Locating Your Partner and Yourself on the Compatibility Matrix
(From Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men page 153 – 162)
Generally speaking, we can say that individuals who are fully actualized at their level of consciousness are most compatible with partners who are at the same altitude, as indicated by the shaded fields. Individuals who are in transition from one stage into the next will be attracted to a partner at the level they are moving into. The biggest conflicts arise between first-tier partners who are one level apart and each fully actualized at their altitude (green fights orange, which most vehemently rejects amber, which is utterly frustrated by red).[i] People with a greater discrepancy in their first-tier development don’t share a resonance in their values at all, with the exception of the Pre/Trans fallacy between orange/green and red. The conflicts between partners who have grown apart or realize that they are at different stages of development after the “love-struck phase” can’t be simply solved through better communication or other means of reconciliation. Their relationships are basically doomed…sorry.
Below are some generalizing orientations about the quality and dynamics of relationships between couples at certain stages of development.
Modern adults who are exclusively in the infrared stage cannot maintain healthy partnerships for obvious reasons. They may have sex with others in infrared and bond with people in magenta. Red and magenta males may abuse infrared women for sex. Because of their advanced moral development, people in later stages will most likely not partner with infrared. They may, however, care for infrared in a homeless shelter, church, or mental institution.
Two individuals in the magenta stage may partner with each other in a primal way to meet their basic needs for survival. Women in magenta may be abused by red men and forced into some form of prostitution or other dependence. Green women may romanticize magenta males as earthy or shamanic spirit guides, who, on rare occasions, may be highly spiritually and sexually developed. Sexually and spiritually developed magenta females may serve as mediums, or sexual/natural healers, and be attractive in this capacity to males in the green and transpersonal stages.
Individuals in the red stage typically develop codependent relationships with one of their peers or people in green. Red women seek fearless, heroic, potent protectors, and red men seek sexually available hot “babes” who pay them respect. Outbursts of negative emotions and physical abuse are common in these partnerships. Red couples have low moral standards and a higher rate of infidelity and break-ups, as they are quick to leave when a more exciting partner comes along. To orange, green and even integral, red can appear refreshingly sexy, seductive, uninhibited, creative, spontaneous, and alive. Green males and females are especially prone to fall into the trap of the pre/post fallacy when they confuse a pre-conventional with a post-conventional partner. Since red women initially appear as lovable, devoted (which is actually neediness), and sexy, men above red who are in a state of infatuation get easily blinded by them. The neediness of red women can be utterly seductive and easily mistaken for true love, while they end up taking whatever they can, especially from naive green rescuer types who see red as repressed victims of society. For less attractive orange men, red women are sometimes the only available sex partners, as amber women are too conservative, orange women too masculine, demanding, and busy, and green women too emasculating. They end up paying for red women in one way or another, either as prostitutes, trophy wives, in sex-related workshops, or as expensive dates. Younger red men may become “boy-toys” for older orange “cougars” who dispose of them at will and leave them stranded and heartbroken if they become emotionally and/or financially dependent. People in red who have evolved into higher stages of their spiritual and sexual development can be hard to identify and be mistaken for people who are more evolved.
Since red can only take a first-person perspective, arguments are always imbued with aggressive blaming and wronging of the other, and “won” by the physically and emotionally stronger person (usually the man).
People who are actualized in amber tend to be in relationships with mates who share their conservative mythic values and beliefs. They despise red (which they have just escaped) as undisciplined, and see most orange and green people as too liberal, opportunistic, and sinning (think abortion rights or the death penalty). Because of their family and community focus, social pressures, cultural/religious norms, and solid support systems, most people in amber stay together until one partner dies, advances into orange or green, or if the woman moves into her animus complex stage four. If middle-aged people in amber get divorced or become widowed, they usually seek and quickly find a new partner within their social circles.
As amber can take on a second-person perspective, differences are usually settled by compromise or female submission to the patriarchal male perspective.
In theory, people in orange have the widest choice of mates, especially if they are physically and financially attractive, and socially successful. As they have escaped the narrow moral codes of amber, they can succeed with an orange spouse, afford magenta and red people as sexual playmates, trophy wives, or “boy-toys,” enjoy the support and loyalty of a partner that transitions out of amber, financially support a green mate in their desire for self-fulfillment, or find acceptance from teal, which often has no other partner choices as it struggles with green, the level it has just escaped. However, most orange women enter their animus complex stage four development level and want to pursue their own careers and independence from men, which leads to a high number of orange women filing for divorce. With their busy professional and social schedules, high incomes, fitness-oriented lifestyle, travel, care for their animals, and assortment of vibrators, they either have no time for a partnership, no longer care for a man in their life, or can’t find any “good men” out there. Orange men, on the other side, often don’t find androgynous, highly driven and demanding orange females to be sexually attractive, and don’t know how to deal with their independent “high maintenance” attitude.[ii] This makes orange, along with green, the group with the highest number of single people.
