I have always been told that relationships are "so much work." In the past, as a therapist I found myself repeating this statement, telling couples "This relationship will be the hardest job you will ever have" followed by "it will take daily nurturing to keep it alive." Sounds like a regimen from a doctor dealing with a survivor of a chronic illness; depressing to say the least. After years of self reflection and spiritual study, I am convinced that what makes relationships with anyone so challenging, and yet so incredibly beautiful, is that they are reflections of ourselves, both in our lightness (those positive qualities we want to exude) and in our darkness (those qualities about ourselves which we want to avoid/hide).

Deepak Chopra says in The Path To Love (Three Rivers Press, 1997), "When romantic love is at it's height...delight in another person, the feeling that you have met a perfect being, is only a reflection of what you have suddenly remembered in yourself...Being infatuated means seeing another person [in spirit]"; as God, if you will. Wouldn't that be amazing?! To see ourselves as divine, in our perfection, as the bright shining lights that we truly are? How is it that we forget this re-membering of ourselves? Is it possible that based on our own B.S. (belief systems) and his/her-stories, that we turn our backs on our spirit, our God-like essence? Is it possible that instead of working through our B.S. we point our finger at our loved one(s) and blame them for most or all of our problems? Deepak asserts, "...the love you get is limited only by your ability to receive it"(The Path To Love, 1997).

I believe that no one can love anyone else more than they love themselves. Love must truly be found within; relationships are beautiful opportunities to take that journey inward. These days my beliefs about relationships are much different. I share with my clients that I believe relationships are the biggest gifts we could ever hope for, with the perfect teachers showing up to teach us about all aspects of ourselves, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful. We attract people into our lives that will be the perfect people to teach us specific lessons, to help us master our wounds, and to embrace our light, ultimately with ease and grace. All of this is quite a beautiful reflection, if I do say so myself. Namaste~