Posted in Beloved Partnership, happily ever after, Relationships

Dark Night of the Relationship

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.

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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).

Click on image above to purchase on Amazon.com
Click on image above to purchase on Amazon.com
Posted in codependency, happily ever after, Relationships

The Number One Reason Relationships Fail

In the twenty-plus years I have been counseling individuals and couples, I have identified the number one reason relationships fail:

Looking for the other person to complete us.

 

Co-Dependency

In the recovery world, co-dependency is limited to addictive/compulsive patterns of enabling.  Here, co-dependency is expanded to include any behaviors, attitudes and relationship dynamics which are rooted in the search for another person to complete us.  Co-dependency arises out of a deep inner longing that says, “I am not enough,” making us feel incomplete, fractured and fragmented.  In an effort to quell this longing, we look for “the other” who will complete us.  We find someone who we believe might complete us, and for a time (as long as we are in the infatuation stage of the relationship), they might.  Eventually, however, the longing returns (because we never healed the true source of the longing), the fantasies we have created about our partner fall and we begin to see them for who they really are – fractured and imperfect just like we are.  Resentment sets in and trouble begins.

 

Search for the Other vs. Search for Ourselves

When we are searching outside of ourselves for someone to complete us, it is because we do not know ourselves.  The longing that drives this search for “the other” in reality, has nothing to do with “the other.” Instead, this longing is really the longing to know ourselves.  Until we know otherwise, or until the bottom falls out (whichever comes first), the longing to know ourselves disguises itself in the longing for another to complete us.  We are never fulfilled in our relationships, however, until we turn this longing for “the other” inward and start doing the work of coming to know ourselves.  In coming to know ourselves, we discover our own unique gifts, our passions, what gives us joy and makes us feel complete – WITHIN OURSELVES.  When we know ourselves, we no longer look for someone to complete us, instead, we wait for another complete person with whom we can enjoy the journey of life in a mutually supportive, interdependent relationship where both are honored as sacred and holy and where the two work together to support the needs of each other in service to the betterment of the world.

For support in moving away from patterns of co-dependency, looking for another to complete you, check out my new book:

Click on image above to purchase on Amazon.com
Click on image above to purchase on Amazon.com

 

 

Posted in Beloved Partnership

Coming Soon! “Happily Ever After”

Coming Soon! 

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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

lauricurtsie2Lauri 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.

 

Posted in codependency, Relationships

Happily Ever After Online Course

Jerry Maguire lies. This movie has provided the single most damaging phrase to our hope for intimate partnership – “You complete me.”  When we are looking outside of ourselves for someone else to complete us, we are indulging the compulsion of co-dependency. Co-dependency arises out of the false perception that love, satisfaction and fulfillment exist outside of us which then causes us to seek in another that which we falsely believe we do not possess within ourselves.  Co-dependency tells us that love has to be earned or can be taken away which then results in behaviors that cause us either to be manipulative in our search for love or vulnerable to the manipulations of another. I would argue that co-dependency, along with unmanaged anxiety, are the two most common destroyers of intimate human relationships.

Register HERE
Register HERE

Jerry Maguire is not alone, however, in supporting the long-standing culture of co-dependency predominating the West. Traditional fairytales with their happily ever after endings are another common culprit.  While all too many have learned that happily ever after isn’t always so happy, traditional fairytales are still the foundational myths upon which we establish our hopes and dreams of intimate partnership.  The difficult truth is that as long as we are looking outside of ourselves for completion, or basing our hopes on fairytale dreams, our relationships are doomed to fail.  When we are looking outside of ourselves for someone to complete us, we will never truly be satisfied and will fail in our search for a fulfilling and enduring love.  The true source of fulfillment can only come from within.

My Happily Ever After online course is based on this premise and therefore presents a different model of intimate partnership. 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 support.  Interdependence is the goal of this course (and yet to be published book) and of the process into which you will be invited.

Through personal narrative, informative dialogue, poetry, mindfulness practices, and creativity exercises; you will be invited to deconstruct existing and former patterns of co-dependency, by identifying and healing the inner wounds which have caused you to indulge in co-dependent behaviors in the first place. Utilizing the familiar structure of traditional fairytales as a roadmap, you will then learn the skills necessary for building the foundation upon which you can find happiness and fulfillment within while preparing for the possibility of healthy interdependency with another.

