Posts Tagged relationships

The Gift X Gyfu

Francesco Hayez, The Kiss (1859)

At this time of the year the word gift is prominently on people mind but have you ever given it any further thought? In the runic alphabet, the rune Gyfu has the meaning of gift. It is shaped like the Roman letter X and it was used to denote things dedicated to the gods. According to a rune poem Gyfu is “To people, giving is an ornament of value, and to every outsider without any order, it is substance and honour.”

Whether you believe in a divine being or not to give a gift always indicates a belief in something greater than yourself. For when you give a gift you are reaching out to something outside of yourself in recognition that something outside of yourself exists and the gift becomes the token of the desire to link yourself with that which you wish to honour in recognition.

Symbolically, Gyfu describes the gift of one’s own ability or talent in service to another. Ability itself, or talent, was viewed as a gift to the individual from the gods. When anything is given, a relationship is established between the giver and the receiver. In this world when we give a gift it is a direct reflection of our talent or abilities, for even in choosing a shop bought gift we are using our abilities to choose through our personal vision what the other whom we wish to honour might like. In other words we are looking at the other through our personal vision and are recognizing their uniqueness through the symbol of the particular gift. In reflection upon ourselves the gift is a symbol of what we have to give, thus our abilities and talents that we are able to give to the world.

Gyfu also signifies the unifying effect that a gift makes between the donor and the recipient of the gift. The gift thus expresses the qualities of linking seemingly separate people in a common bond, or even human with the divine. If you look at the symbol of “X” it is two separate lines crossing each other to form a new symbol in unity, thus expressing exactly the implications of giving and receiving. Each one of us has unique talents and abilities when joined with other talents and abilities becomes something greater than the than the individual. It is indeed in sharing our talents and abilities that they grow and mature and become a gift to the world. Yet, we need courage to express and give our talents and abilities.

Esoterically Gyfu is the quality personified in the Norse goddess Gefn or Gefjon, the bountiful giver, the equivalent of the goddess Abundantia, formerly worshipped in central Europe. This further elucidates the meaning of the gift, for we can only give something when we feel that we have something to give. It is only when we are able to give that abundance will follow.

In modern usage, Gyfu is the sigil used to represent a kiss. This is perhaps the most intimate form of the gift, for when we kiss another we truly give our being in union with another. So the fire of a greater passion fills body and soul possessed by the deepest desire for full embrace and intimacy, union – the fire of love is set ablaze, actual, real, full and true. So it is with a gift given in the spirit of love; we take the best of our abilities, of what we symbolically are and gift it to another to honour what they represent to us in gratitude of what their being in this world have brought to us. By simply knowing the other, we have grown and was given a new vision of being, a gift more precious than any material token can symbolize.

I will like to use this opportunity to give my deepest gratitude to all whom have crossed my path to form the symbol of Gyfu to my being; a gift to my existence.



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Close Encounters

Each contact
with a human being
is so rare,
so precious,
one should preserve it. – Anais Nin

I dreamed that I found myself upon a ship navigating the ocean. I found myself within a group, standing before a large window, the sun shinning brightly in through it. We had a guide with us. He asked us to cup our hands, and in our hands he poured, a small amount of sea water (marrah – the bitter water). We had to focus ourselves on what we felt were our essence and imbue the water with what we felt. On his command, we had to throw it against the window. Before our eyes; on the window developed, from each splash, an individual pattern, some big and bold, some small and bright, many patterns. Our guide continued, and told us that from these patterns the masseuses would know what deep massage to give each of us, and so bring our healing, and reveal our individual beauty.

So many people when in search of spiritual meaning for life want to withdraw from normal life, go to faraway places and seek enlightenment in isolated environments. Many years ago, I found myself at that point. I wanted go and live in complete isolation, with not even the convenience of electricity. But as I stood at the verge of waving civilization goodbye, I realized that it was the old way. To withdraw from active life would only simply be an escape. If you truly want to test your spiritual mettle, you have to live in the real world, walk your talk.

