Compassion or Passion?
Hi Kelley, I have been deeply in love with a man for about three years now. When we met I was already in a different relationship that was very satisfying on a friendship and supportive level but lacking in passion. It has always been my intention to leave the initial relationship– in fact Î have left several times-and am currently separated. However, the man I am in love with has terrible commitment and intimacy issues. What do you advise Kelley? Sincerely, Donna
Hi Donna. Thank you for your note. I’m not seeing this dynamic as being about whether seeking passion, as opposed to a platonic joining, is right for you in love. What strikes me initially is a lack of compassion in this situation, which is a quite different thing than passion. Passion is an all-feeling state of being at the ego level, right alongside instinct and the desire to fight or flee. Passion is feeling at its most base level, which can be hate, love, greed, lust, beauty… It isn’t about whether the feelings are good or bad; just feeling. Passion is the state of being led by feeling and nothing more. The common reaction to passion is to keep feeling the feeling–whatever you have to do to keep that cycle going. There is nothing wrong with passion until it becomes that obsessive cycle. Compassion, however, is feeling, but turning over the reaction to that feeling to a higher level of consciousness, higher than even empathy. Empathy is the ability to feel what another feels. Compassion is the ability to feel or understand what another feels, but the response is to appeal to your High Self, focusing your efforts to raise that person higher. Passion locked in a loop, in short, is compassion left spiritually unchecked. You are experiencing a soulful connection to this man, but recycling it at a very ego based level. I’m not seeing much compassion being held for yourselves, for each other, or the man you have left.
I realize that you are aware that you can’t change this soulmate, and that realization pains you. The awareness missing in that understanding and in the process of coping with it is compassion. When you can hold compassion for him and where he is in his growth right now, you will not be able to hold the pain and anger at him, at the same time. Those feelings won’t be relevant anymore. What is relevant is that you learn that this whole interaction has been OK, and that it doesn’t spell doom and gloom for you in soulfully bonded relationships. This relationship isn’t a failure–it would be an insult to you both to view it as such. Remember that the word ‘teacher’ is synonymous with soulmate. Soulmates put you in the place to grow that you refuse to put yourself. You have both acted for each other as this catalyst. Just being able to realize this higher dynamic playing out is going to lessen some of the tension between you, but it is not going to suddenly make him be where you are (or you where he is). At this point you simply are not on the same page, and nothing on your part is going to change that. This is the time that you see your interaction with him for what it is in terms of spiritual growth, clarify what it is you learned from all of this, and manifest that growth in your life.
Being able to see with compassion is in part one of the lessons from this relationship. Another is self-esteem, at a deeper level than self-image or concept. Your guides indicate a spiritual wound around feeling that your Authentic Self cannot be loved and accepted in relationships, especially soulful ones. To that end, you have almost turned your radar off to avoid attracting such relationships. This guy who has been on and off blew that out of the water, and that is in part what is so distressing to you about this relationship not working out: he broke through your walls, when you weren’t even fully conscientious of them being there. The thing is, the dynamic with this man isn’t what needs healing. It is as it should be. The reason for the walls is what needs healing.
There are at least two things going on around this wound, one part of which is very personal and will need a significant amount of attention from you. Whatever your means of meditation or energy work will guide you in releasing this wound. It will be a process that occurs in layers, and needs the support and attention of energy workers. If you know of someone who does etheric body work, spiritual healing… those could help tremendously with this. The other part of this wound is not personal at all, but is collective, archetypal, if you will. It is the part of you tapping into the collective of all of us who learned to hide our intuitive and spiritual gifts. Not everyone falls into this, but some of us do as a result of lifetimes of persecution for abilities, cultural restraints around personal freedoms, beliefs… This is an ancient collective wound, of which you are at the brink of letting go. You do not have to carry it anymore. Just acknowledging your thread to that wound and visualizing letting it go is enough to free you of it. I don’t see a wide step there, but a very small and affectionate need for acknowledgement to heal this. The personal wound needs more attention, and addressing it will help to heal your relationship to passion, and to feeling like you must be with a mate at all costs of yourself.
No one is worth giving up yourself, not even a soulmate. When you are with a soulmate and find yourself considering self sacrifice, it’s time to step back and see what’s really going on. The focus of the relationship has to turn at least momentarily from that of romance to the soul dynamic. He doesn’t want you to give up your true self any more than you want him to. The question becomes then, what makes you want to give up your true self? To bring you to the point of asking this question is why he came into your life. You have several guides and sources of spiritual inspiration with you to help you answer, as well as heal. Be well, Donna!