Conflicts in orange are usually settled by either agreeing to disagree, or finding a win-win solution.
Green is the most puzzling stage when it comes to romantic partnerships. Men in this stage are often burned out from competing in orange to be the most successful providers for their demanding wives, and start to embrace their feminine side, sexuality, spirituality, and a socially and environmentally responsible conscious lifestyle. They become Sensitive New Age Guys (SNAGs) or “flow-boys.” At the same time, green women tend to fully swing over to their masculine side and realize their vision for autonomy and self-fulfillment independent of men. While both sexes in this stage share a concern for all sentient beings, green women tend to see men and patriarchy as the prime cause of conflict, violence, injustice against women and children, and environmental problems in the world, which leads many to become men-hating social or radical eco-feminists. Because they have not transcended their Primary Fantasy yet, green women get constantly caught up in paradoxical conflicts between their sexual attraction to successful men with power, status, and wealth (who can afford them a carefree lifestyle), and their green values and fear of slipping back into some form of financial or emotional dependence that they just escaped in orange. The result can be an emasculating attitude towards men who don’t know how to meet their paradoxical postmodern worldviews and complex emotions (remember that women tend to transcend and include with the resulting pathologies).[iii] Green men are then often flabbergasted about why they figuratively get their balls cut off, even though they addressed women’s demands to create more space in their life, got in touch with their feelings, learned to be compassionate communicators, and became emotionally available in order to act as kind and sensitive partners.
The problem is rooted in “transcend and include” versus “transcend and exclude.” At different times, green women want men to be earthy (magenta), aggressive, spontaneous, uninhibited, and creative (red), loyal and devoted (amber), successful and driven (orange), and sensitive and caring (green), while men in this stage are overly focused on their feelings and concerns for others. To orange women, green men look like losers who have given up striving for success, and amber women see green men as late hippies or in their midlife crisis that can’t be trusted. The salvation for green men and women often comes in the form of red, which, on the surface, can look and act like green. Green men may still have enough financial resources to impress a sexy red woman who enjoys their care, understanding, and support, while green women often feel drawn to the raw “bad boy” masculinity of red men (which puzzles green men to no end). Both see red as victims of orange cold-heartedness and amber’s oppression that exploits and marginalizes red. After green “rescued” and fell in love with red, disappointment about their emotional and financial neediness, insensitivity to their partner’s values and needs, disloyalty/infidelity, and the resulting heart-break lurk right around the corner.
An interesting emergence in green is the practice of polyamory, which—you guessed it—also attracts red, but for different reasons (red takes the sex and throws the love, open communication, honesty, responsibility, care, compassion, and sharing of vulnerable feelings out the window).
Conflicts in green are resolved through sharing of feelings, exploration of underlying childhood wounds (often with the help of a therapist), expression of needs, and making requests (see Non-Violent Communication in Chapter 3 under “Feelings”). This often leads to endless processing without reaching any workable solution.
For the small group of people who have entered teal, and if you read this far, you are most likely one of them, the big “aha” about the limitations of need and deficiency-motivated first-tier partnerships and the resulting conflicts arises. This insight feels extremely liberating and provides men and women with the opportunity to vastly improve their relationships with all people. Unfortunately, teal can become quickly frustrated and isolated, as it no longer resonates with the singular worldviews of people in first-tier consciousness, who may perceive them as arrogant, manipulative, condescending, passive-aggressive, or cynical—and sometimes for good reasons. As there are very few people in second-tier consciousness to begin with, and even fewer women (almost all Integral pioneers[iv] and their followers are men), teal men have a hard time finding an equal partner. While they can empathically relate to women below teal, they either get quickly bored with them, or get dumped because they don’t exclusively subscribe to their partners’ partial perspectives. On the other side, teal men may use their second-tier awareness to befriend one or several women from various first-tier stages for uncommitted “loverships”. Females who are entering the teal stage open up to males again and value their unique contribution to humanity, just as males in second tier honor and value females. This ends the battle of the sexes and opens the door for truly interdependent partnerships.