In the process of preparing I did at least learn a lot about lost crafts and what living without modern conveniences entails. One of the most enlightening aspects was being without communication; no TV, no news or any other direct form of communication. First thing that I observed was that all that really mattered was what happened in the here and now. If anything happened in the wide world that would affect me, the wave would reach me sooner or later. I realized during that time that what you need to know will come to you when you need to know it. Often it will come to you through the most unexpected sources or you will find it where you least expect it. What this in itself taught me was to live with greater awareness of what transpires around me. What does the sudden song of the bird evoke in me, what does the gentle breeze stir in me? It also taught me that no encounter with another human being, no matter how brief, is ever without meaning. Each person that you meet is a messenger of the divine.

Relationships are the basis of our existence. Relationships exist not just between two people but it is every interaction that happens between anything. In itself one can replace the word relationship with that of alchemical interaction. Every relationship that you experience changes you forever. The encounter with another always leaves an imprint on your soul and prepares you for your relationship with the divine.

Our primary relationship is with ourselves. This is the one relationship that you will have throughout your life. This relationship affects and colours every other relationship you have. If you have a stormy relationship with yourself so it will be reflected in your outer relationships as well, If you are judgmental of yourself you will be so with everyone else. Even our relationship with our environment is reflected in this.

I went up the mountains for a walk in the Fynbos Biosphere. I stood in a gorge looking at a picture that is immaculate in its serene beauty. Straight ahead is a waterfall that drops into a calm rock pool, reflecting the sheer cliffs surrounding it. Ferns, Restios, trees, clings to the rock face against all odds. Somewhere the renowned Disa Lilly will flower in its season. The rock pool, was begging me to jump in to, interact to feel the water, float and gaze at the clouds pass overhead. Sadly I saw a signboard that said no swimming. I know the rules are there to protect the pristine nature but I felt saddened by it. I had to turn down my invitation to interact. It was not always so. I have had many wonderful swims in such mountain pools but life has become a lot more complicated.

We are allowed to see but not to feel in the depth we can. Our relationships with others have become much so too. We observe but there is a mental fence around us. In general, we interact superficially with others in contrast of how deeply we can. I wonder to myself, I know what is like to fully interact with nature but how many children are there in the world today that has not had that opportunity? Is it the same with relationships; quick sound bites and flash thumbnails of impressions, categorized by previous conditions?

Every encounter that we have is meaningful. Every other human being holds a clue to my own existence. If you are open and aware you will be surprised how much insight every encounter you have with another human being can bring you.

Each encounter, no matter how brief leaves an impression on you and reflects a part of the puzzle of what you as an individual are. If I look back to the sea of faces in my memory certain faces stands out. Some I never even said a word to; just a brief silent communication that said so much, meant so much and then was gone but not from my heart.

Each person is a window into a universe unknown to us. The thirteenth century, Persian mystic Aziz Nasafi wrote that the spiritual world, standing like a light behind the bodily world, shines as through a window through every creature that comes into being. According to the type and size of the window, more or less light enters the world. Each one of us is a window on the Universe, the whole of understanding. When you loose someone you love, it is indeed as if you die too, for a part of you existed only because of your relationship with that particular person. Just as each one us are unique in our identities, so each relationship we form is unique in what it reveal about ourselves. Through the loss of a loved one, a person with whom we shared intimate moments with, we lose a window into ourselves, and we feel a death in ourselves, because that part of us no longer exist in local reality. Yet it is not lost but has just been transformed. We now carry within us what that person has revealed to us.

As specie our strength lies in our ability to co-operate with each other, to pass our insights on to others. There are exoteric (outer) and esoteric ways of seeing the same thing, which is really just different perspectives of the same thing seen, felt and experienced from different angles, neither is wrong in what they see, only by looking at the whole perspective can you see the context of what you are seeing, feeling and experiencing. The eco-functioning of the whole will determine the true function of the aspect each one of us sees from our individual “window “ onto the view of the whole. (See;Elephant )It is through our ability to interact and co-operate that we evolve in consciousness, that we can make a leap in consciousness.

