Paulo Cohelo once wrote: “Love is giving someone the power to destroy you…but trusting them not to”, and I think that’s how I was experiencing love before, as a helpless little dirty victim who was just at the expense of what others did or didn’t do. That approach might work for love-avoidant people who need to learn to open up and trust themselves and others in intimacy; but it’s totally contraindicated for love addicts like me, who would give it all away and stand it all in exchange for some cheap attention. There’s always another side of the coin.
Now that I’m immersed in the practice of owning my power, I resonate much more with this other anonymous quote I ran into last week: “Loving someone means protecting them from our capacity to destroy them“, and this is specifically what I want to write about today.
We all have an inherent capacity to destroy, as well as we have the capacity to create. It’s not good or bad, it just is. The earth itself has the capacity to destroy or to create, our cells have those two capacities as well, even the whole universe does. Destruction and creation are two forces that are inherent to life.
However, differently to earth, our cells and the whole universe, human beings were given free will. This means that our choices to destroy or to create are not regulated by rules but by our intentions along with the level of consciousness at the time of making decisions and taking action. In my opinion, this could actually be what the whole human experience is about: taking responsibility and becoming aware of the cause and effect of our own choices so that we can learn from them and teach others, simultaneously. And of course, in the process there will be creation as well as destruction —beneficial choices and not so effective ones, to put it in a more worldly way. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that creation is good or that destruction is wrong. We’re in a growth-oriented world, so both, choices with sweet effects and those with bitter ones, are meant to produce life. Yes, even destruction is a life-oriented force, believe it or not.
Here’s the paradox! Destruction is related to order, the masculine force; while creation is related to chaos, the feminine principle. No wonder why men think women are the problem and viceversa, right? -LOL- But bear with me for a while, this doesn’t necessarily have to do with gender.
Remember that every living being is actually made of the union of two life forces: feminine and masculine. So each individual has these two capacities: to create and to destroy. Plus, I already mentioned we all have free will as human beings. So just think about how these energies play out in your life. You’re actually free to choose whether to create a little chaos in your Saturday night by drinking more alcohol than you should, or you can choose to keep yourself disciplined and not have more than 1-2 drinks. It’s always a choice, none of them is right or wrong, they just have different effects the next morning and you have the possibility to consciously choose which one you desire to experience.
Now, moving back to love, romantic relationships are an interactive system between two people. When a functioning system suddenly stops working we call that event a crisis. The two individuals in the relationship have both, the capacity to create chaos and the capacity to destroy it by implementing order, and whether they choose one or the other is subjected to their level of consciousness at the moment of each crisis. However, crisis is not a negative thing, remember we’re in a growth-oriented world. In the words of Terrence Real, an expert in restoring men and women relationships, “crises always lead to transformation, and such transformation can only end up looking like either growth or death of the relationship“. This means that when someone in the relationship starts a crisis, which can range from “I don’t want to spend Christmas at your parents house” to “I slept with someone else“, both people have the capacity to navigate such event using forces of chaos and order. Both chaos and order seek repair. Chaos creates movement, Order stops it. And when the couple is skillful enough to navigate the crisis, it will definitely make the relationship grow. If the crisis is not stabilized, it most probably will cause the death of the relationship for the growth of the individuals.
And on the other hand, the growth of the relationship takes some kind of death too. They say “love kills slowly” and I interpret that as the death of the ego. In a relationship, at some extent we have to give up some pieces of our individuality to fit into a larger system. It’s unrealistic to believe that our partner should accept and love the 100% of what we do, think, say, etc. as well as it is unrealistic to think we should embrace their 100% of humanity optimistically. The truth is we will always find some inadequacies in our partner and they will find some in us. It’s absolutely normal, for while this world is growth-oriented, it is not perfection-oriented. Nevertheless, that is exactly one of the lessons we come to learn in relationships: detachment. We learn to let go of certain things that are not essential for our survival, for the sake of the relationship. Let’s say your partner has a crooked nose, has an intruding mother, doesn’t like sports like you do, won’t do your laundry, has a hard time to keep the house tidy, but despite all that and more he or she is an amazing person. And if you choose to be in relationship with him or her, that means you’re willing to be a little destroyed by those behaviors you don’t necessarily adore.
In a relationship there has to be a spoken contract of how much we’re allowed to destroy the other and how much we’re willing to be destroyed by them. If anything I’d tweak Cohelo’s phrase into: “A part of Love is knowing that you and I have the power to completely destroy each other when we’re in relationship, and so we’re willing to commit to only destroy each other in small and reasonable, mutually negotiated, amounts”. Another part of love is that we also have the chance to build each other up if we choose to. And both, the ongoing construction and deconstruction cycles in any relationship are nothing but the evidence of the feminine and the masculine dancing their eternal reconciliatory dance.
“Creation and destruction are one, to the eyes who can see beauty.” – Savitri Devi
With love & respect,
MaLe Corona <3