Conflicts in teal are resolved through an understanding of intersubjectivity, the ability to take multiple perspectives, and the finding of creative solutions that take both partners’ emotional and practical needs for growth and purpose into account.
Turquoise and Above
In this and all higher stages (indigo, violet, ultraviolet, and clear light),[v] the Primary Fantasy of both sexes shifts to partners who care about their body, mind, heart, soul and spirit in a balanced and harmonized way along the seven chakras while being economically, environmentally, and socially responsible, to embrace all sentient beings “unconditionally”, and to be of altruistic service to others. For turquoise, partnerships become an act of authentic love between two human beings and what is co-created between them, and not a twisting of the self or others into objects to be lovable. As a result, pathological desires and fears to be alone or in a partnership vanish. Men no longer compete with their peers for financial status and social power at the expense of others and the ecosystem to earn a woman’s “love,” company, and sex (which is at the root of all major challenges that humanity is facing today), while women’s attraction to men is no longer unconsciously dominated by their former desire for an irresponsible protector and provider, but rather for a responsible integrated partner.
As the term “transpersonal” suggests, this allows couples who have been divinely appointed to support each other in their growth and further awakening at all levels of their being—beyond their biological, cultural, and social conditioning.[vi] They honor and value each other’s authentic HEALTHY feminine and masculine expression of their sexual essence and invite the naturally arising conflicts between them as opportunities for further learning, healing, growth and awakening, without attachment to any particular outcome. Couples at this level have entered the state of “inter-becoming” which allows them to fully be themselves, while staying consciously devoted to the co-emergence of the larger whole (or social holon) of their partnership, which they experience as “the miracle of us” or as a “third body.”[vii] Once they commit to their soul mate they have no incentive to leave their partner, or to have multiple lovers, which leads to mature monogamy.
Transpersonal partnerships are still extremely rare, as there are very few people (and predominantly females who sometimes skipped/skimmed the integral stage) in turquoise and above.[viii] Turquoise females with an animus complex stage five are usually in partnerships, while turquoise males without a partner embrace the growth opportunities of their singlehood while staying fully open to embrace their soul mate when she arrives.[ix] They no longer exploit women at earlier stages of development for company and sex, but support them in their growth and, if they like, in finding a suitable partner. Once a woman in this stage chooses a man, they co-create partnerships that are neither based in fear, desire, or attachment, nor in neediness around emotional/financial safety, nor conventional contracts/agreements[x] as seen in need-based relationships of first-tier developmental stages.
Conflicts in turquoise are resolved by the desire of each partner to transcend their limited views that created the differences in the first place and advancing into novelty by brining any unconscious aspects of their being into the conscious.
Conflict Resolution and Forgiveness
As we have seen above, each level creates its own conflicts and takes different approaches to resolving them. Several relationship experts and therapists have concluded that disagreements cannot be resolved through better communication skills, while others claim to have developed effective strategies to overcome differences and to create mutual understanding/acceptance through techniques such as correct understanding of each partner’s language and behavior, active listening, mirroring, sharing of vulnerable feelings, stating needs, making requests, showing empathy, and effective negotiation tactics for win-win agreements.
The former group bases their opinion on couples who are at different levels of their consciousness development, while the latter proves the effectiveness of their methods with couples who are equals. To an integrally informed person it is obvious that red will not accept amber’s mythic rules of right and wrong conduct and will rather violently fight things out if they can’t force their partner to accept their needs.[xiii]
Amber will usually not submit to red violence or rational orange arguments to resolve conflicts, but rather follows established (patriarchal) mythic laws and rules of right and wrong, such as “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you,” or “A husband should honor his wife, who should respect him in return.”
Orange will reject crude red violence and mythic amber rules, and ridicule needy green emotional sensitivities where everybody is heard (which leads to endless processing without any tangible results), and instead focus on common interests (versus individual positions) and long-term goals to negotiate effective win-win agreements that guarantee future material gains and benefits.[xiv]
Green will, of course, loathe all of the former approaches and tries to focus on establishing emotional connections and acceptance of everybody’s perspective by making requests (versus demands) that are based on objective observations and subjective need-based feelings to create mutual understanding—without attachment to a specific outcome.[xv] Unlike orange and below, green would rather NOT win the argument and lose the relationship, which often leads to later resentment and bitterness when deep structural conflicts cannot be resolved by green means, e.g. fundamental differences between men and women or environmentalists and the global industry.