Learn more and register for the course HERE.  

(P.S. It’s cheaper than counseling!)

 

Posted in Relationships

Relationship E-course:

Happily Ever After – from “you complete me” to Beloved Partnership

E-Course – completely online

Happily Ever After seeks to transform our attitudes and behaviors related to intimate partnership and does so by transforming us from the inside out.  Integrating intellectual knowledge rooted in modern psychology with mindfulness-based practices and creative expression, Happily Ever After seeks to support us in achieving wholeness.  When we feel whole and complete within ourselves, we no longer look outside of ourselves for completion and if/when we find ourselves in partnership, our relationships are mutually satisfying, supportive and interdependent.

HappilyEverAFterFlier

 

To register for the course, click on the Paypal link below.  After payment is received, you will receive an invitation to join the private Facebook discussion group and lessons will begin arriving in your email on Sunday, November 15th!  We are excited for you to join us.  Welcome to the journey!

paypal

From the course introduction: 

If you asked me to describe in one phrase what this course is about, I would say, “Jerry Maguire lies.”  This movie has provided the single most damaging phrase to our hope for intimate partnership – “You complete me.”  When we are looking outside of ourselves for someone else to complete us, we are indulging the compulsion of co-dependency. Co-dependency arises out of the false perception that love, satisfaction and fulfillment exist outside of us which then causes us to seek in another that which we falsely believe we do not possess within ourselves.  Co-dependency tells us that love has to be earned or can be taken away which then results in behaviors that cause us either to be manipulative in our search for love or vulnerable to the manipulations of another. I would argue that co-dependency, along with unmanaged anxiety, are the two most common destroyers of intimate human relationships.

brokenopen

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
  • As a teacher, Lauri gives her students a “long leash”, allowing the reader the opportunity to be creative in finding their own solutions, or perhaps a better phrase would be, to find peace in discovering their own wisdom.  M.P. Oshkosh, WI

Click on the Paypal button above to register for the course.  For course participants who want to take this work deeper, private sessions are available with Lauri Lumby at a 15% discount for the duration of the course.

 

Posted in codependency, Relationships

The Number One Reason Relationships Fail

In the twenty-plus years I have been counseling individuals and couples, I have identified the number one reason relationships fail:

Looking for the other person to complete us.

tristan-and-isolde-1912-john-duncan-1866-1945-scottish-symbolist-painter-tuttart-9

Co-Dependency

In the recovery world, co-dependency is limited to addictive/compulsive patterns of enabling.  Here, co-dependency is expanded to include any behaviors, attitudes and relationship dynamics which are rooted in the search for another person to complete us.  Co-dependency arises out of a deep inner longing that says, “I am not enough,” making us feel incomplete, fractured and fragmented.  In an effort to quell this longing, we look for “the other” who will complete us.  We find someone who we believe might complete us, and for a time (as long as we are in the infatuation stage of the relationship), they might.  Eventually, however, the longing returns (because we never healed the true source of the longing), the fantasies we have created about our partner fall and we begin to see them for who they really are – fractured and imperfect just like we are.  Resentment sets in and trouble begins.

If you recognize patterns of co-dependency in your relationship patterns, you are not alone.  99% of relationships have their origins in the search for completion.  For help in this area, check out our upcoming course, “Happily Ever After – from Co-Dependency to the Fulfillment of Love.”  Learn More HERE.

Search for the Other vs. Search for Ourselves

When we are searching outside of ourselves for someone to complete us, it is because we do not know ourselves.  The longing that drives this search for “the other” in reality, has nothing to do with “the other.” Instead, this longing is really the longing to know ourselves.  Until we know otherwise, or until the bottom falls out (whichever comes first), the longing to know ourselves disguises itself in the longing for another to complete us.  We are never fulfilled in our relationships, however, until we turn this longing for “the other” inward and start doing the work of coming to know ourselves.  In coming to know ourselves, we discover our own unique gifts, our passions, what gives us joy and makes us feel complete – WITHIN OURSELVES.  When we know ourselves, we no longer look for someone to complete us, instead, we wait for another complete person with whom we can enjoy the journey of life in a mutually supportive, interdependent relationship where both are honored as sacred and holy and where the two work together to support the needs of each other in service to the betterment of the world.

