Love & Compatibility – Part II

Read Love & Compatibility – Part I

Love is like war

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A lasting and fulfilling love relationship may be one of the rarest things to experience in this life as mere mortals. Couple issues are common and the divorce rate has been exploding all over the world over the past decades. When people needs are moving up the Maslow pyramid, from pure survival to creating a life that feels good, they have higher expectations and they aspire to an emotionally fulfilling intimate relationship. Many people are expert at projecting how good they are doing as a couple to the outside world but as soon as they are home alone, difficult arguments may start. Actually, very few couples are experiencing the following attributes that would characterize a successful intimate relationship:

  • Feeling loved, seen, understood and cared for
  • Enjoying spending time together
  • Heartfelt intimate connection that translates in feeling the other in oneself such as giving to our beloved feels better than giving to oneself
  • Physical affection including great sex
  • Lots of laugh together
  • Mutual trust

Such relationships are a very rare gift, and nothing can come even close to bring us intense happiness. Keeping it for the long run is even rarer.

THE LURE OF PASSION

The lure of passion

There is a common belief that love stories always end up badly. This is why we say falling in love instead of waking up to love. Romantic love is this intense and all-consuming feeling to merge with another. It is not rational, explainable or conscious. It feels more like a mystical state than anything else. It stems from the depth of our subconscious. It yields incredible power to change the course of any life, and its primary purpose is to break the walls required to promote our inner growth.

Romantic love is a way for nature to urge us into forcing us to solve our unresolved fragments, to bring our shadows into light and to work out our Karma. It is one of the ways for spirit to orchestrate our growth as a spiritual being having a human experience.

First, intense love attractions are about our traumatic past so that we may re-experience them in a different form to bring them back to our conscious mind, and complete healing. Girls with an absent father will automatically look for an emotionally unavailable man. They try hopelessly and futilely to be loved by them. It is their subconscious attempt to get loved by dad again. A man who was abandoned as a child will repeat over and over this pattern of abandonment with his partners. We replay the trauma of the past tragically and we get hurt badly. Some of us are able to reflect upon these difficult experiences to heal our painful past to create a life that feels good. But many of us sink even deeper into addiction, or develop mental and physical health issues.

blind love

There is nothing like love to transform us to our very core. Love relationships also act as a strong indicator of the qualities we need to develop within to become whole. We fell in love with someone because they have attributes that we want to possess. They are guiding us through our journey of self-development. We are not even conscious of this process. Attraction is based on how much a person is able to reflect our disowned self. This is why shrewd businessmen lacking empathy are often attracted to highly sensitive women. They represent the heart they have lost along the way of their financial success. Unfortunately, we quickly start doing to the object of our love what we have done to the aspect of us this person is mirroring, the aspect of us that we have disowned. We shut it down, we judge it as weak and incompetent with the repercussions we know to the detriment of the relationship. This is largely the reason why many love stories end up badly.

The first beautiful phase of a romantic relationship shows us what we can become as we achieve our full potential. These states of consciousness include feeling incredibly alive, ego dissolution, feeling one with all, sharing and feeling love with an open heart. So why don’t we go directly towards this magical potential that we all possess instead of getting lured by the reflection of this love in another human being? Why don’t we go directly for the fire of self-love and trust that a beautiful intimate relationship will manifest in this physical dimension to mirror that love?

dog love

On an amusing and anecdotal note, many people give up on human love and just buy a dog. They know that no one would ever be able to provide this level of unconditional love exhibited by their pet. Some others just turn towards God, Jesus or Buddha because an imaginary being that they project as perfect could never do them wrong. They just project the pure love potential that exists within all of our hearts to an external projection. And some others again look for self-realization. At the end, it is all the same search for love, to realize that it lays within our own heart.

LOVE AS MANIPULATION

love as manipulation

There are many wrong reasons to be in an intimate relationship with someone. We may be afraid of feeling lonely. We may feel incapable of taking care of ourselves financially, emotionally or physically. We may want to look good (or avoid looking bad) to our family, friends or community. We are ashamed of all these reasons so we manipulate to get our needs met. Seduction takes the form of manipulation. We show the other person the aspect of us that will appeal to their own insecurity and lack: we want partners with a sexy body to boost one’s self-esteem, another one with a muscular one to feel safe next to him, a wealthy partner for financial security, a witty boyfriend for fun, an intelligent girlfriend for stimulation or someone empathic for warmth and support. We all intuitively do this as part of the seduction game. So we start the relationship on the promise of what the other person is looking for, but this is a small aspect of us. Quickly, we cannot help showing who we truly are, especially if we live with our lover. All our flaws and all the dark reasons why we wanted to be in a relationship go on the open. This is the moment of shock where the beloved becomes ugly and scary. Unfortunately, we are already hooked and it is too painful to leave. It will remind us possibly of how unlovable or unattractive we are, or of the traumatic childhood event where we were abandoned. We prefer not to say anything, not to rock the boat. Tension builds in the relationship. More distance or activities outside the relationship are required to soothe this terrifying intimate mirror.

