This is for all those I know who are way beyond the co-dependency currently favored in the western relationship model. We are no longer looking for completion – we are looking for mutual honor, respect and an equal partnership of shared and complementary gifts. We are looking for Beloved Partnership and Self-actualized Love.
I don’t care how much money you make,
What car you drive or where you live.
I want to know your Soul.
But for me to know your Soul,
You must know it first:
Have you died and lived a thousand deaths?
Tell me how your life has brought you to your knees.
What did you learn about yourself in the process?
Who have you found yourself to be on the other side of lying prostrate?
Have you walked through the fires of hell
and made friends with your demons?
How do you treat the broken and fragile things of this world?
Are you friends with your own vulnerability?
Is there room in your heart and your actions
For foreigners and immigrants?
The mentally ill and disabled?
The aging and the ailing?
The homeless, abused, neglected, forgotten and ignored?
Those who struggle day to day just to survive?
Is there room in your heart for “they?”
How are you walking kindly and gently upon this earth?
Can you see the earth as another living thing in need of our love?
Are you moved to tears by both the beauty and the horrors of our world?
Can you laugh at yourself?
Are you strong in the face of danger and
Weak in the Presence of Love?
Are you able to be alone…and quiet…and still?
Do you find comfort in silence and inspiration in song?
Can you hold space for one who is breaking –
Especially when the broken one is You?
Copyright Lauri Ann Lumby
For support in your journey of love – moving beyond “You Complete Me” to “Beloved Partnership, read and entertain the activities in my book:
This week’s (dot) Love lesson is going to be a little rambly (is that a word?) as I attempt to put into words a very deep process that I am personally going through that I know is not just my own. I am learning more and more how truly we are all connected and how the inner work that I am doing for myself has a transformational effect on – not only those around me – but the world. I don’t say this to be arrogant; for what is true for me is also true for you. Every wound that you heal, fear that you conquer, act of kindness that you share, has a profound impact not only on those around you, but on the entire world.
Now for the topic at hand – LOVE. More specifically – Love as Partnership.
To begin with, I’m not talking about romantic love (though what I will attempt to describe here also applies to romantic love). I am speaking of the spiritual, soul-driven quest for Love as Partnership – Partnership with ourselves, with each other and with God.
Let’s start with God. (Heavy sigh). As I even attempt to utter “God” as it relates to “Love” the first voice I hear is that of our religious conditioning. “God’s love has to be earned. God’s love can be taken away. God will take “His” love away from you if you sin. God will punish you if you misbehave. If you are sick or poor, or struggling, it is because you have displeased God. God is punishing you. Etc. etc. etc.
Fortunately none of this is true, but these messages have been shoved down our throat for so long that we have a difficult time unraveling from all this negative conditioning as it relates to God and love. But again, none of this is true. This is not what Jesus taught. When Jesus spoke of “punishment,” he was only reflecting on the natural consequence of the human condition or of the hell we experience within ourselves when we have forgotten God’s love. John said it best:
God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. 1 John 3: 16b-19
God is love and we are here for the sole purpose of remembering and re-membering (embodying) that love. Just as John describes the truth of God’s nature so well, he presents the formula for remembering and living from this truth: rooting out fear.
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I am excited and honored to be participating in an online summit specifically dedicated to sexuality, hosted by personal development expert, Jayme Dill:
Reclaim and reconnect to your vital sexual energy!
This FREE online summit features experts from many fields related to human sexuality and personal development. This FREE interview series will run June 25-29, 2018 and once registered, you can listen to the interviews at any time.
Jayme put this series together because, like me, she believes that Great sex matters, that great sex = great intimacy; energy, creativity and joy!
And at its best sex heals!
Sex creates connection and intimacy; expresses love; passion; desire; aliveness; it’s our connection to our basic humanity, to each other, to our life force spirit and our creativity.
BUT it is not that for many people. Most of us go through periods of disconnect. For many of us, we live too long in separation from our most vital creative life force energy – the energy deeply connected with our sexuality and sexual expression.
We get busy, we get stressed and our sexuality gets pushed aside, not made a priority – in our own life and in our partnerships.
Jayme put this series together because she knows first-hand the disconnect. Like many of us, she’s experienced most of the difficult expressions of sexuality; abuse, trauma, acting out, repressing, shaming, denying, being objectified AND objectifying.
That left her in a place of disconnection – experiencing sex not as a connecting force but as an intimacy barrier in key long term relationships and as an obstacle to creativity.
I’m guessing many of us can relate!
This interview series is about shifting this reality by creating a place for healing. Through this series, sexuality will be explored as a vehicle for personal transformation while supporting our desire for fulfilling human intimacy and meaningful creative expression.
Join us and reclaim and reconnect to your sexuality.
