The Path of Love

The longing to return to the Arms of the Beloved is at the root of every emotion, every desire that we have.

This is inclusive of every romantic notion, every melancholic yearning for a lost or current love, every Bhakti moment at the feet of the Master.

The draw of death and the desire to return to the womb are but misplaced yearnings born of our having forgotten that we are in fact, in every moment One with All Things – that there is no separation.

To truly know this arrests all, as Beauty arrests motion. Remembrance is the most profound of all spiritual practices.

The heart does know, what the head does not.

The Beloved is ever with me and I and the Beloved are One.

Ishq allah ma’bud allah – God is Love, Lover, and Beloved.

This life is indeed The Path of Love.

Be in Love.

Be Love.

Love.

When A Quiet Embrace Of Night Is All You Need To Heal

MOON-MAGIC

“I’ve spent so many sleepless nights not seeing your luminescent shifting face quietly observing my world.

“Ever since I was a little girl I’d wake up with a start in the night and not know why, so I would cry.

“’Go back to sleep,’” they’d say.”

This inciteful article speaks of the soft embrace of the night kitchen and the healing that can be had in that place.  Click here for the rest of the article. 

“I didn’t realise that which I was most afraid of, the quiet embrace of the night was what I needed to heal.”

Unrequited Love by David Whyte

Unrequited love is the love human beings experience most of the time. The very need to be fully requited may be to turn from the possibilities of love itself. Men and women have always had difficulty with the way a love returned hardly ever resembles a love given, but unrequited love may be the form that love mostly takes; for what affection is ever returned over time in the same measure or quality with which it is given? Every man or woman loves differently and uniquely and each of us holds different dreams and hopes and falls in love or is the object of love at a very specific threshold in a very particular life where very, very particular qualities are needed for the next few years of our existence. What other human being could ever love us as we need to be loved? And whom could we know so well and so intimately through all the twists and turns of a given life that we could show them exactly, the continuous and appropriate form of affection they need?

Requited love may happen, but it is a beautiful temporary, a seasonal blessing, the aligning of stars not too often in the same quarter of the heavens; an astonishing blessing, but it is a harvest coming only once every long cycle, and a burden to the mind and the imagination when we set that dynamic as the state to which we must always return to in order to feel ourselves in a true, consistent, loving relationship.

Whether our affections are caught in romantic love, trying to see our neighbors as ourselves or trying to love a great but distant God, our love rarely seems to be returned in the mode that it is given. That gift is returned in ways that to begin with, we rarely recognize. Human beings live in disappointment and a self-appointed imprisonment when they refuse to love unless they are loved the self- same way in return. It is the burden of marriage, the difficult invitation at the heart of parenting and the central difficulty in our relationship with an imagined, living God. The great discipline seems to be to give up wanting to control the manner in which we are requited, and to forgo the natural disappointment that flows from expecting an exact and measured reciprocation, from a partner, from a child, from a loving God.

We seem to have been born into a world where love, except for brilliant, exceptional moments, often seems to exist from one side only, ours – and that may be the difficulty and the revelation and the gift – to see love as the ultimate letting go and through the doorway of that affection, make the most difficult sacrifice of all, giving away the very thing we want to hold forever.

Excerpt from UNREQUITED taken from The Reader’s Circle essay series. ©2011: David Whyte.

Clean & Sober

“They tried to make me go to rehab
I said no, no, no.”
~Rehab by Amy Winehouse – 5 Grammy Awards – 2008

If those lyrics don’t ring a bell for you, then listen to the song and explore the tragedy of the untimely loss of a great artist to the ravages of addiction. The lyrics speak of a veritable truism of addiction treatment. No one can get you to address your addiction issues, but you. Do not mistake the employs of family and friends, difficulties with the legal system, or even the physical ravages of overuse of substances or self-abusive behaviors for personal readiness for change. Only you can enter into a firm resolve to change. And this resolve needs support.