mel gibson dating young woman

However, a relationship that was based initially on something we are not or very partially is doomed. It is simply not sustainable to keep pretending. Less and less of our energy gets invested in the relationship. We start looking at other options, project our own limitations into our lover, and build resentment. We enter the relationship on the basis of manipulation and we get surprised when we get manipulated in return. This is the story of the 65-year-old dating a 25-year-old who gets shocked at the price tag that comes with it. This is a business transaction, not a relationship. One of the most common and unconscious forms of manipulation is the game between the love avoider (typically played by the man but not always) and the love anxious. As long as the woman is not attached, the man showers the woman with attention, gifts, fun outings and compliments. But as long as the woman opens her heart to the man, he gets scared, feels suffocated and the fear of commitment takes over. The woman hurts deeply as a result so she starts detaching. He panics about the lost love and with the extra distance, the man is comfortable again to pour love again into the woman and does everything he can to win her over again. But he becomes commitment-phobic as soon as he wins her back. This game can continue indefinitely.

At worst, romantic love may also become a mirage, a coping mechanism not to face our inner void or even an addiction. At best, it opens the gates of our heart and to the divine.

I have a long-time friend now in his 70s who has a long history of relationships. He has done it all. In the 90s, I knew him in a polyamorous setting with 3 beautiful women. While this could have appeared like a dream for many men reading this article, he told me recently that being alone is better than being with multiple partners. And being with a special person is better than being alone. This was his wisdom after over 50 years of relationships and it was genuine. It is so easy for us to play games, lie to ourselves, get lost in distractions rather than opening our heart to true intimacy.

LIMITS OF COMPATIBILITY

love as friendship

After being burned out so many times with the lure of passion, we may decide to take a different approach. We go online and answer the hundreds of questions of match.com and eHarmony to find a perfectly compatible partner. Enough of the drama, of the crazy step kids and the misunderstandings. We finally find someone with the same interests in life, the same culture, the same sex drive, the same diet, the same vision for life, the same social status and with kids of the same age. The relationship feels good and drama free. We feel we have finally transcended our past traumas to experience a relationship that feels good. We realize we can be friends in addition to lovers.

But after a while, we feel something is missing. We are missing the butterflies in the stomach. We crave for that intense passion that made us lose our mind. We are missing this feeling of fusion where our ego dissolves. We start wondering about the opportunity cost of compatibility. We cannot deal with the grief of missing real love, especially when we have experienced it before and we know how it feels. We may have a great loving friend but we start thinking this may prevent us from meeting our soulmate. A compatible relationship may feel more like a friendship than love. While a strong friendship between lovers makes life much easier to live, there is still the part of us that likes to be out of control and even obsessed about the object of love. This intensity is making us feel alive. When routine takes over, our lover may feel more like a roommate who shares now with us all the stress and burden of our life. At the same time, just meeting for the good times and doing fun things together feels empty after a while. We want something more, a fusion where we are able to share all of who we are, not only the bright side. We starve to be seen fully in all of our light and shadow, and to be loved with all our idiosyncrasies. But we are terrified that our partner would run away if they see our dark side. After all, the personality tests we took were all about our conscious aspects and not the defects we are ashamed of.

couple texting

In my practice, I see people with high conflict relationships that have been together for a long time, and some that never had an argument who just decide to separate. Conflict is not what ends a relationship. To some extent, we fight for things we care about. To stop caring is what ends a relationship. Some people see relationship just as a way to get one’s needs met. This is so prevalent in this time of consumerism and social media. However, a love relationship is more defined by what we are able to give than by what we are able to get. Love is not rational. It is not about convenience. It is more an art than a science. It is all about feeling, and it is hard to make sense of all these feelings. We like stability and peace, but too much of it makes us feel uneasy. The moments of doubt and uncertainty in the relationship make us remember not to take anything for granted, that we are together by choice and not because we have to. We marvel at that irrational love we cannot explain because it is unconditional. Great sex is based on duality, on the opposites that challenge each other. When we are too similar, the polarity decreases as well as the sex appeal. Sometimes, a lover may even create some futile arguments to spark some flames because she/he becomes afraid that the relationship may become dull.

DEVELOPING DEEPER INTIMACY

spiritual love

Relationships are difficult because we are a multiplicity instead of being a unified whole. There is an aspect of us that is looking for fusion. However, there is another aspect that is looking for individuality and freedom. As a person, we are the composite of many layers of our past development that encapsulate with each other. The baby part wants to find fusion again with mum, and the toddler in us wants to explore away from mum. And we possess many other aspects that contradict each other. To be a human being is complex and it gets worse as we age. This is why it is so important to be introspective to know oneself and become more attuned. This way, we can compensate this inner complexity with good communication to accommodate the needs of both our internal parts and the ones of our partner. Of course, it is easier said than done.

Love starts with getting infatuated with the partner’s qualities that we desire subconsciously, the aspects of us that we have disowned. This is a form of narcissistic love, where we are in awe of our own potential through the mirror of the beloved. I believe however that true love is based on embracing and even loving the other person’s shadows or quirks. This is what is going to make a relationship last.

