to either let those negative feelings continue taking charge, or not. The feelings you surround yourself with, in the long term, determine your personality, and determine the path you continue on in your life journey.
“He is gone, and he has left me with the worst despair.” Simon said with great pain in his voice.
“No, if he had died your sorrow would be much greater.” said Nathan.
“It is better to lose something beautiful then never to have had it. If he had been honest and had died, at least I would have kept beautiful memories…” said Simon sadly.
“But your beautiful memories… no one can take them away?”
“The past is now covered with a cloud of sadness… The day we doubt a person’s honesty we can’t help but see all the moments in the past with that person with a different eye.” replied Simon, “Believe me, Nathan, betrayal by your own child is more painful than having lost him.”
“Can you forgive him?” asked Nathan.
“Right now, I can only see him with different eyes…” answered Simon.
“What can he do to change that?”
“He would have to be sincerely remorseful for what he did.” replied Simon.
“How do we know when a person is expressing sincere remorse?” asked Nathan.
“Only by their actions.” answered Simon.
“And how do we recognize the sincerity in actions?” continued Nathan.
“Only with time!” affirmed Simon.
Nathan tried to analyze the situation as best as possible.
“I tend to think that you have been too good to your son.”
Simon looked at Nathan.
“Do you really think I was too good to him?”
“It’s your only mistake possible, if we can call it a mistake.” said Nathan.
Simon lifted his eyes and said:
“There’s an old proverb that says that if, because of our goodness, we have never been deceived, it’s because we have never been too good.”
I can understand the devastation the father in this story feels towards his son. Probably one of life’s greatest pains is the dishonesty and deceit of those we love, simply because we start questioning if we ever really knew that person to begin with. And just as this father said, you start questioning all the memories, all the deeds, words, etc of that person in the past. It “poisons” them. But one CAN forgive, even if the other person never changes or makes amends. Forgiveness is from within, it’s an individual thing, and has very little to do with the other person. It’s an acceptance of something that cannot be changed and a release of the pressure or energy that’s poisoning YOU. Everyone has their own path in life, and some sway from the right path more then others, but having an understanding and compassion towards the other, even if they hurt you, is living from the heart, and is liberating to you. Acceptance without expectancy. This does not mean you should keep the other person in your life, however.
“Our inner power,” continued Nathan “is it always right?”
“Yes, but it won’t prevent us from making mistakes or making wrong choices; that’s part of our personal evolution. Know that every event, even the most annoying and painful ones, can strengthen our confidence. These experiences are necessary so we can release our inner power. In that way, we can realize our life mission: increasing our knowledge!” affirmed Mauro.
“But were you not taught that our life mission was to develop pure love for one another?” asked Nathan, a little confused again.
“But they’re one and the same!” emphasized his father.
Nathan looked up at Mauro, still unsure of what he meant. Mauro explained further:
“Pure knowledge consists of knowing what is good; pure love consists in doing what is good. The more we know what is good the more we do what is good!”
“But the notion of knowing what’s good and bad, does it not differ from person to person?”
“Every individual has their own perception of what constitutes good and bad, and hence why it’s important not to stay fixed on certitudes, but to always remain open to new thoughts to adjust these perceptions.” said Mauro.
“New thoughts?” asked Nathan.
“These are thoughts that clarify our capabilities and our objectives or life goals.”
There are many words that mean the same thing as pure Love; such as knowledge, wisdom, truth etc… what struck me in this dialogue was that it’s very true that the notion of good and bad depends on how an individual perceives them. And the more certain you are of your beliefs, the less likely you are to have an open mind and question or search for more knowledge, and perhaps the less likely you are to listen and interpret your inner feelings or intuition, and the less likely you are open to any new thoughts and changes.