Rather than discrete things and independent events, there are but ripples upon ripples upon waves upon waves in this universe, propagating in a seamless sea. – Ervin Laszlo


I open my eyes
To consciousness
With your name upon my lips

With you I found
sacred space

With you I shared
my most intimate depths
moist darkness

With you I entered sacred space
and found eternity
in a moment
without measure

You touched me
with a reality so clear
brought me beauty
without compare

I close my eyes
whispering your name
with gratitude

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The Gate of Vulnerabity in Love

To deeply love, we must also be open to be deeply wounded. One can not love deeply without opening oneself to the sureness of becoming deeply hurt. To love deeply will require one to also hurt deeply. It is the wonder of love that it makes you vulnerable. To be vulnerable means to be open. Love lures us beyond our personal boundaries. It is the allurement of love that entices us out of our cocoons of isolation, and allows us to experience life. In the experience of life we taste and absorb experience as nourishment of the soul. Its sweetness and bitterness both alike enrich our being and creates depth to our insights and brings us wisdom that has grown through the tasting of life. It is through love that we realize the interconnectedness of everything. What touch you; touches me.

Not for one moment do I want to feel less vulnerable, than I feel in love. How can I regret being open, rather than closed in fear.

FROM David Whyte:

“We have the strange idea, unsupported by any evidence, that we are loved and admired only for our superb strength, our far-reaching powers, and our all-knowing competency.

Yet in the real world, no matter how many relationships may have been initiated by strength and power, no marriage or friendship has ever been deepened by these qualities. After a short, erotic honeymoon, power and omnipotence expose their shadow underbellies and threaten real intimacy, which is based on mutual vulnerability.

After the bows have been made to the brass god of power, we find in the privacy of relationship that same god suddenly immobile and inimitable to conversation. As brass gods ourselves, we wonder why we are no longer loved in the same way we were at our first appearance. Our partners have begun to find our infallibility boring and, after long months or years, to find us false, frightening, and imprisoning.

We have the same strange idea in work as we do in love: that we will engender love, loyalty and admiration in others by exhibiting a great sense of power and competency. We are surprised to find that we garner fear and respect but forgo the other, more intimate magic.

Real, undying loyalty in work can never be legislated or coerced; it is based on a courageous vulnerability that invites others by our example to a frontier conversation whose outcome is yet in doubt.

We have an even stranger idea: that we will finally fall in love with ourselves only when we have become the totally efficient organized organism we have always wanted to be and left all of bumbling ineptness behind.

Yet in exactly the way we come to find love and intimacy with others through vulnerability, we come to those same qualities in ourselves through living out the awkwardness of not knowing, of not being in charge.

We try to construct a life in which we will be perfect, in which we will eliminate awkwardness, pass by vulnerability, ignore ineptness, only to pass through the gate of our lives and find, strangely, that the gateway is vulnerability itself. The very place we are open to the world whether we like it or not.”

That which I desire most
I also fear most
Facing the Beloved
so utterly vulnerable
so exposed
so naked
am I

Facing the Beloved
I realize
the depth of my vulnerability

I know that my kiss
my embrace
my union
with my Beloved
will devastate me
rip away the fabric
of all I have known
fling me into the
chaos of the unknown
I will face the Other

In the face of the Beloved
I feel joy greater
than I have known before
yet I feel too
an ancient fear
I felt not even
in the face of death

 In the nakedness of my vulnerability
I can cling blindly to the joy
or in full awareness
of my vulnerability
with eyes wide open
surrender to the kiss
the call of the Other
not close myself
in fear of the pain
I might face
then I transcend my fear
my vulnerability
into the oneness
of being

Only when I release my fear
abandon my safety nets
that I can experience
the true freedom
of no boundaries

To experience the transforming
union of love
I must enter my vulnerability
in full awareness
look the Medusa
straight in the eye

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Disillusionment – The Dream Eater

No other monster has slain more valiant questers than disillusionment. No matter what the aim of your quest, if you are ever going to reach your goal you have to face this one. I remember with absolute clarity my first encounter with disillusionment, the place, what I was leaning against, and what was in the immediate environment, everything. I was shocked into brilliant clarity.

Where I grew up there weren’t any girls my age. So, my friends were the local boys. One had an elder sister who would sometimes come and talk to me. One day she asked me;” You do not believe in Father Christmas anymore do you?” “Yes” I said, “One year Father Christmas had normal pants and shoes on that I knew belonged my father; I then realised that there was no Father Christmas.” “Yes ” she said, ” Then you also know that there are no Easter Bunnies and no Tooth Mouse…” I promptly burst out in tears. “Is there really no Tooth Mouse…

I really believed there was a Tooth Mouse. Perhaps it was a happy coincidence, I don’t know, but one day the mouse did not come in the night. As soo as I checked my slipper and found my tooth still there, I ran to my parents room to tell them. They just smiled and said maybe the mouse was late. At that moment the cat jumped from the window sill and my parents said, “Ah, that must be the mouse now.” I raced back to my room and there were silver pieces shinning in my slipper. That single incident made me a true believer.”

