Anthony David Adams is an entrepreneur, space explorer, corporal punishment activist and my former roommate. We were talking the other day about relationships and love. I credit him with much of the content discussed below. He has been on a fascinating exploration about why human beings ought to explore loving relationships even though biologically we may be wired otherwise.
As the love of a partner opens and expands our heart, in addition to the increased joy we feel, it also increases our capacity to feel hurt and pain. So, unprocessed emotional trauma from past relationships (or life experiences) starts to surface. Because our brain want to know “why” we have this pain, it needs some action to hang it on… some person to “blame.”
Since the person opening our heart is in a way “responsible” for this new pain, we find behaviors in them that are similar to ones from the people who hurt us and experience disproportionate hurt or or pain from them.
In that way, we ought to recognize that what bothers us about our partners is:
A) something that is intrinsicely “ours” to deal with (and not to be a catalyst for trying to change the other person) and
B) probably a behavior that our partners have used to protect themselves from a prior trauma, so instead of complaining, we ought to use it as a way to love them more.
The least that I know is: If conscious-living happens where challenges are brought to the surface and a space of love and trust is held, we all can grow in our mastery and service of Love for ourselves, for our partner and for the world.
[Story behind the photo: This was the photo shoot for the promotional pic for my show Delusions of Grandeur. Love Chicago. Love the improvisation community. Love that lakefront.]