The reality is that we do not want to work on a relationship. We want to be in the flow. Of course, when children, material and status considerations, fear of abandonment are in play, there are very big incentives to make the relationship work. So we start problem-solving the relationship like a problem at work. We read relationship books looking for the magical recipe to fix the relationship. Love becomes a project. We become roommates or business partners with our mate and the intimacy fades away. We calculate, monitor closely what we do or say to reach an outcome. However, the flow of love requires free expression and spontaneity. It is about creating a container large enough for the person to express themselves fully so that they may be seen in their totality. It is about living in the present without any parachute. It is about reminding ourselves that love is a gift and not a due and it may vanish or come back at any time. It is about letting go off control. This is where self-love is so important. If we do not possess enough self-love, the idea of losing the object of our love is unbearable. Jealousy sets in. Otherwise, we understand that our lovers just reflect the love that is within us.

It is a wonderful feeling to be in a relationship because we want to and not because we have to. This is only possible if we have enough autonomy. Two hearts that love each other in total freedom is magical and it can be so terrifying at the same time. And it is even better when we cannot even explain why we love someone. It is an act of grace. I have learned to enjoy missing a lover and it is a such good indicator of the love I feel for her.

love at first sight

A relationship needs space to grow and this amount of space is dependent on the people in the relationship. Creating space helps to counter the tendency we have to take people for granted, to remember the qualities instead getting stuck on the deficiencies. The time when we miss each other genuinely takes away the natural erosion of life and routine on the relationship.

I go back to the words of intimacy expert Peter Sandhill. According to him, it takes 3 main ingredients for a fulfilling intimate relationship. First, we need love or the powerful subconscious pull that brings two beings together. Every relationship goes through ups and downs, and without this powerful attraction, we simply will not have the perseverance and the commitment to face the challenges coming our way. Secondly, we need compatibility so that we may experience more beautiful memories, enjoyable shared moments and connection time instead of conflicts. This will keep the relationship fresh and limit the natural erosion of everyday life on the relationship. Third, we need the tools which are the combination of our inner work, effective communication and relationship knowledge. We need to stay students of life and commit to become the best version of ourselves because a relationship is nothing else that the closest mirror to the totality of who we are.

love exploration

What makes love so unique is that there are no rules. It is a continuous exploration. As we evolve and reflect, we have the ability to co-create a relationship that feels good for both partners or part ways. There is no magic formula but we have much power than we can imagine to heal and experience gratifying relationships. We may learn from the experience of others but, at the end of the day, it is really up to us. Authenticity, communication, creativity, commitment, openness are the constants. And let’s remember that love is more about an art than a business where flow, inspiration, courage will always mean more than willpower, problem-solving and planning.

Love and Compatibility

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love compatibility

Years ago, I went to an Esalen couples workshop and the facilitator shared some wisdom that marked my memory. He said that intimate relationships need three key ingredients to become a lifetime commitment. First, the partners need to love each other. If the attraction is not there, they will never be able to commit and overcome all the obstacles they will inevitably face. Secondly, they need to be compatible as otherwise their differences (cultural, diet, interests, values, social class, etc…) will eventually erode the love they have for each other and turn any passionate romance into a nightmare. Thirdly, they need relationship tools and continuing relationship education to keep increasing their awareness and communication. The third point was an astute and clever way to promote their workshop 😉 I loved that recipe when I heard it. It made complete sense and it felt achievable at the time. I do not feel as hopeful today because I have observed that compatibility and love rarely go together. The person we are crazy about will always push our worst buttons. They will often stretch us to the point of collapse as they are meant to help us re-experience our deepest childhood traumas according the Imago theory. On the other hand, I have witnessed in my life and my friends’ life that we rarely experience chemistry with the people that we get along so well with. They make great friends and companions but poor lovers. We are facing a dilemma. If love & compatibility do not go together, which one is the most important to ensure a happy and fulfilling relationship? Should we favor companionship over passion?

Indian arranged marriage

An arranged marriage is a marital union where the families (parents, guardians, even extended families) of the bride and groom decide on the match based on a number of rational compatibility criteria rather than the couple choosing their own partner. In India, historically, most marriages have been arranged marriages. Divorce rates in India overall are pegged at about 1.2 percent vis-à-vis a divorce rate of about 53 percent in the US, a country where love marriages are the norm. Even in India, rates of divorce in love marriages are much higher than in arranged marriages. Actually, as many as 90% of all Indian marriages are arranged and 74% of young Indians (18-35 years old) prefer an arranged marriage to a free-choice one. So if we were to evaluate relationship success by their durability, marriages that were formed through compatibility instead of love were 44 times more successful!

the 6 types of love according to the greeks

The Greeks had six different words for love. They also valued Pragma (longstanding love) over Eros (sexual love). They did not think too of Eros as something positive. On the opposite, they viewed it as dangerous, fiery, irrational and as an addiction that will surely bring you to your demise. On the opposite, they praised Pragma, which was about making compromises to help the relationship work over time, and showing patience and tolerance even in the absence of love and passion.