I have  over of twenty years of experience in counseling in support of addiction recovery here in Maine. I have helped many individuals meet and sort out their involvement with addictions be it drugs, alcohol, or compulsions related to gambling, sexual, or relational addictions. I utilize a combination of Motivational Interviewing (MI) as articulated by Stephen Rollnick, Ph.D., & William R. Miller, Ph.D., Unconditional Positive Regard (UPR) of Carl Rodgers, and depth perspective (exploring the relationship between unconscious and conscious motivations) as amplified by Carl Jung as a footing in meeting persons struggling with addictions.

Simply put, clients are afforded the opportunity to explore and examine their relationship to addictive issues in a guilt and shame free environment. Special attention is given to early relational and developmental issues as well as life’s current stressors as they pertain to addictive behaviors.

If you are:

  • Wondering if counseling can help you examine your resolve to change,
  • Finding yourself escaping the difficulties of life in ways that are unhealthy and or in ways that you know you cannot take into longevity,
  • Suffering a separation from yourself, your family, or your spiritual center

then make an appointment.

Addiction recovery counseling to explore your relationship to substances or negative personal or relational habits may be the next step in claiming a life of serenity and equanimity–real freedom.~ Robert Myers, LCPC

Masters of Love – The Secret of Lasting Relationships

Just how kind and generous are you in your couple? Would you consciously condemn your partner to greater susceptibility to chronic or disabling disease by withholding kindness and/or generosity?

“People who give their partner the cold shoulder — deliberately ignoring the partner or responding minimally — damage the relationship by making their partner feel worthless and invisible, as if they’re not there, not valued. And people who treat their partners with contempt and criticize them not only kill the love in the relationship, but they also kill their partner’s ability to fight off viruses and cancers. Being mean is the death knell of relationships.

“Kindness, on the other hand, glues couples together. Research independent from theirs has shown that kindness (along with emotional stability) is the most important predictor of satisfaction and stability in a marriage. Kindness makes each partner feel cared for, understood, and validated—feel loved. “My bounty is as boundless as the sea,” says Shakespeare’s Juliet. “My love as deep; the more I give to thee, / The more I have, for both are infinite.” That’s how kindness works too: there’s a great deal of evidence showing the more someone receives or witnesses kindness, the more they will be kind themselves, which leads to upward spirals of love and generosity in a relationship.”

Examine the whole of this compelling article by Emily Esfahani Smith here.

RELATIONAL GEOMETRY

eros & psyche

That complex set of corollaries and theorems that pertain to our relationships.  How our birth family experience impacts our loves, our workplace environments, and our families of choice from nuclear to greater community.  Why and how we fall in love and how we sustain or abandon the Lover.

Relational Geometry is the soft science of seeing relationships through the multiple lenses of codependence, object relations theory, family systems, birth order, projection, and ideas of compensation, the conscious and unconscious, and even Shadow, this side, and the other side.  Of course our relationships are additionally influenced by our temperaments, our spiritual, intellectual, emotional, and instinctual bodies and our capacity for compassion and empathy.

Myers-Briggs testing and pop-psychology references to Mars and Venus draw upon its tenets.  At its furthest extent it might even include religious impulses from Taoism and Buddhism to Non-Duality, from mono-theism to post-modern deconstructionist models for in essence what isn’t contained in Relational Geometry.

Just saying… it is not unlike any other three dimensional systems theory as in all things from micro to macrocosm, from the myopic to the kaleidoscopic – it is all about relationship.  So when your mental health begins to move from comfortable complacence to something a little more ill at ease, be sure to not leave out a careful consideration of the Relational Geometry that has moved through your life.  Be careful to take stock of the present dissonance and patterns of expansion and contraction, holding and release.

And ever bear in mind that All is Love, There is No Separation, and we really are ALL ONE.  <3<3<3

MENTAL HEALTH ADVANCE DIRECTIVES A User Guide for Maine Consumers

You can have it any way your want it.  Know your rights.  If you are concerned about your psychiatric care during a hospitalization, then you should familiarize yourself with this work.  Click the cover of the booklet below to explore or click here.

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