Yesterday I wrote an article about Feminine Rage and the injustices that have been done to women at the hands of the current structure of our world which is rooted in fear, power and control. While yesterday’s blog spoke on behalf of women, today I speak to (and hopefully for) the men.
Men, if you are not angered over the injustices that our world has heaped upon women (people of color, the disenfranchised, the sick, the poor, the elderly, etc.) then you should be. If not for the women, then you should be angry for your own sake. Because as much as women have suffered under the hands of a culture rooted in fear, power and control, so have you. If you don’t believe me, ask yourself a few questions:
Where and how have you felt supported for your sensitive, vulnerable side?
Where have you been forbidden (or condemned) for expressing tender emotions – fear, sorrow, anxiety, love?
Where have you run from intimacy, fearing the vulnerability that comes with it?
Where have you been told to “stop crying,” or “boys don’t cry?”
Where have you been forced into situations of competition, violence, bullying and how did these experiences cause you discomfort?
How do you feel about picking up a gun and going off to war?
How do you feel about putting a gun in your son’s hand and sending him off to war?
Where do you feel pressure to drive, strive, succeed, achieve, and where do you feel as if your only value is based on how much money you make, what kind of car your drive or what neighborhood you live in?
Where have you been supported in exploring/cultivating your creative yearnings? Where have you been told, when entertaining your creative dreams, “There’s no money in that….”
Where have you experienced support and a vehicle for expressing all the inner areas of conflict within yourself?
Where have you been molested, assaulted, taken advantage of by one in a perceived position of power over you?
My dear, sweet men, you have a right to be angry about all the places in your life where you have been denied or felt as if you had to suppress your truth. The hierarchical/patriarchal/consumeristic/capitalistic world has done you as much harm as it has done to us – maybe more. As much as you have been told to “be tough,” “keep a stiff upper lip,” “be courageous and strong,” and that your value is dependent on what you have achieved (as it is measured in the terms of our society), this is not the whole of what it means to be a man. While the Holy Masculine is about provision, protection, action and support, in order to experience wholeness, one also needs to experience the feeling of being supported, protected and provided for……and this is the role of the Divine Feminine. This is the Holy Balance that our Creator intended and what we all long to experience in our world – if we are truly honest with ourselves and about the deepest longing in our hearts.
Men, this is what we as women long to be for you – the Divine Feminine to your Holy Masculine. As women, we have the potential for creating the space in which you might feel safe to lay down your sword and set aside your armor. Where you are supported in feeling and expressing fear; where you are honored for your strength and your vulnerability. Where you are uplifted, nourished, nurtured and restored so that you might go back out into the world to do the work you came here to do. And while we do this for you, we long for you to do the same for us.
We are in this together….but we live in a world that seems to have forgotten this. Instead, we live in a world that has pitted men against women and women against men….and sadly, this is a world of our own making – not directly, but due to thousands of years of conditioning, and we are complicit in allowing it to continue. Men are guilty for enjoying the benefits of male privilege, and women are guilty for allowing it while enjoying the benefits of powerlessness. BUT it doesn’t need to be this way. We have the power to change this, but we can only make this change TOGETHER. Women acting alone cannot bring about a new paradigm of human partnership and collaboration without the men acting right here beside us.
So my dear sweet men, I offer you a question, an invitation and a question:
The Question: What kind of world do you want to live in? One rooted in the Unholy Masculine defined by fear, power and control or one rooted in the Holy which honors and uplifts the unique giftedness among all human beings and draws from those gifts?
The Invitation: If the world you would like to live in is not the world you are living in now, what would you like to do about it?
The Question: If you feel called to a more Holy expression of our world, who are the women you would like to stand beside in bringing this about?
It is said that “the truth shall set you free.” I have continued to find this to be true. But knowing that in expressing our truth we shall find freedom and actually expressing our truth are two different things, especially when expressing those truths leaves you naked and vulnerable in the face of an often cold and cruel world. But, it is also said, “No pain, no gain.” So……here goes.
I have a truth that I have carefully guarded and kept very close to my heart, revealing this secret to only a select few. The truth is that I am called to Beloved Partnership.
What I have come to understand is that being called to Beloved Partnership is a Divine calling and one that cannot be fulfilled until we are reunited with our other half. Being a Beloved Partner differs from co-dependency in that it is not about looking for someone to complete us. Instead, it is about a shared energy that compels both to seek after their own wholeness, spiritually igniting each other in mutual and shared growth until they reach the point when they are meant to come together in Divine and Holy Partnership – the kind of partnership that is Divinely ordained and which no one can tear asunder.
I am a Beloved Partner and on some level, I have known this my whole life. Since my earliest memory, I have known what my Beloved feels like. I have felt/known his presence around me. I have heard him calling me and have experienced the promise of our union. I have looked for him and thought I had found him in others, only and always learning that “this is not him.” (That is not to say there hasn’t been value in all the relationships that in the end proved not to be my Twin.)