Pierre Corneille

Classical French literature shares the same sentiment. Jean Racine, 17th century French dramatist, starts many of his plays with an all-consuming love story that is plagued with external obstacles: refusal from the beloved, family opposing the union, state matters, conflicting feelings such as guilt, leading eventually to tragedy. The other great 17th century French playwright, actor and poet Molière describes passion as a possession state that endangers our discerning and discriminating abilities. Reason should be preferred over passion at all times. Corneille, the other great French tragedian of that time, goes even further. In his plays, duty always wins over passion despite the initial internal conflicts. The hero is a master of himself and stays lucid in any situation.

CS Lewis

More recently, in the 20th century, the famous British novelist and poet C.S. Lewis is quite explicit in his book called The Four Loves. Lewis praises too arranged marriages over love unions. “I am not at all subscribing to the popular idea that it is the absence or presence of Eros which makes the sexual act “impure” or “pure”… If all who lay together without being in the state of Eros were abominable, we all come of tainted stock… Most of our ancestors were married off in early youth to partners chosen by their parents on grounds that had nothing to do with Eros. They went to the act with no other “fuel,” so to speak, than animal desire. And they did right; honest Christian husbands and wives, obeying their fathers and mothers, discharging to one another their “marriage debt,” and bringing up families in the fear of the Lord.” Lewis warns us against worshiping a false god in Eros “Of all loves [Eros] is, at his height, most god-like; therefore most prone to demand our worship. Of himself he always tends to turn “being in love” into a sort of religion. Theologians have often feared in this love, a danger of idolatry. I think they meant by this that the lovers might idolize one another… The real danger seems to me not that the lovers will idolize each other but that they will idolize Eros himself.” To Lewis, romantic love is simply doomed and short-lived “And all the time the grim joke is that this Eros whose voice seems to speak from the eternal realm is not himself necessarily even permanent. He is notoriously the most mortal of our loves… What is baffling is the combination of this fickleness with his protestations of permanency.”

Christian Grey Teasing Anastasia Steele

Let’s now leave these respectable historical minds and dive into the best seller (just after Harry Potter) of the 21st century “50 shades of Grey” from E.L. James that sold 125 million copies and was translated in 52 languages. I actually only got to see the movie trilogy for the first time with a friend this week. I had low expectations and actually the story plot was well thought out, at least much more than what critics expressed. I believe in the wisdom of popular success over expert opinions. Christian Gray and Anastasia Steele are clearly incompatible. He is a sadistic sociopath magnate that can only get turned on by dominating and objectifying women. She is an openhearted, sensitive and romantic virgin who wants an equal relationship with her man. Mrs Robinson, Christian’s first S&M mentor, is well aware of this incompatibility and attempts to warn the lovers about the futility of their union. Despite all odds, Christian gets actually transformed and healed through their love as he connects more and more to his heart. Anastasia gains a lot of self-confidence and personal empowerment through the relationship. The story shows the cathartic power of love. If Christian and Anastasia had been rational, saw clearly their incompatibilities and believed in them, they would have given up on each other. They chose love over reason and received the ultimate gift. Of course, this is an American novel with a happy end. The lovers get it all: passion and eternal love. Aspects of the story feel far from real life experience. The lovers handle their conflict with too much ease but we embrace this story novocain in our desperate need to believe that true love is possible and can last forever.

Phoenix raising from its ashes

It is true that most love stories driven by Eros rarely experience the same joyful fate. The statistics do not lie and love unions are marked by instability and are often short-lived. They are however more transformational and life changing than any other relationships. As I mentioned recently, I fell in love 6 times but none of these relationships have endured the test of time. Despite the pain of break-up, the heartaches, the conflicts and all of the challenges, they all have come with incredible gifts, accelerated my growth and transformed me more than any other experience in my life. Carole led me to the beginning of my spiritual journey when I was 19. I emigrated to the USA because of Laurence when I was 22. I left the cult I was a part of at 23 thanks to Janna. Danielle helped me heal the biggest trauma of my life (mum’s abandonment) and opened my spirituality to a new level. Alina catalyzed my success in the 3D world and gave me two beautiful children. Finally, Teal brought me to my authentic self, among many other gifts. Every one of these women has crushed me and it felt every single time that I would never recover. However, like a phoenix that obtains a new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor, I have been transformed and improved every single time. They have relentlessly killed the old and the false in me so that I could wake up to my true potential more than any books, workshops, spiritual teachers or organizations could have ever done. I just wish sometimes the process would be more gentle!

