‘ONENESS’ – Marriage In The Mirror
“Marriages are made in heaven” sounds like a cliché but it is truer than we realise! We meet ‘The One’, spend some time together, fall completely and recklessly in-love, after which the deep thrill of being wedded follows. We become intoxicated by the sweetness of a drowning romance and we wish that it never ends.
Sadly it does and often replaced with fault-finding, disillusionment and a loss of commitment and togetherness. The reason behind this void in a relationship, is the hope that partners should be completely alike. What an interesting expectation. I say interesting because, actually, your partner is more like you than you wish to acknowledge and yet so little like you that you want to scream! Sounds crazy doesn’t it? Okay, let me explain. As human beings we live on planes of existence concurrently – the plane of the personality and the plane of the essence (soul). This is why our existence is termed as ‘dualistic’. On a personality level, we desire a partner who holds common beliefs, thinks like us and talks the same language of love as we do. We believe that these similarities will ensure a space free from conflict and heartache. The plane of the essence (soul) is a different story altogether. Our essence is what draws to us mirror images of not only who we are but who we do not wish to see! This is where the difficulty resides. Our essence is always urging us to acknowledge all the aspects of ourselves – even those that you find too distasteful to look at squarely. It is your essence which brings you to your special partner. Your partner mirrors these hidden flaws in a way that is too huge and loud for you to ignore. Your resistance to see your reflection in this human mirror evokes a series of events that detaches you from the very person who is your staunchest soul mate. The togetherness which you ache for can be yours as soon as you acknowledge that your partners worst faults are your weakest qualities. If this was not the case, you would unemotionally view them as character blemishes and rise above them without any problems. The fact that they enrage you, upset you and entrap you, supports you to see that the power of your reaction is equally in proportion to the power of your resistance.
Once you have embraced the validity of this truth, you are ready to move toward the step of oneness. This is a process of self-awareness. By the way, simply just acknowledging that your partner reflects your hidden flaws is not enough. You need to accurately identify what is being reflected. For example, if your partner has a habit of lying and it drives you crazy, it may not reflect your inability to be truthful but it may reflect the inability to honestly portray yourself to the outside world without the safety of an external mask or disguises. Another example which I often share is the one of the prison warden who use to visit the cell of a rapist many times a day only to belittle, insult and demean him. She hated rapists and she ensured that he knew every day, many times a day of his low worth. This of course until she one day discovered that the prisoner had hung himself. His death didn’t comfort her at all, in fact, her guilt encouraged her to reflect upon who she had become during the time when she voiced her revulsion toward the prisoner. She realised that even though he was imprisoned for raping women, she was just as guilty of rape as he was. She felt that she had ill-treated the prisoner by raping his mind every time she visited his prison cell. You can now appreciate that the process of reflection cannot be hurried through. Consider that you have spent a large part of your life rejecting those very attributes you are now trying to unearth. Also, do not discount the power of your mind to make you believe that its all the other’s fault and that you have no accountability in this.
The blueprint of fault is strongly engrained in the human consciousness and is constantly used as a defence mechanism. Finding fault serves two purposes – it helps us feel better about ourself, because you can only fault that which you unconsciously feel superior to. It is also a powerful tool for shame and punishment. What we often fail to realize is that the energy of blaming causes us more harm than it does the other and strips us from every opportunity of being at peace with self.
Becoming self aware is what will move us into the final stage of oneness. This is the most critical stage towards oneness. Failing this will counteract all the effort you made in the first two phases. It is the phase of self-acceptance. The human consciousness is strongly conditioned by the environment to be good that any movement away from the set norm is immediately considered as worthy of punishment. In this lies our breakdown. If you punish yourself for the flaws you have courageously unearthed, you will only sink into a bottomless pit of self pity and depression or claw away desperately at the ‘hideous reality’ by escaping into gratification of alcohol, drugs, affairs, work etc.
In this final stage it is vital to remember a sacred truth of the cosmos – the external replicates the internal. Unless you have internal harmony, you will not be able to enjoy the unity that you pray to experience with your partner. Escapism and self punishment, only leads to internal conflict and hardship, making you experience more of what you do not wish for – detachment from your partner. Reflection and acceptance is what inspires gratitude – gratitude for the divine gift of being able to look and see into a mirror unstained and pure. When you accept yourself as a divine human being whose imperfections are only hidden potential waiting to be tapped into, you will immediately understand and be compassionate to all around you, not only your partner. This inner peace draws towards it experiences of love, fulfilment and oneness. Marriage is a gift of reflecting the beauty of the other’s soul, the strength of your emotions and the power of your mind.
“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them” – Thomas Merton