My friend’s sister, seeing how devastated I was, apologised to me and said she was so sorry to bring me disillusionment.  Still, I was devastated. Is there no magic in this world; is everything just what it seems to be? I withdrew for a long time to deal with that one.

I deal with disillusionment by withdrawing for a while to my “cave” to contemplate things. If I lived another time another place I would have been a hermit living in a cave somewhere. Though, on second thoughts my curiosity would have drawn me out. Anyway, since then I had to face the Dream Eater on many more occasions.

There is no way that you can avoid disillusionment if you want to find the truth. For disillusionment clears away the fog of illusions. It stops you dead in your tracks and forces you to face the truth. It is vital for the process of maturation. Maturing as a person, maturing in physical goals, maturing in spiritual aspirations and not least in relationships. What one has to do is not to take it personally. This is however much easier said than done. For it is certainly not easy, not to take it personally when you are knocked flat. You were going so well, confident in your progress when wham, the wind is knocked right of your sails. At this point it is very easy just to give up completely.

You often see this happening when people go on a self-help course. First they are all fired up from the inspirational message but as time goes by reality sets in. They give up and try something else. It is not difficult to see this happening in relationships. What do you do when the honeymoon is over? In my country the initial euphoria of our union as a people was replaced with a general depression. Things did not meet our expectations. There was increasing violent crime, unemployment soared, the social conditions of the poorest of poor did not improve and some even felt they were worse off than before Apartheid ended. Many emigrated fearing for their children’s future. 

 In evolution there is always a progression and regression. It is like watching the incoming tide.  Every progress moving further forward and every regress receding less far backward. We can say that each regress is making the foundation for the the next progress. Thus, nothing gained in the former progress is lost in the process of a regress – the potential and ground of the progress is maintained, though hidden by the appearance of a regression. Each regression is a secret operation of the next progression working itself out. Likewise each apparent failure is nothing more than the limit to which we can succeed in a given cycle of progress, and represents the regress necessary before the next progress. Each success is likewise the manifestation of the work accomplished during previous failures and regressions.

 When next you encounter the Dream Eater, gracefully pick yourself up from the ground, wipe the dust from yourself and ask your wiser self; ” Do I still believe this dream is possible. Is it worth the price I have to pay? ” Remember that nothing worthwhile comes cheap, otherwise you would not put a high value on it would you?

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“Don’t promise me forever. Promise me now, because that is all either of us can do. And now, becomes tomorrow, and tomorrow becomes years, You won’t have broken your promise. Promise me for now, I hope with all my heart that now will last forever.” Kayla Sullivan

Once a man was “unfaithful” to me. He was honest enough to tell me, which I respected. At that moment he felt he was acting irrationally, in need of the warmth and comfort of a woman. Intellectually I understood the why, but emotionally I felt deeply hurt. Could I trust him again? I thought I could, certainly with other women. But later I realised that from that moment on I did not trust him with my emotions anymore.

Upon discovering this I felt a need to really look at trust and what it means to me. Logically why should we feel so deceived and hurt when our partner is “unfaithful”? Is it just traditional conditioning? Would unconditional love not imply that that you love the other no matter what. There are obviously real concerns about your partner having sexual intercourse with another, such as unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. So my first question to him was: “Did you use a condom? ” But apart from that why should I felt so hurt? We are adults, we know that none of us are perfect as yet, and sometimes we all act irrationally? Do things we regret later. But so we learn by our mistakes.

If you were immortal could you promise to another person that you would never want to be with another? The myths abound with tales of the gods’ indiscretions. Although we may all give lip service to forgiveness, how many can truly forgive? That is to trust as though our trust were never broken?

Just what is trust? Trust – Firm belief in reliability, honesty, veracity, justice, and strength of person or thing. Firm belief in reliability – what is it to be reliable? Of sound and consistent character or quality. That would imply that you trust that the person in question will never change. His or her perceptions will never change. How can you be consistent when you are always growing and changing? Life is change. Death is certainty; life is insecure. Yet, we long to trust. Life is change, yet each time we experience change we consciously or subconsciously experience the feeling of trust broken.

