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  • Writer's pictureAnnelisa MacBean

Grief and Sweet Relief

In any close relationship, we open ourselves to an encounter with the two archetypal energies of abandonment and fusion. As relational beings wired to love and be loved, moving through states of separation and union are seeded into the interactional field.

At some deep core level there may always be some hesitancy in navigating this territory, which is a valid concern, ripe for exploration. We come into the here and now with memory and trauma from past relational exchanges – which we project into the here and now . . . will it be safe? Will I be seen… not just as an object in the awareness of the other, but as a subject with my own interiority, emotional flow, and ways of organizing my experiential world? Can I truly trust the other? Will they turn from me, reject me? Will I lose myself? Is this all going to be worth it? Inevitably, ruptures will occur in the relational field, in that tender meeting between ourselves and another. Especially when we truly allow the other to matter to us. This rupture is not evidence of error or mistake, but rather it is natural, organic, and quantum. A healthy relationship is not one in which there is never any conflict, but one in which rupture is repaired, by way of empathic linkage, right-brain attunement, and a simultaneous honoring of our own separateness and integrity. We must respect that we are always connected to others and separate from others, simultaneously. Be aware and try not to merge into some homogenized leaky middle. A conscious, embodied, and kind navigation of the cycle of rupture and repair is what allows the relationship to unfold, deepen, and disclose its essence. We come into the relational space with biographical, cultural, and archetypal patterning; scripts, and worlds of imagination and possibility. Our images, memories and fantasies intermingle and interpenetrate creating the specific relational field of each specific meeting. Additionally, there is a mysterious Other, a third, the meta or Uber-witness, the space-holder or life-recorder who also appears when two or more gather.

It is through this intersubjective play of illuminating, articulating, and making sense of our experience with the other that the long-held patterning and scripts yield for revisioning. This is why close personal relationships can be so achingly painful and disappointing, on the one hand, and the direct path into the temple of Being on the other. The yielding brings grief . . . and the letting go brings sweet relief.

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