Becoming Sensitive to the Sacred

We can examine relationships at multiple levels in order to better understand them, but does that mean we know how improve them? When I sit down with a couple, I am clear on what my goal is. And it may not be what you think.

Pulling Focus

Relationships are at once fundamental and transcendental, and one of the challenges for those of us who presume to study them is that we are constantly pulling focus in order to appreciate their essence at different levels.

One minute we are zooming in to observe funny little brain molecules. We want to know what happens, for example, when two partners hold hands.

The next, we are a zooming out — all the way out — to ponder the very nature of all things. We want to discover the cosmic implications of love.

And, of course, everything else in between.

For me, this oscillating viewpoint is not only exhilaratingly reminiscent of a carnival ride, it is itself emblematic of the way human energy moves through the multiple layers of our shared experience.

When a partner reaches out for us, we may think  we are just holding hands, yet the sensation of touch produces a change in brain chemistry that reverberates through our cells and organs, affects our emotions, impacts our behavior, shapes our identities, and, some blessed times, momentarily plugs us into something greater.

A Silver Thread

This energy travels along a Silver Thread that connects the sacred and the everyday. And that thread pierces each of our hearts.

Couples in distress often speak of being being “out of sync,” or operating on “different wavelengths.” Our language reflects an intuitive understanding of the way energy moves within and between us.

Yet, it is less important that we be aligned with our partners at any given moment than it is to understand how the levels of our experience are interrelated. Partners are rarely more miserable than when their interactions seem disconnected from a greater purpose.

Whatever technical framework or jargon we impose upon it, therapy is ultimately about developing a sensitivity to the sacred in everyday life.

Through therapy, we can

  • find purpose in failure, incompleteness, and broken promises.
  • discover the mysterious nature of ourselves, our partners, and the world around us.
  • transform the clash of imperfections that is life with another person.

Paradoxically, acknowledging the divine elements of relationship frees us to enjoy its human ones more fully. When we establish consistent contact with the abundant sacred, we are no longer so distressed by imperfection and disconnection. We can honor what is, rather than what could or should be. We can see the many gifts of entanglement.

When it is all said and done, those gifts may well be all we have.

 

Happily entangled with you on this day,

Hayden

My greatest passion in life is to help couples craft the loving relationships they've always wanted. I do this in Austin, TX through my work in private practice, and everywhere else here on my website.

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