Until 2004-ish, my Beloved has only been known to me in the energy of promise and potential. I had an idea in my head and a sense of what should be, but nothing concrete to base it on. Then came the vision that CHANGED MY LIFE. In short – I SAW HIM! I saw him and I felt him. More importantly, I experienced what it feels like to be in his presence and to have him look into my eyes. The experience was one of pure adoration and love – the likes of which I had never experienced before.
For 13 years, I have carried this experience with me, allowing it to guide and direct my life. It started with looking for this love outside of me. When these efforts proved fruitless, I sought this love in God which then brought me into myself. I have diligently tended to the unhealed wounds and unacknowledged fears within me that have been blocking my ability to know the love that I am as a child of the Divine – all the while feeling and knowing the presence of “My Beloved” in this journey with me.
Doesn’t that sound lovely? I see/feel the experience of being adored. It compels me on a profound journey of personal growth. It helps to lead me in the direction of my life purpose. But….the truth is that the journey of Beloved Partnership SUCKS! It sucks BAD….and here’s why.
Think of it this way. How many people do you know who are happy and content in a “just ok” relationship because it feels safe, secure, known, etc. Alternatively, how many people do you know who are happy just dating and sleeping around – enjoying the play of a casual relationship without any of the responsibility? Beloved Partners cannot do any of these thing! None of these paths have been an option for me and when I have tried, I have gotten my ass handed to me. With the calling of a Beloved Partnership, I have learned I can be content with nothing but this.
Here then is the rub: For one called to Beloved Partnership, until that partnership is realized, there will always be a feeling of discontent, a deep feeling that there is something very wrong with our lives, and our Divine calling will not be completely fulfilled. When the Divine calling is not fulfilled, we are left with a nagging feeling of frustration, impatience, even anger and resentment of that something that is missing from our lives.
Here is the other rub: there is literally NOTHING we can do about what is “wrong” with our lives. Oh yes, there are all kinds of books and courses on how to “call in the one,” but in my experience none of these work. Yes, we can prepare a space for our Beloved. Yes, we can do the critical work of healing our woundedness and becoming whole within ourselves. We can go out there and try on different relationship experiences. But at the end of the day, the arrival of our Beloved, as it is Divine ordained, is simply a matter of Divine timing. In the meantime, we are left with an aching pain of vacancy in the center of our Soul where the knowledge of our calling to Beloved Partnership resides, along with the pain of knowing that until we are united there will be a critical part of our Soul’s purpose that cannot be fulfilled.
While there is nothing we can do to make reunion with our Beloved happen, we can create a space in our lives by working on our own journey toward wholeness. My book, Happily Ever After, is one resource to help support you in this task.
I am excited to share another interview/conversation/exploratory and transformational dialogue with Tom Clute. In this week’s conversation, we explore a variety of topics centered around the vision of the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine as they are both reclaiming their place in our world. Listen to the conversation HERE.
I am so honored and excited to be part of this on-going dialogue with Tom Clute. Please join us in exploring the advent of the Divine Masculine! Thank you Tom for your perspective and for accomplishing and embodying the Divine Masculine and for providing this model and example for all of us! Click HERE to listen to the discussion.
The Dark Night of a Relationship is an important stage in any long-standing, committed relationship. This is a stage that no one tells us about, neither would we believe it could happen to us as we stand doe-eyed awaiting the celebratory nuptials. The Dark Night of the Relationship is real, it is necessary and when committed and aware, some relationships will survive it. Some will not have the knowledge, patience, trust or stamina to survive. And some will find after the stage of the Dark Night that the relationship should not continue and termination or divorce is a necessary and supportive option. The following is my current best understanding of this necessary stage in a committed relationship.
1) We meet someone and fall in love. We see the other party and the relationship through the eyes of idealization. One or both parties are still carrying around with them the unhealed wounds of their past and are probably looking for the other party to be their source of fulfillment and satisfaction, ie: “you complete me.”
2) One or both parties begin to feel restless and the blinders of the early stage of the relationship begin to fall away. We begin to see each others’ wounds, strange behaviors, etc. We enter into a stage of disillusionment, frustration maybe even anger.
3) If we are open, we might realize that part of the source of frustration is our own unhealed wounds and we might begin to do the work of healing our old wounds and work toward the realization of our own deeper truth. If we are lucky, our partner has a similar realization and begins to do their own work as well. This is the stage in which one or both parties does the work of shedding the ego and the false self (the person they brought into the marriage) so that their true self can emerge. The old self has to die so that the new self can be born.