The big breakout from gridlock comes in teal, where at least one party uses the appropriate tools to address conflicts at the level that they were created at—such as protective force to rein in red; enforcement of (hopefully democratic) laws of right and wrong to create functional societies, objective assessments, and rational forward-looking solutions for practical problems; and sensitivity towards the feelings and needs of others in order to maintain the healthy relationships that—as we realize more and more—are vital for our overall health and well-being. Finally, turquoise adds the intuitive understanding that any form of inner conflict is ultimately an outward projection of the egoic mind, which it has transcended. It therefore welcomes any inner conflict with “what is out there” as an opportunity for further ego transcendence and awakening, instead of thinking in me-other polarities. This allows turquoise and higher to co-create peaceful relationships with its peers and to avoid conflict with others, and so contributes to the healing of the world.
Effective conflict resolution also requires forgiveness,[xvi] which is an often overlooked practice in relationships. As with conflict resolution, forgiveness is easier to achieve between people at the same altitude: red may forgive insults from peers who are submissive, but cannot forgive amber’s humiliations; amber may forgive wrongdoing when it is confessed and forgiveness is asked for, but cannot easily forgive orange’s rational questioning of their mythic worldviews; green may forgive if an emotional connection is restored, but has a hard time forgiving teal’s condescending, superior, or arrogant attitude; while turquoise and above does not harbor resentment in the first place, so it has nothing to forgive later, and can also easily express their feelings in a compassionate way if they hurt others, which often removes the need to ask for forgiveness for events that occurred in the past.
To Be or Not To Be — That Is the Question
This most famous line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet [xvii] about ending one’s life or continuing to suffer can also be applied to love relationships. If you are in a troubled partnership, is it worth it to stay or better to leave? If you are happily or unhappily single, is it wise to be alone or to try to find a partner? The answer is, of course, “it depends.”
In Relationship – Happy
Congratulations to you and your partner. If you read this far, you most likely know why your partnership is healthy, happy, satisfying, and rewarding. You have been either (1) lucky, (2) used your insightful experience to attract a compatible mate, and/or (3) did your growth work to co-create a healthy partnership—most likely a combination of all three. By reading this manual you may have gained a clearer understanding of your individual developmental levels and the opportunities, challenges, and rewards that may lie ahead as you and your partner evolve further.[xviii] You will be able to identify early warning signs if you drift apart and so start an integrally informed dialog that may keep you together on your path, or allow you to separate amicably if you have taken different directions. It also allows you to welcome any potential conflict as an opportunity to support each other in your healing and growth.
In Relationship – Unhappy
If your Triangles of Love are not balanced and harmonized, then you are not having the most fulfilling relationship possible. If you lack intimacy (left side), you are most likely at different levels of your consciousness and/or spiritual development, and/or have different interests, needs, dreams, and goals. If you lack sexual passion (right side), then you may no longer meet each other’s Primary Fantasy, be at different stages of your sexual development, have lost your feminine/masculine polarity, or have a different lifestyle. If you no longer experience commitment (bottom), then you have either completed the emotional healing and shadow work that attracted you emotionally in the first place, or (more likely) are dissociated from your feelings and repress negative emotions into your unconscious to avoid conflicts whose resolution could be beneficial for your healing and personal growth. If the left and right sides of your Triangles of Love are mostly balanced, and you have occasional fights (apply the 80/20 rule that 80% of the relationship should be harmonious and up to 20% can be dissonant), it will be beneficial to stay and to heal the underlying wounds.
If you are in a partnership and at different levels of consciousness and/or horizontal development (see personality matrix), then you want to assess the potentials for the less evolved partner to grow. Nobody can be legitimately asked to constantly regress in order to make another person happy. If you are more than one stage apart in any of the four developmental lines that we integrated above in the Personality Matrix (consciousness, spiritual, sexual, anima/animus development), it may be beneficial for both of you to end your partnership in a peaceful (conscious uncoupling) way. This is especially true if you are in amber or above and with a partner in red, which happens most often to green.
If you are one stage apart and the partner in the earlier stage is transitioning up, then it is wise for the more evolved partner to stay and to provide loving support for his or her transformation.
If you are at the same vertical and horizontal levels and have conflicts because of communication problems, gender differences, feminine/masculine polarity issues, pathologies, or shadows and complexes, then it is most certainly wise to stay and to heal—if necessary with the support of a therapist, or, in less severe cases, by participating in workshops or working together with an applicable relationship book (see Appendix I for book suggestions). Otherwise, the same problems will emerge in your next relationship or haunt you in your single life.