Chemistry between two lovers

So I am going to go against accepted norms here. I am claiming that the center that governs our sexual attractions has actually the fastest and most sophisticated brain of all. In a fraction of a second, it can see the life-changing potential of associating with a partner. It is closely associated with our soul purpose. And soul does not care about pain, permanence or fairness. It only cares about evolution, awareness, inner growth and opening your heart. An intense chemistry is always reflecting a quality that the infatuated person needs to develop. In most cases, they need to open their mind and their heart to what they need instead of what they want. If Christian Grey had stayed stubborn that he needed a person that would accept all clauses of his S&M contract then he would have stayed miserably unhappy in isolation, and continued to destroy many other women in the process. Chemistry denotes a yearning of the soul for an important missing quality in the personality. The problem occurs when the gap between the soul and the personality desires is too wide to be bridged because of unresolved traumas. In this situation, break-ups are incredibly painful. We think we keep attracting the wrong type of partners but in fact we keep sending the wrong type of signals because we are not healed. Let me give you some examples extracted from clients’, friends and personal experience about the transforming power of love relationships.

  • A shrewd businessman is attracted a very sensitive woman but his lack of attunement keeps hurting the feeling of his beloved. If he is conscious that his behavior is triggering his loved one then this relationship has the potential to restore his sensitivity that was lost in the harsh and cold corporate environment.
  • An insecure and needy woman is attracted to an independent and self-confident. man. If he shows sensitivity to her feelings and that she becomes aware that her possessiveness and control dramas are coming from her fears then this relationship has the potential to support her self-confidence, healing and autonomy.
  • A materialistic and down-to-earth woman and a spiritual and introspective man fall in love. If there is enough love between them two, the woman will become more open-minded and introspective and the man will become more grounded in his spirituality.
  • A strong willed and emotional woman and a quiet, introvert and mental mind fall in love. This is an opportunity for her to use her mind to better channel her emotional state and for him to get in touch with his repressed feelings and become more sensitive.
  • An over controlling man fells in love with a fiercely independent woman. Through that relationship, he will learn to loosen his grip on control, jealousy and possessiveness. He will learn to become more spontaneous.
  • A super ambitious, successful and boasting man fells in love with a down-to earth, humble and self-sufficient woman that is able to challenge him when he is off. This relationship will be critical for his ego not to get out of control and take the better part of himself. This way, he will stay connected to people and not objectify them.

Incompatibility with love has tremendous healing power and can support us to become the best version of ourselves. It works best when the partners are aware of their weaknesses and sees how the relationship is supporting their growth.

Vaillant in Utah Canyonlands National Park

Am I being the devil’s advocate to praise Eros over Pragma? In the center of my being, I can only hear these words resonate “Fuck Compatibility and Choose Love over Reason”. It may not be for everyone but this is my truth. The poet Khalil Gibran used to say “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”. Too much suffering can also drive a man to the psychiatric hospital. It is up to each one of us to decide how much adversity we can take and transform so that we can live our lives accordingly.

Read Love & Compatibility – Part II

French translation below – Article en Français ci-dessus

Voir la vidéo

Il y a des années, j’ai assisté à une conférence sur l’amour dans le couple à Esalen en California et le présentateur a partagé une sagesse qui a marqué ma mémoire. Il a dit qu’un couple a besoin de trois ingrédients clés pour vivre le bonheur à deux sur le long-terme. Premièrement, les partenaires doivent s’aimer. Si l’attraction n’est pas là, ils ne pourront jamais s’engager et surmonter tous les obstacles auxquels ils seront inévitablement confrontés. Deuxièmement, ils doivent être compatibles, faute de quoi leurs différences (qu’elles viennent de leur culture, leur régime alimentaire, leurs intérêts, leurs valeurs ou leur classe sociale, etc…) finiront par éroder l’amour qu’ils ont l’un pour l’autre et transformeront leur passion en cauchemar. Troisièmement, ils ont besoin d’outils relationnels et d’une formation continue sur la communication de couple et l’intimité. Bien sûr, le troisième point était un moyen astucieux et intelligent de promouvoir leur conférence 😉 mais j’ai beaucoup apprécié cette recette quand je l’ai entendue. Cela avait du sens et semblait réalisable à l’époque. Je ne me sens pas aussi optimiste aujourd’hui car j’ai constaté que compatibilité et amour vont rarement de pair. Il semble que la personne dont nous sommes fous amoureux a toujours cette capacité à nous faire sortir de nos gonds. Ils vont être ceux qui vous nous pousser à bout car ne sont-ils pas censés nous aider à revivre nos traumatismes de l’enfance les plus profonds d’après la théorie bien connue d’Imago. D’autre part, j’ai remarqué dans ma vie et celle de mes amis que nous sommes rarement attirés par des personnes avec lesquelles nous nous entendons si bien. Ils font de bons amis et compagnons, mais de pauvres amants. Nous sommes donc confrontés à un dilemme. Si l’amour et la compatibilité ne vont pas ensemble, que devons nous faire pour vivre une relation heureuse et épanouissante? Devrions-nous privilégier l’amitié plutôt que la passion?

