Friday, June 24, 2011

The Power of Partners

Anyone in a serious relationship knows, it's not always an easy ride.  And sometimes it can be downright difficult.  However, what I've found in taking a step back, is that being in this relationship is part of what makes me whole.  The English expression, "my better half" has a Spanish equivalent, "mi media naranja" literally my half-orange, which, some say, comes from Plato's story about soul-mates in The Symposium.  The story goes that "humans originally consisted of four arms, four legs, and a single head made of two faces, but Zeus feared their power and split them all in half, condemning them to spend their lives searching for the other half to complete them."*

The most beautiful description I've ever read of a soul-mate, and the one that resonates most profoundly with me, is from the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert., and it says, "People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.  A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake."  Those of us who are fortunate enough to have met our soul-mates know that this is true, and that's why living with our soul-mates can at times be so difficult... but ultimately so rewarding.  

Just as I realized recently how very important the women in my life are, I've also realized how empowered I am by my relationship with my spouse.  The intimacy we share, whether we're side-by-side or oceans apart, is something I need to be me.  I find it very comforting that we share this kind of intimacy.  A dear friend once told me that we can be who we need to be because we know that they are there to support us, to love us, and to share with us parts of ourselves that no one else knows.  And I couldn't agree more.

*from the Wikipedia entry for soul-mates.

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