It is challenging, and maybe impossible, for men at any altitude to be in partnership with a woman that moved into stage four of her animus complex development. Unless she is willing to stay and he can give her all the freedom and space that she requires to transition through stage four, she will inevitably leave him or make his life miserable. In either case it is NOT HIS FAULT. Red men in such a situation often threaten women physically, amber men may plead and use shame/guilt tactics for years to hook their wives, orange men often try to use their financial and/or intellectual power to buy/talk her into staying or make her divorcing him as expensive and painful as possible for her, and green men tend to use manipulative emotional blackmailing to hang on to her. All these strategies will ultimately offend and alienate her. The only way for partners in their anima/animus stage four development to stay together is to be at a similar altitude and to make the transition into stage five a conscious process.
There may be other good reasons for staying in an unhappy partnership, such as caring for others (children, parents, community) and economic or political reasons, but ultimately you are doing neither yourself nor your partner a favor by prolonging a hopelessly unrewarding relationship that fulfills neither one of you.
Single – Happy
Being genuinely happy and fulfilled without a partner is unquestionably the best place from which to enter a new love relationship, because you will not come from a place of emotional, economic, sexual, or social neediness, but from a sense of contentment, fullness, satisfaction, abundance, and wholeness. People in this phase of their life have usually arrived at stage four of their anima/animus development and orange and above, which is quite an accomplishment that should be celebrated. Unfortunately, especially in New Age circles, these stages are often hailed as the ultimate level of personal development by women who conveniently overlook that any integrated personality development appears in intimate self-other relationships and that all their living spiritual teachers of caliber live in committed partnerships.[xix] It is therefore a good idea for them to look at possible pathologies that show up as fears of being in a partnership, and their unhealthy desire/attachment to being alone. Both can be expressions of denial, repression, or narcissism. Once their underlying wounds are healed and they realize that human beings are always partial and already whole, they can fully open up to invite a compatible man into their life again.
Single – Unhappy
It can be a fine line between the neediness that originates from a sense of lack and deficiency that insecure people try to fill with sex or romance, and the desire of mature singles who want to share the joy and richness of their life, body, mind, heart, and soul with another human being in an intimate love relationship. The former is indicated by compulsive serial dating and a desperate behavior towards the opposite sex that dominates the afflicted people’s lives and overshadows any other activity. Their sense of urgency causes repetitive cycles of highs when falling in love, clinging while in partnership, heartbroken when abandoned by a lover (or abandoning others), and desperate searching when alone. These people are perfect candidates for “SLAA”–Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous.
The latter represents the healthy yearning of the soul to find a mate and is experienced as openness towards potential partners that are good for him or her. This yearning leads to a consciously focused approach to find/attract him or her while living one’s life purpose.[xx]
[i] Think of someone who just quit smoking. He or she is usually most intolerant of people who still smoke. The same is true for stage development. Since it takes a tremendous effort to transcend a lower stage, it makes total sense to reject the values of the lower stage a person just left behind. Ken Wilber states in an interview with Roger Walsh that individuals in first-tier consciousness take up particular interpretations (from archaic to pluralistic) of the world. And because these people don’t know that their limited views are merely interpretations of the world, they think that they are seeing reality itself. And so they think that people who are at different levels of development are categorically, absolutely wrong.
[ii] The Celebrating Men, Satisfying Women® PAX workshops (www.understandmen.com/) by Alison Armstrong try to address these problems by teaching orange women who want to be in a relationship to be more understanding and accommodating towards men, but can’t address the problem that successful orange men want (and can have) younger women, and orange women want way above-average successful same-aged or younger men, which are hard for them to attract.
[iii] Ken Wilber wrote a whole “tongue-in-cheek” novel called Boomeritis in which he ridicules extreme postmodernism.
[iv] Sri Aurobindo, Jean Gebser, Ken Wilber, Sean Esbjorn-Hargens, Allan Combs, Terry Patten, Craig Hamilton, Steve McIntosh, Erwin Laszlo, Don Beck, and Christian de Quincey, to name a few.
[v] See Ken Wilber Integral Spirituality Page 69 with a chart of 3rd tier consciousness. These stages refer mainly to transcendental stages of the mind and higher mind.