Whimsical trust is what our lives are based on. Without it the world would be in chaos. We organise ourselves because we believe there will be a tomorrow, otherwise we might as well just enjoy the moment.

“Sarte said that every promise is going to be false. You cannot promise because you are not whole. Just a part of you promises, and when the part is no more there on the throne and another part has taken over, what are you going to do? Who will fulfil the promise? Hypocrisy is born because when you go on trying to fulfil, pretending that you are fulfilling, then everything becomes false…” Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

There are some that say that you can only trust yourself, but can you? Who has not disappointed themselves? Trust is based on expectation. We expect a certain person to act so and so. We expect… and when our expectations are not met we feel that our trust is broken. Yet we are almost guaranteed not to have our expectations met. If the world were exactly as we expected it to be, what would we learn? Would a world that is exactly as you expect it to be not be boring? So what can I actually trust in?

For me trust is a deep feeling of inner security. Through my experiences in the world I have learnt to trust that no matter what curved balls I am thrown, I will progress. I will find the inner strength to meet the challenges that I am faced with. I can’t live my life in fear that something bad might happen, then I would cut myself off from enjoying life to the fullest. In love it is the same, I will give my love fearlessly. If pain happens through my loving then I will deal with it when it comes. I will not cut myself off from love in fear of some future possible hurt.

I had to go to a remote farm once as part of a job I was doing. It was sunset by the time I was making my return journey. Before me and behind me I could just see thick thorn bush veldt. No sign of any civilisation as far as I could see. Just as it was getting dark the vehicle I was travelling in, broke down. I sat there thinking” what am I going to do? “There was no way I could fix it and I had no form communication either. I could hail down some passing traffic but that on that particular road, for a woman alone, it would be dangerous. I recalled all the horrendous stories I have heard and I became very afraid. Perhaps some of the other crew will come looking for me, but after a couple of hours of waiting I knew that was not going to happen. They would only look for me in the morning. As I was contemplating my options I saw a truck go by and then stop and reverse back towards me. Two big rough looking guys got out of truck and I thought to myself:” That’s it my time has come. ” All I could possibly hope of doing was just to run, but it was too late all ready for that and I grabbed something I thought I could use as a weapon. ‘”I will not go down without a fight.” I suddenly felt what one could call a “deathly calmness”. They asked whether I needed help and tried to fix the vehicle, then offered to tow me all the way back to the Hotel. I got into the truck with them and I felt tinges of fear pop up, but my fear was totally unfounded. These two men did tow my vehicle all the way back and would accept no reimbursement for their trouble and fuel. That day my trust was greatly restored in humanity.

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Romantic Love & Marriage?

Since ancient times people have recognised the importance of the stable
family as the basic corner stone for the stability of a society. However,
then there was love and passion, which is notoriously unpredictable as a
stable element for marriage. Even in ancient times the beauty and power of
the romantic sexual love was recognised. The passion, “madness” and longing,
is a perfect symbolism for yearning and desire for spiritual perfection,
which underlies all human desires. The ecstasy of the sexual union still has
no better equivalent to describe the ecstasy of the integrated balanced

The sacred marriage is especially central to the alchemist philosophy of the
full integration, marriage between the masculine and feminine elements
within the individual attempting the creation of the fabled philosopher’s
stone. This stone that can turn base elements into gold and bestow
immortality. In Tao the balance between Yin and Yang is another well-known

So we have within the human being two seemingly conflicting traits, just as
the masculine and feminine in every level of symbolism represents
conflicting elements with the potential of creating either a “living hell”
or “nirvana”. So even today we find in every society the notion of “Everyone
loves lovers.” and the realisation that a stable marriage provides the
stability of the greater society. The human being is not naturally
monogamous. If we look at the statistics of marriages where the two
elements; romantic love and stable marriage, has been successfully achieved
the percentage is only about 28%. The lucky few. The results of this are
widely reflected deterioration of society in general.