4) At some stage in the process (whether or not both parties are working toward their own healing), the realization is made that the marriage or relationship is not what it used to be. Both, or one party has now changed and the relationship has to change as well. This is the dark night of the marriage. The marriage that was (or the illusion of the marriage) has to die so that a new marriage can emerge. The marriage based on the ego-filled self cannot survive the newly born self-realized individuals. This stage, like any other death, is a time of grief, sorrow, bargaining, denial and rage. NOTE: This is an especially difficult stage if only one of the parties in the relationship are doing their work of self-actualization, especially when it is revealed that for the self-actualizing party, divorce is a life-giving and supportive choice. Divorce in this stage is often met by resistance, surprise and anger on the part of the un-realized individual.
5) Now….here is the delicate part of this process. If the couple steps into this stage of the process with open communication, patience, courage and faith, and enter into it with no attachment to outcome….the new life of the relationship may emerge. Unfortunately, most people bail before even trying to take this step. Now, the trickiest part to this stage is to accept the possibility that continuing in a committed relationship may no longer be in the highest good of the individual parties. After the dark night of the marriage, after honest renegotiation of who we are as individuals and who we want to be as a couple, we might realize that staying in a committed relationship is no longer mutually supportive and life-giving. At this point, the couple ends their commitment and move on as individuals from a place of loving acceptance and compassionate support of each other as they go along their individual journeys. In this place, divorce can be a beautiful ritual of supportive release.
6) Some marriages, after completing the process of the dark night, may discover that it is in the highest good of both parties to remain as a committed couple and enter into the process of allowing a new marriage to emerge. The old marriage has died and the couple allows themselves to be open to a new marriage. In this stage, an attitude of openness and detachment are necessary. We are not creating this new marriage on our own, but allowing the universe to present to us the kind of marriage that will be mutually supportive and life-giving. We allow ourselves to be free of ego in allowing this new relationship to emerge.
If you are looking for support through the Dark Night of a Relationship, or looking to build a happier and healthier relationship after a breakup or divorce, check out my new book, Happily Ever After – the Transformational Journey from “you complete me” to Beloved Partnership, available in print and Kindle versions at Amazon.com. (Click on image below to learn more).
Happily Ever After – the Transformational Journey from “You Complete Me” to Beloved Partnership presents a new model for intimate partnership along with the process for getting there. Happily Ever After recognizes that as long as we are looking outside of ourselves for completion our relationships are doomed to fail – supporting the belief that the healthy, fulfilling and enduring love we all long for is built upon the foundation of two individuals who are complete within themselves and who have chosen to come together as equals in mutual love and support. Interdependence, rather than co-dependency is the goal of this book and the outcome of this process.
Through personal narrative, informative dialogue, poetry, mindfulness practices, and creativity exercises; you will be invited to deconstruct existing and former patterns of co-dependency while building the foundation upon which you can find happiness and fulfillment within while preparing for the possibility of healthy interdependency with another – what is here called beloved partnership. Once you are complete within yourself, you will settle for nothing less.
Testimonials from Course Participants:
I embarked on the journey of the “Happily Ever After” course, with the gifted and inspirational tour guide; Lauri Ann Lumby. This process of reflections, creative exercises and self discovery revealed the power we have within to discover our own true source of happiness, fulfillment and peace so that then we can create a foundation for a healthy, mutually loving and supportive partnership. R. M. Oshkosh, WI
Lauri’s Happily Ever After course is an essential tool for emotional well-being. I’ve benefitted greatly by learning who I am, what my needs are, and how to prevent myself from falling back into unhealthy codependent relationships. Everyone can benefit from Lauri’s guidance. You’re going to learn so much about yourself along the way!” K.B. Appleton, WI
I feel this course allowed me to bring even more awareness to the benefit of really being your own beloved first and foremost. With the thoughtful questions and exercises- building on chapter to chapter – it allowed patterns to be brought to the surface for awareness and healing. I also gained insight into what I am really looking for in a relationship and what I am about as a woman. This course also complimented a wonderful relationship I have with the utmost Beloved-God which only looks for what is in the best for my highest good. .No more settling! L. J. Larsen, WI
Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, MATS has been known as mother, daughter, sister, friend, wife, lover, student, teacher, counselor, minister, healer, writer, poet, heretic, witch, professional shit-disturber, heretic, and blasphemer. After more than fifty years of asking the question, “Who am I?” Lauri has come to the realization that she is just plain Lauri, and that on any given day, she can be whomever she wants to be. Lauri is the author of the Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene, Returning – A Woman’s Midlife Journey to Herself,Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy and Christouch – a Christ-centered Approach to Energy Medicine through Hands-on Healing.She is also the owner of Authentic Freedom Academy in Oshkosh, Wisconsin where she lives with her two amazing children. You can learn more about Lauri, her professional services and workshops at www.authenticfreedomacademy.com.