Love, what is this powerful force? We are unconsciously driven to have it, be it and yet we fear it.
Few recognize the enormous power of relationship as a vehicle for mutual healing – physical emotional and spiritual. The power of the heart awakens us from the trance that relationships sometime induce.
So why do we have such problems in Love? I like to think problems as a gift of the divine. The trance is what allows us to fall in love… or shall we say… sub conscious attraction. You see, we are attracted to a very particular set of positive and negative personality traits. What we are doing is looking for someone who has the predominant character traits of the people who raised us. We try to re- create the environment of childhood. The reason for this is we are trying to resurrect the past not out of habit or blind compulsion but of a compelling need to heal childhood wounds.
The reason you fell in love with your partner is not because of beauty or an impressive job, or certain disposition. You fell in love because your time locked, myopic brain old brain finally found the ideal candidate to make up for the psychological damaged you experienced in childhood. What I have found in 11 years of working with couples is that no one seems to meet anyone who does not have their care takers positive and negative traits, and typically the negative traits are more influential.
The other biggest challenge in relationship is the lost self, those feelings thoughts and behaviours that you had to repress to adapt to your family and to society? Which is the need to recover some part of you that you feel is deficient. For example the woman who marries the artist in an unconscious attempt to recover her disowned inner artist. And the introverted husband who marries a vibrant and social extrovert.
This is what is referred to as “Imago”, the idealized blueprint for relationship that we carry in our unconscious mind. Imago is Latin for image.
What happens when we find that “Imago Match” and start a relationship with them. There are three stages in a Love Relationship. The first one is The Honeymoon Stage, the romantic stage. We’ve all experienced that, haven’t we?
That’s when everything our partner does is perfect, is cute, is adorable. So cute the way he leaves the toilet seat up and I fall in. So adorable the way she lost my car keys and I can’t go to work. We focus on the positive qualities of our partner and ignore the negative ones.
This is because our body is creating some very potent chemicals that are influencing our brains. It’s God or Nature or Evolution making sure we can stay together long enough to perpetuate the species.
Our brains drug us with neurotransmitters like PEA (phenylethylamine) and oxytocin. PEA acts like methamphenamine, while oxytocin acts like heroin. So physiologically speaking, romantic love is a chemical reaction. Not such a romantic notion though.
With these love hormones and neurotransmitters surging through our bodies, we don’t feel the need to eat, we don’t need to sleep, we want sex all the time. Literally, we are drugged into a euphoric, elated, exhilarated state. In Imago, we call romantic love “nature’s anestheisia.”
Eventually we build a tolerance to the drugs flooding our system. It usually takes 3 months to 2 years (if you’re really “lucky”), and as it wears down we are left in the second stage of relationship: The Power Struggle
Now we begin to see who we’re really with. And we begin to see those negative qualities in our partner that we previously ignored or didn’t care about. At this point, many couples can’t handle what they’ve gotten themselves into and they break up. Others just white-knuckle it and hope it will improve. Some seek professional help.
Those that break up, generally will find themselves attracted to someone who shares many common characteristics with their previous relationship(s).
And there’s nothing wrong with that, this is supposed to happen. Conflict is supposed to happen. It gives us an opportunity to deal with our childhood issues and wounds. This is nature/God/evolution’s way of giving us an opportunity to grow, to heal ourselves and our partner of our childhood wounds. Most of us don’t know how to do it, but it IS possible. There is a natural progression through the three stages of relationship.
As we begin to work out some of these Power Struggle issues, we enter the third stage of relationship, which is called: Co creation / or Conscious Relationship.
Here, we are more at peace with ourselves and our partner. We are clear about what we want, how to ask for it, and how to be there for our partner as well as ourselves.
And the passion can be even deeper, richer than the honeymoon phase!
For couples that are stuck in the Power Struggle stage, professional support is what I would recommend. This is the work I do with couples, to help them navigate through the power struggle phase and to create the conscious relationship of their dreams.
In this month of LOVE our most significant spiritual commitment is our own relationships. This is among the deepest most heartfelt, most healing and heartfelt journey you could ever embark upon.
Christina Branco is a respected Psychotherapist, professionally trained in Body Psychotherapy and Spiritual Mentorship. Working individually, in couples and in groups, Christina will help you get at the root of the matter in order to heal deeply. She will support you in the process of becoming whole again as you inquire into your life’s role, shift relationship patterns at their core, and move forward to create the life that you want and need.
Christina’s work is simple yet powerful, in part because she tailors healing to the individual needs of those who seek her. She offers a perspective that is grounded in truth and reality, given in an atmosphere of support and compassion. She provides transformative teachings that are based in respect and deeply ethical. She makes you feel safe as you do your toughest work, addressing and overcoming emotional and relational blocks and barriers. This allows you to live wholeheartedly, discover love, and ultimately to live a purposeful life – at peace, whole, and empowered.
Christina’s passionate commitment to your wellbeing is demonstrated in her solid approach. Whether you are seeking to deepen your inner development, heal from a traumatic experience, or simply to overcome barriers to the daily functioning of your life, Christina offers the support and guidance necessary to overcome and to thrive. Her approach is inherently empowering because it ultimately enables you to discover that all the answers are truly within you.
Christina will help you come home to the truth – of who you are, of love, and of life.