In every free society I believe that would probably be an accurate
reflection of the odds of those two combining successfully. This why the
state, whether in the form of the present sophisticated governments or
ancient tribal laws always governed the rules pertaining to marriage in
recognition of the family as the corner stone of the health and wealth of a
nation or tribe. Various ancient traditions resolved these two conflicting
aspects of humanity in one of two ways. One was the well-known complete
suppression of romantic sexual love by either punishment of death for
infidelity or female circumcision. The institution of marriage even today
operates from the premise that infidelity is bad, yet at the same time
recognising the natural flames that burns within the human being. This
dilemma has probably been the subject of discussion since time immemorial.

The Wodaabe Nomadic tribe of West Africa practises the most innovative
solution to this problem I have found. “To the Wodaabe personal
relationships are the essence of being human. In the Wodaabe society
philandering takes place within an elaborate set of rules that allows for
romantic sexual passion while preserving the stability of the family. Within
one’s lineage – and there are fifteen separate lineages among the Wodaabe –
a man may only marry one woman, and this marriage is arranged at childhood.
It is called the kobgal marriage. Affairs are not outlawed within one’s own
lineage, but can never lead to marriage. It is considered dangerous and
disruptive to the entire lineage to carry on one of these affairs for too
long, and while it is going on, it must be very discreet. Wodaabe etiquette
says, “What the eyes do not see did not happen,” which means that rumours
and suspicions have to be ignored. Unless the couple is caught in the act,
the affair is not reckoned to have taken place.

A far more common source of romantic adventures is the practise of
wife-stealing between different lineages. This occurs throughout the year
when lineages meet at marketplaces or common wells, but the biggest
opportunity is at the annual Geerewol celebrations, the great festival that
includes the Yakke dance. This dance competition lasts for a week and may
involve as many as a thousand young men who compete to be chosen as the most
charming and beautiful. The men perform before a critical and appreciative
audience of women, with members of both sexes on the lookout for possible

A couple may meet each other for trysts, where the lie “invisible” under a
blanket and make love. They may eventually decide to elope. What is
extraordinary from a Western point of view is that the decision o run away
together, made “from the heart ” as they say, is often reached very quickly.
A Wodaabe couple may arrange a meeting, sleep together once, and decide to
marry. If they are already married to others, as is often the case, and her
husband is anywhere near, he will give them chase. But this is a ritual.
Strictly for show. He usually accepts that if his wife wants to leave, there
is no point in trying to stop her. His best bet is to go off and use his
togu (charm) to persuade another woman to join him. The runaway wife goes to
live with her new husband and other wives. Such a union is also considered a
marriage – it is called a teegal marriage – but it is a secondary one. The
kobgal wife is a man’s principal spouse and takes precedence over teegal
wives. She has the largest dowry. Above all, she stays with her children. A
woman who runs away has to leave her children behind to be raised in her
husband’s lineage.

What the Wodaabe value, almost above all else, is personal relations. So men
are constantly on the lookout for lovers, and women are often willing to
leave the stability of their arranged marriages and go for love into the
household of a man whose togu has charmed them. But life goes on, even if
they do. Their children are not uprooted, and the orderly relations of
Wodaabe society, which are built around the kobgal marriages, are
unaffected. The Wodaabe have dealt effectively with the age-old problem of
trying to reconcile marriage with passion by instituting these two kinds of
marriage. The sensible kobgal marriages form the foundation of their social
institutions while spontaneous teegal marriages allow a freer rein to
passion and personal whim.

Wodaabe society seems to be male-dominated. Descent is in the male line, a
man has authority over his family, and it is he who may have a number of
wives. Yet the Wodaabe women enjoy considerable freedom of action. They can
leave their husbands without stigmata and always have a place to go if they
do – back to their own family’s camp. They can enter into as many love
marriages as they have the heart and the stamina for. The price they pay is
that if they move from one marriage to another they must leave their
children behind with their husband’s lineage. That is how the Wodaabe ensure
the stability of society while allowing individuals to pursue their romantic
Millennium Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World – David Maybury Lewis

It makes you think doesn’t it. We are entering a time that calls for
innovative solutions. A time to put aside personal ego and look at the
reality of what we are as human beings, not what we are conditioned to

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Soul Love – Core Values

Around me swirls the storm
In the eye
I am
I feel
I observe
myself doing

a whisper reaches
my being
thoughts of anguish
to find my forgetting
secret of
who I am

In my wounds
in my laughter
in my yearning
in my loving
lies scattered
of the jewel
of my being

Always the wisps of a melody
from the core
calls me
haunts me
with melancholic
to go home
into the warm
embrace of my

One of my favourite quotes, “Behold the tortoise, it makes progress when it sticks its neck out”, is for me a perfect symbolism how I personally interact with the world. In my comfort zone, I would like to observe the world from the solitude of my my shell. What lures me out of my shell is my curiosity, my longing to interact with my fellow human beings. From my core issues a yearning to express my voice in the world, for someone to hear my words, and say I too feel your words.