Un mariage arrangé est une union matrimoniale où les familles des futurs mariés décident du mariage en fonction d’un certain nombre de critères de compatibilité rationnels mais aussi astrologiques plutôt que de les laisser choisir leur propre partenaire. En Inde, historiquement, la plupart des mariages ont été arrangés. Les taux de divorce en Inde est à environ 1,2%, contre un taux de divorce d’environ 53% aux États-Unis, un pays où les mariages d’amour sont la norme. Même en Inde, les taux de divorce dans les mariages d’amour sont beaucoup plus élevés que dans les mariages arrangés. En fait, pas moins de 90% des mariages indiens sont arrangés et 74% des jeunes Indiens (âgés de 18 à 35 ans) préfèrent un mariage arrangé à un mariage à choix libre. Donc, si nous jugeons de la réussite d’un mariage par leur durabilité, les mariages formés par compatibilité plutôt que par amour auraient donc une probabilité de succès 44 fois plus élevée!

Les Grecs avaient six mots différents pour parler d’amour. Ils préféraient Pragma (l’amour inscrit sur la durée et la compatibilité) sur Eros (la passion et l’amour sexuel). Ils ne voyaient pas Eros de manière trop positive. Au contraire, ils considéraient la passion comme dangereuse, ardente, irrationnelle et comme une dépendance qui vous mènera sûrement à votre perte. Au contraire, ils faisaient l’éloge de Pragma, qui visait à faire des compromis pour que la relation dure dans le temps et encourageait le couple à faire preuve de patience et de tolérance même en l’absence d’amour et de passion.

La littérature française classique partage le même sentiment. Jean Racine, dramaturge français du XVIIe siècle, commence nombre de ses pièces avec une histoire d’amour qui consume tout et semée d’embûches extérieures: refus de la famille bien-aimée, famille opposée à l’union, conflits entre États, sentiments opposés tels que la culpabilité conduisant à la tragédie . L’autre grand dramaturge, acteur et poète français du XVIIe siècle, Molière, décrit la passion comme un état de possession mettant en danger nos capacités de discernement et d’entendement. La raison devrait être préférée à la passion en tout temps. Corneille, l’autre grand tragédien français de cette époque, va encore plus loin. Dans ses pièces, le devoir l’emporte toujours sur la passion malgré les premiers conflits internes. Le héros est maître de lui-même et reste lucide dans toutes les situations.

Plus récemment, au 20ème siècle, le célèbre romancier et poète britannique C.S. Lewis est assez explicite dans son livre intitulé The Four Loves (les 4 amours). Lewis loue aussi les mariages arrangés «Je ne souscris pas du tout à l’idée populaire selon laquelle c’est l’absence ou la présence d’Eros qui rend l’acte sexuel « impur » ou « pur »… Si tous ceux qui dormaient ensemble sans être à l’état d’Eros étaient abominables, nous tous viendrions de souche souillée… La plupart de nos ancêtres ont été mariés dans leur jeunesse à des partenaires choisis par leurs parents pour des motifs qui n’avaient rien à voir avec Eros. Ils sont allés à l’acte sans autre “carburant”, pour ainsi dire, que le désir animal. Et ils ont bien fait; Des maris et des femmes chrétiens honnêtes, obéissant à leurs pères et à leurs mères, s’acquittant l’un envers l’autre de leur «dette de mariage» et élevant des familles dans la crainte du Seigneur. »Lewis nous met en garde contre l’adoration d’un faux dieu en Eros« De tous les amours [Eros ] est, à sa hauteur, très semblable à Dieu; donc les plus enclins à demander notre culte. De lui-même, il a toujours tendance à transformer «l’amour» en une sorte de religion. Les théologiens ont souvent craint dans cet amour un danger d’idolâtrie. Je pense qu’ils voulaient dire par là que les amants pourraient s’idoliser les uns les autres… Le vrai danger ne me semble pas que les amants s’idolâtrent mais qu’ils idolâtrent Eros lui-même. ” Pour Lewis, l’amour romantique est tout simplement condamné et de courte durée”. Et l’ironie est que cet Eros dont la voix semble parler du royaume éternel n’est pas nécessairement lui-même permanent. Il est notoirement le plus mortel de nos amours… Ce qui est déconcertant, c’est la combinaison de cette inconstance avec ses protestations de permanence. ”

