Each intimate relationship enlightens its actors in some way. The proximity of two people, being them two friends, a mother and her child, or a romantic couple, creates a magical light that shines upon both.
Among all these intimate relationships, the romantic ones are probably be the most intense, because we all crave this type of passionate, profound love, which makes two separate persons blend into a single being.
The quality of this light in a romantic relationship can (and for the purposes of this blog post, will be) assimilated with the light of Sun. Just like the light that comes from the Sun sustains life on all beings on Earth, the light of a relationship between two lovers makes them more alive.
But what do we do when this light dims, or even disappears completely, because, you know, there are some clouds? To make things clear, by “clouds” I understand misunderstandings, disagreements, repetitive toxic behavior or just wounds manifesting outside, while healing inside. These parts of a relationship aren’t pleasant, but, just like clouds, they’re part of the weather.
And, more important, just like cloudy wether, they can be managed. I think it’s important to understand this, because we have the tendency to get so caught in the moment, so when clouds appear in a relationship and we don’t see the light anymore, we think: “well, there’s not more light, so the relationship is over”. We don’t do this when there are some clouds out there, right? We don’t surrender to eternal despair, just because we’re having a cloudy day, saying: “oh, my God, the Sun is gone forever”, aren’t we?
Caveat: there’s a difference between cloudy weather, and the end of a relationship. In my experience, the end of a relationship (which may come in a myriad of shapes) is more like a planetary size earthquake, it will be felt on all levels, on all areas, not just on the light part. It’s like the planet itself disappears. Whereas cloudy weather is just bad weather, manifesting on top of something rock solid.
So, going forward with this weather metaphor, how can we effectively manage relationship shadows?
First of all, understand it’s temporary. This understanding is fundamental. And, like I said, it’s hard to just “know this”, because we’re wired differently. We have to train for this understanding, we have to consciously integrate it as something that will eventually pass. Putting too much focus on it will make it bigger than it really is. It’s like considering clouds something solid. But when you get closer, you realize they’re just thin air, with some droplets floating in it.
Second, understand it’s part of the process. The clouds are necessary, sometimes, because they will release some cleansing rain, will wash out some mud and, in the process, reveal some paths that we didn’t know they existed. Just because some conversations are unpleasant, it doesn’t mean they’re not necessary. Things change around us and each relationship has its own dynamic. And, every once in a while, this dynamic needs to be recalibrated.
And third, do whatever you can to hold your ground. Don’t give in. Don’t surrender to the rain. Just like, during bad weather, you find ways to detach yourself from the gloomy atmosphere, try doing the same in a relationship (easier said, than done, I agree, but totally possible, with enough awareness and implication).