Everyone I have talked to who has a fulfilling intimate long-term relationship - a relationship with a romantic partner, a family member, a child, a close friend, a business, a pet, a spiritual practice, a subject matter - describes some version of the following when they talk about how they created deep, intimate, and meaningful long-term relationships in their life:
Its normal and expected to have periods of connection, disconnection, and reconnection in long-term relationships
Trustable relationships are built through ongoing devotion and intention
Everyone in the relationship needs the freedom to change
There is nothing more challenging and nothing more meaningful that you can do with your time and energy than building relationships
In my experience, cultivating a relationship with Self - the longest relationship that any of us will ever have because "wherever you go, there you are" - is similar to cultivating a relationship with others (and the existential pain of disconnection from Self feels similar to the pain of loneliness and isolation from others). Here's a snapshot of what my relationship with Self feels like: Like the early months of falling in love, there are periods in my relationship with Self when the chemistry is fresh and intense. I discover something new about myself. I feel vibrant, creative and in love with who I am. There are periods when I annoy myself, get angry, and say mean things. There are times I wish I could crawl out of my skin and slam the door on me. If I could break up with myself I’m sure I would have many times by now. There are periods when I almost forget I exist because I am so busy with going to work and cooking dinner and taking care of everything. It feels like living with someone and doing daily life together but never actually connecting in a meaningful way. Like “seeing” each other everyday but never REALLY SEEING each other. There are moments when I yearn for different versions of me. Younger versions, older versions, "better" versions. Like yearning for the honeymoon phase of a romance or when the kids were little. And then there are moments with my Self that feel like a past-present-future body memory of a deep eternal well of love for all parts of me. It's how I imagine it would feel to have a briefly infinite moment of eye contact with your partner after 50 years of marriage, or your adult child after 30 years of parenting, or your elementary school bestie after 70 years of friendship. That moment where you both feel all the years of love and devotion and see all the different versions of your relationship. A briefly infinite moment where your bodies remember all the millions of moments of connection and disconnection and reconnection that made the depth of this moment possible.
p.s. I would love to practice yoga with you! Check out my free practice bundles HERE.