Laissons maintenant ces écrivains célèbres et plongeons dans le best-seller du XXIe siècle, «50 nuances de Grey» de E.L. James qui a vendu 125 millions d’exemplaires et a été traduit en 52 langues. Je suis un peu en retard et j’ai vu la trilogie la première fois avec un ami la semaine dernière. J’avais peu d’attentes sur le scénario mais j’ai trouvé l’intrigue bien pensée, du moins beaucoup mieux que ce que les critiques ont exprimé. Un succès populaire de cet envergure ne vient pas par hasard. Dans cet ouvrage, Christian Gray et Anastasia Steele sont clairement incompatibles. C’est un magnat sociopathe sadique qui ne peut être excité que par la domination et l’objectivation des femmes. C’est une vierge au cœur ouvert, sensible et romantique qui veut une relation égale avec son homme. Mme Robinson, qui a éduqué Christian au sadomasochisme, est bien consciente de cette incompatibilité et tente de mettre en garde les amoureux de la futilité de leur union. Malgré toutes les obstacles, Christian devient un bien meilleur homme poussé par son amour pour Anastasia alors qu’il devient de plus en plus sensible et humain. Anastasia gagne beaucoup en confiance en elle et de l’autonomie grâce à cette relation aussi. L’histoire montre le pouvoir cathartique de l’amour. Si Christian et Anastasia avaient été rationnels, ils auraient vu clairement leurs incompatibilités et se seraient quittés. Ils ont choisi l’amour plutôt que la raison et ont reçu le cadeau ultime. Bien sûr, ceci est un roman américain avec une fin heureuse où les amants tirent le gros lot avec la passion et l’amour éternel. L’histoire semble irréaliste et les amants gèrent leur conflit avec trop de facilité, mais nous adorons cette histoire car elle réveille en nous le besoin désespéré de croire que le grand amour est possible et peut durer éternellement.

Il est vrai que la plupart des histoires d’amour guidées par Eros connaissent rarement un destin joyeux. Les statistiques ne mentent pas et les unions d’amour sont marquées par l’instabilité et sont souvent de courte durée. Ils sont cependant plus transformateurs et formateurs que toute autre relation. Je suis moi-même tombé amoureux 6 fois mais aucune de ces relations n’a résisté à l’épreuve du temps. Malgré la douleur de ces ruptures, des chagrins d’amour, des conflits et tous les épreuves, ces relations m’ont beaucoup apportées, elles ont accéléré mon développement personnel et elles m’ont transformée plus que toute autre expérience de ma vie. Carole a catalysé ma quête spirituel quand j’avais 19 ans. J’ai ensuite émigré aux États-Unis à cause de Laurence quand j’avais 22 ans. J’ai quitté la secte dont je faisais partie à 23 ans grâce à Janna. Danielle m’a aidé à guérir le plus grand traumatisme de ma vie (l’abandon de ma mère) et a ouvert ma spiritualité à un autre niveau. Alina m’a aidé dans mon succès professionnel et matériel et m’a donné deux beaux enfants. Enfin, Teal m’a amené à mon moi authentique, parmi beaucoup d’autres cadeaux. Chacune de ces femmes a cependant failli me détruire et j’ai senti à chaque fois que je ne m’en remettrai jamais. Cependant, comme un phénix qui obtient une nouvelle vie en renaissant des cendres de son prédécesseur, j’ai été transformé en mieux à chaque fois. Elles ont implacablement tué le vieux et le faux en moi afin que je puisse me rendre compte de mon véritable potentiel plus que tout autre livre, conférence, enseignant spirituel ou organisation n’auraient pu le faire. J’aurai juste souhaité juste que le processus fut un peu plus doux.

Par conséquent, je vais m’opposer ici aux idées reçues de nos culture. Je dis haut et fort que le centre qui régit nos attractions sexuelles possède un cerveau le plus rapide et le plus sophistiqué qui soit. En une fraction de seconde, il peut voir le potentiel transformateur de l’union avec un partenaire particulier. Ce centre sexual travaille donc étroitement avec notre âme. Et l’âme ne se soucie pas de la douleur, de la permanence ou de la justice. Elle ne s’intéresse qu’à l’évolution, à la prise de conscience, à la croissance intérieure et à l’ouverture de notre cœur. Une attraction intense est toujours le signe que la personne amoureuse a besoin de développer en elle les qualités de l’autre qui sont en fait latents en elle. Dans la relation passionnel, nous devons ouvrir notre cœur à ce qui nous rend meilleur plutôt que de rester figer dans nos désirs étroits. Si Christian Gray était resté obstiné à l’idée qu’il avait besoin d’une personne qui accepterait toutes les clauses de son contrat sadomasochiste, il serait resté misérablement malheureux en isolation et aurait continué à détruire beaucoup d’autres femmes. L’attraction physique dénote donc un désir de l’âme pour une élévation de la personnalité. Le problème se pose lorsque le fossé entre l’âme et les désirs de la personnalité est trop grand pour être comblé à cause de traumatismes non résolus. Dans cette situation, les ruptures sont incroyablement douloureuses. Nous ne comprenons pas pourquoi nous continuons à attirer vers nous de drôles de partenaires, mais en fait, nous continuons à envoyer le mauvais type de signal parce que nous ne sommes pas guéris émotionnellement des blessures de l’enfance. Permettez-moi de vous donner quelques exemples tirés des expériences de clients, d’amis et de moi-même concernant le pouvoir transformateur des relations amoureuses. Un homme d’affaires un peu rustre attire une femme très sensible, mais son manque d’attention et de ressenti chagrine sa bien-aimée. S’il devient conscient que son comportement blesse sa femme, cela peut lui donner le désir de redevenir sensible, et de sortir de son univers industriel rude et froid. Une autre femme instable et dans le besoin est attirée par un homme indépendant et confiant. S’il est sensible à son égard et qu’elle prend conscience que ses peurs la rend possessive et paranoiaque, cette relation est susceptible de l’aider à reprendre confiance en elle, et grandir en autonomie. Une femme matérialiste terre-à-terre et un homme spirituel introspectif tombent amoureux. S’il y a assez d’amour entre les deux, la femme deviendra plus ouverte d’esprit et introspective, et l’homme deviendra plus ancré dans sa vie pratique. Une femme forte et volontaire tombe amoureux d’un homme calme, introverti et mental. C’est l’opportunité pour elle de canaliser ses état émotionnel et pour lui de se reconnecter avec ses sentiments réprimés et de redevenir sensible. Un homme trop contrôlant craque pour une femme farouchement indépendante. Grâce à cette relation, il apprendra à relâcher son contrôle, sa jalousie et son amour possession. Il apprendra à devenir plus spontané. Un homme très ambitieux, courageux et prétentieux est amoureux d’une femme terre-à-terre, humble et autonome qui est capable de le remettre en place quand il se croit sorti de la cuisse de Jupiter. Cette relation sera cruciale pour qu’il ne devienne pas un leader mégalomaniaque. De cette façon, il restera connecté aux gens et ne les traitera pas comme des objets. L’incompatibilité dans l’amour a donc un pouvoir de guérison extraordinaire et peut nous aider à devenir la meilleure version de nous-mêmes. Cela fonctionne mieux lorsque les partenaires sont conscients de leurs faiblesses et voient comment la relation soutient leur développement personnel.