Finding our core selves and finding our “True Love”, is much the same. When you find soul love, it is not as if you find your missing half, but rather that you remember your own wholeness. It is a reciprocal sensuous dance of joyfully expressing your being. Laying yourself bare to another, and in the sharing of the revealing both reach to their forgotten core in the shadows of their knowing, to find a treasure more wondrous than they could have imagined. One they offer in sacredness both to each other and to themselves.

To be able to interact with authenticity and passion in the world, we must know our core values. Knowing your core values is knowing your boundaries and your personal melody.

Everyone has a unique set of inner values and, even if you’re not sure what they are, they will define and shape every aspect of your life. Values are linked to personal identity.”, says life coach Eileen Mulligan. So losing sight of them is really losing sight of who you are.

Core values relates in spiritual terms to soul issues. Eileen Mullingan also says, “ … asking people to list their values is unhelpful because they operate at a deep semi-conscious level. Many of us don’t know what ours really are.”

So it is with matters of the soul. The soul speaks a different language to our conscious ego-self. Take for example the aspect of career.

If the soul suggests the work of a psychotherapist, for example, it’s only because this would be a setting for the soul’s real work. The soul’s interest is not psychotherapy itself. Rather, it might be carrying a sacred chalice, in one case, or weaving cocoons, in another. That’s what the soul desires. It might settle for the ego believing its destiny is the practice of psychotherapy per se only if it can’t get the ego to understand something deeper, something wilder. The soul will let the ego choose psychotherapy until the ego can understand the soul’s desire more directly. (The soul’s desire is the same as the ego’s destiny). Like a wildcat waiting in the shadows, when the soul spies an opening in the ego’s armor that ‘protects’ it from its own destiny, it will pounce.” Bill Plotkin

With soul matters there is always another layer, and deeper to go. Most of the time we have to learn the hard way to come to know the soul’s desires, through life changing events. The soul’s most favourite trick must be romantic love, for nothing makes us reach deeper inside ourselves than love. The ego will stand aside for love and listen to the soul, even if it is not for long, but it is always long enough to open a secret part of ourselves. In deep lasting soul love relationships, a radical conversations between souls continues to reveal our core-selves.

We will prevent a lot of heart ache by getting to know our core values. I found some useful methods in an article by Emma Cook – Discovery Channels – in Psychologies October 2005

Think about 3 peak moments in your life – those times when you’ve felt happiest. What was it that made you feel so elated? It may be that getting your first business contract made you feel autonomous, as if you were creating your own destiny. See if these themes are echoed in your other key memories – if so, they are core values.

Now think of three moments that did the opposite – times when you felt overlooked and rejected. Why did those moments make you feel like that? Your answers should directly oppose your true values. For example, if you were bullied by your boss, you may have felt suppressed. So your core value could be freedom.

Make a list of 10 people you most admire – from a famous historical leader to a celebrity or a neighbour. List the traits you most admire under each name and, where possible, give examples. Again, you should discover that certain themes and traits emerge, and these will indicate core values.

Then there are emotions you would rather avoid – rejection, anger, frustration, loneliness, depression, failure, humiliation, guilt, and abandonment, “You can only live your core values if you confront your fears, those emotions you would rather avoid. If not, your energies will always be directed towards avoidance (denying self) rather than fulfilment (being your true self). You can only fulfil your core values by taking emotional risks, which means confronting those feelings you’re rather avoid.” – Francine Kaye – Time to Live

As above so below.

This applies to every aspect of our lives, including finding and living soul love. You could find your soul love but reject the precious gift because you are afraid to take the emotional risks. You can avoid confronting and owing up to your soul’s call, but not for ever. Sooner or later you have to be still and listen.

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