[vi] Bernie Prior writes on www.bernieprior.org: “To put it very simply, man has to return to pure presence, his true timeless state, (his golden essence) which is the faint echo he hears within himself, calling him home to once again truly honor the feminine (woman and the whole of creation) and unconditionally adore her with no egoist projection; to truly serve her in truth and bring her home into the deep. She, woman, has to be the love she is, in order to return to her radiant essence. She knows of the intimacy I am speaking of in the deep of herself, within the attraction to man. She has the knowledge that she is not being met in the deepest place by man and hears and feels a deep longing calling her home in this, to be true to the love that she is, and not compromise. And yet she does, just like her mother’s mother’s mother, wrapped up and consumed in the many layers of masculine projection (including her own). Man, consciously or unconsciously using her feminine essence to manifest his world of distance from the source, his expectations and his goal orientated existence. The many promises of tomorrow, the better future, away from home in the present, from the presence of true loving, true meeting.
As a stream turns into a river to enable it to meet the ocean, man and woman’s distraction must die in order to dissolve into the ‘already great’ ocean of love.”
[vii] The following poems by Robert Bly and Rumi point to this third body:
A man and a woman sit near each other, and they do not long
at this moment to be older, or younger, nor born
in any other nation, or time, or place.
They are content to be where they are, talking or not talking.
Their breaths together feed someone whom we do not know.
The man sees the way his fingers move;
he sees her hands close around a book she hands to him.
They obey a third body they have in common.
They have made a promise to love that body.
Age may come, parting may come, death will come.
A man and woman sit near each other;
as they breathe they feed someone we do not know,
someone we know of, whom we have never seen.
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.
[viii] See dissertation of Jenny Stitz Intimacy and Differentiation in Couples at Post-Conventional Levels of Ego Development, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, CA 9/13/2004 UMI Microform 3153925.
[ix] A poem by the Sufi Poet Hafiz illustrates the journey of turquoise males who can’t find a partner and utilize their singlehood for their ever deeper awakening.
Don’t surrender your loneliness so quickly
Let it cut more deep
Let it ferment and season you
As few human
Or even divine ingredients can
Something missing in my heart tonight
Has made my eyes so soft
My voice so tender
My need of God
[x] See Marlena Lyons and Jett Psaris Undefended Love page 97 – 101 about the limitations of agreements.
[xi] See John Gottman and Nan Silver in The Seven Principals That Make Marriage Work page 8: “Perhaps the biggest myth of all is that communication—and more specifically, learning to resolve your conflicts—is the royal road to romance and an enduring, happy marriage.” Patricia Love/Steven Stosny How to Improve your Marriage Without Talking About It page 1: “Research and our combined fifty-plus years of clinical experience show repeatedly that, despite your best intentions, talking about your relationship has more of a chance of making things worse than making it better. And it has nothing to do with your partner’s lack of interest or poor communication skills.” David Schnarch Passionate Marriage page 50: “We like to believe that “communication problems” underlie most relationship difficulties … but this is not what happens.”
[xii] Marshall Rosenberg, Susan Campbell, John Gray, Warren Farrell, Steven Covey, Roger Fisher and William Ury, etc. … the list goes on and on.
[xiii] See James W. Pickens The Art Of Closing Any Deal about manipulative sales techniques.
[xiv] See Roger Fisher and William Ury Getting To Yes Without Giving In.
[xv] See Marshall Rosenberg Non Violent Communication.
[xvi] See Frederic Luskin Forgive for Love: The Missing Ingredient for a Healthy and Lasting Relationship.
[xvii] To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer,
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?
To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end,
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation.
[xviii] The wonderful movie Same Time Next Year follows the developmental stages from red to teal of a men and woman—both married to different partners, that meet each other once a year to share some extramarital romance and their life story.
[xix] Many modern spiritual teachers and coaches are in partnerships (Eckhart Tolle, Gangaji, Michael Beckwith, Byron Katie, Steven Harrison, Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, Adyashanti, Leonard Jacobson, Bernie Prior, Saniel Bonder, Jack Kornfield, Roger Walsh, Stephen Covey … the list goes on and on), and make references to the fact that relationships are the best or even the only path to full realization. This makes sense, as you can’t avoid parts of the human experience (having a partner, co-habitation, sex, and children) and claim full enlightenment. This raises the question if monks and saints such as the Dalai Lama, Ramana Maharshi, the Buddha, or Jesus can be fully realized. One answer to this is that while they may have pioneered new depths of certain aspects of our human existence, we would not want their (assumed) way of being replicated in a majority of humanity, which is the ideal of a modern integral spiritual teacher/teaching.
[xx] A sentimental poem that depicts this notion in a nice way is:
People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.
When someone is in your life for a reason, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.
When people come into your life for a season, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But only for a season.
Lifetime relationships teach you lifetime lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person/people anyway; and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.