Suis-je l’avocat du diable pour louer Eros sur Pragma? Oui, je clame haut et fort: «Jetez la compatibilité à la poubelle et choisissez l’amour plutôt que la raison». Ce n’est peut-être pas pour tout le monde mais c’est ma vérité. Le poète Khalil Gibran disait: “Les âmes les plus fortes ont émergé de la souffrance; les personnages les plus massifs sont brûlés de cicatrices.”. Bien sûr, trop de souffrances peuvent aussi nous conduire à l’hôpital psychiatrique. C’est donc à chacun d’entre nous de décider du degré d’adversité auquel nous pouvons faire face et ensuite de transformer ces épreuves pour acquérir des perles de sagesse et d’aider son prochain.

Read Love & Compatibility – Part II

One thousand and one nights with Teal

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GoingSeparateDirectionsA couple of years ago, when I fell in love with Teal, I would have given up everything to spend one day with her. My deepest wish was fulfilled and I was not granted one day but one thousand and one. However, unlike Schahriar and Sheherazade who sealed their union for eternity after one thousand and one nights, Teal and I are now separating and taking a different path. Destiny feels cruel when you are asked to leave the woman you love. There is nowhere to go but to the God within us to start healing, and ask for guidance for the rest of our journey here on earth.

As I start mending my broken heart, feelings of gratitude emerge. I never loved anyone as much as Teal and I was never loved by anyone as much as she did. A life without love is not worth living, and for this alone my life mattered. My memories with her will be mine forever and this is teaching me one more time to never take anyone for granted. She is a gorgeous woman but her heart is even more beautiful that her physical appearance. We lived our passion to the fullest during the time we were together. Just looking at her always brought smile to my face as I saw her as the most exquisite thing on this planet. I have gained so much during the 33 months we were together. Actually, these 33 months feel more like 33 years. First, she cracked me open and forced me into my authenticity after living a codependent life. This blessing would however make me lose the woman I love as it surfaced some incompatibilities we were not able to work through. As she could see inside of me, she supported me to get back to optimal health as I lost 30 pounds and I have never felt as healthy as today. I became vegetarian and sensitive to animal cruelty thanks to her. Previously, I had wanted to become vegetarian but was never able to make the transition. I loved her spontaneity, her vibrancy and aliveness. These are qualities I want to develop very much in myself. Teal is remarkably intelligent and she has also an amazing ability to articulate her thoughts in a way that is easily understandable. I learned so much with her in so many aspects of life. I now see and understand the world differently. She always has fun facts about anything. She is an encyclopedia in herself. She helped me transition from a human doing to a human being and reconnect to the important things of life. She actually set me back on my path. I also learned a lot from all of our struggles. Both of us are deeply introspective and that allowed us to gain wisdom from the difficulties we experienced.

Our break-up is so difficult not because we stopped loving each other but because we still love each other though we understand we have to take a different road. During this time of grieving, we are asking every one of you to be sensitive to our pain to make our healing easier. Un-pairing with someone we love deeply is one of most difficult experience in this earthy existence. When we fall in love, the beloved reflects to us the parts of us to develop. She showed me my light, my potential and my capacity to love. Now that my most magnificent mirror is going away, I am only left to actualize these qualities within myself.

We all go through difficult times in love relationships, and we have a tendency to lose sight of the all the exquisite moments we shared together. For this reason, I would like to share many beautiful memories that are still held preciously in my heart.

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Hiking in Zion #alegicqueau #zion #utah #tealswan

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In Aptos #alegicqueau #aleandteal

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