Sign up today for the “Happily Ever After” course and find support for your own journey of coming to know yourself. 

paypal

Or call Lauri Lumby (920) 230-1313 to schedule a one-on-one private consultation.

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Posted in Boundaries, codependency, Midlife Journey, Relationships

Dark Night of the Relationship – Undoing Co-Dependency

The purpose of the midlife and menopause journey is to birth our Soul – the uniquely creative way in which we have been gifted to find meaning, purpose and fulfillment and through which we are called to contribute to the betterment of our world.  In the process of birthing our Soul, we are invited to heal and sometimes release any inner, as well as outer obstacles to enjoying the life of Soul.  Our intimate relationships are not exempt from this invitation.  It is not a coincidence that the Dark Night of the Relationship often surfaces during midlife and even becomes the catalyst through which real transformation can begin to take place. In today’s blog, we explore the co-dependency that needs to be unraveled and undone.

dark night of the relationship

Damn, You Don’t Complete Me!

As I have mentioned before, many relationships entered into in our youth are established upon the illusion that the other person will complete us.  We look to the other to fill the emptiness and longing we feel inside.  Eventually, we realize that the other person is not completing us as disappointment and resentment rush in.   Now we have entered the dark night of the relationship.  We then begin to harbor blame, resentment and hatred against the other person for not being the fantasy we created in our mind.  It is this resentment that will eventually destroy our relationships unless we do something about it.

The Only Person Who Can Complete You is YOU!

Doing something about the resentment, many discover all the ways in which they have been socialized to seek outside of themselves for love and completion, along with all the ways in which they believe that love is something that has to be earned or that can be denied them.  What often arises out of these false perceptions is co-dependency.   If you are the one who has given away your power, hoping in return for completion and love, the invitation is to take your power back.  This means identifying all the ways in which you have remained silent, ignored or suppressed your needs or your truth, stayed in the background, forsaken your needs and tended to the needs of others at the expense of your own needs.

Welcome Perimenopause and Menopause

For women, compounding, hastening and perhaps even catalyzing this invitation to tend to ones own needs is the advent of menopause.  When women become aware (consciously or unconsciously) that their time for childbearing has come to an end, they begin to see their lives through a dramatically different lens.  During the vulnerable years of childbearing, and while the children are still tender, vulnerable little beings, a veil stands between a woman’s sight and truth.  All of the woman’s energy and attention is directed at the survival of the children.  Once the children become viable, and the woman knows she is done bearing children, the veil collapses.  Every personal need, creative drive, personal desire, wish, hope and dream that was placed on the shelf for the sake of the needs of the children and family come tumbling down.  And now, the woman’s inner drive is directed toward the rediscovery of her own truth, her own needs and the discovery of the vocation which will provide her fulfillment in the second half of her life.  Wife/Mom suddenly becomes a different person and the husband/children are left to wonder, “What the heck just happened?”  This is often when the threads of co-dependency begin to unravel and the rules of the household begin to change.  (please note that men have their own version of this midlife transition – as I understand it, it is a departure from the role of provider to the role of enjoyer…sadly our culture and our current expectations of gender roles does not do a good job of supporting this transition either!)

Undoing Co-Dependency

Whether it is the man or the woman who has been the partner bargaining their own needs for the illusion of completion and love, the process is the same.  Co-dependent behaviors are identified, and we begin the process of changing how we act and respond in our relationships.  We begin by identifying our own truth, our own needs, our own dreams, hopes and desires.  Then we begin to exercise these truths.  We name and claim our needs to those around us.  We set boundaries around our need for “ME” time.  We learn to say no to those things not supportive of our needs and we begin to make time for those things that are life-giving for us.  We stop rushing to the side of those around us every time they seem to be in distress, and we empower them to learn how to tend to their own needs.  We stop doing for others what they are capable of doing for themselves.

A Rude Awakening

For those who have been trained by our co-dependency to expect us to take care of them or to forsake our own needs for theirs, this is a time of RUDE AWAKENING!  We have trained our loved ones well, and now we are changing the rules.  The first response is often bewilderment which then turns into rebellion and often outright war!  “What do you mean you’re not going to make my breakfast?”  “But you’ve always picked out my clothes for me.”  “What good are art classes at your age?”  “You want to go back to school….for what!?”  “Why would you want time for yourself…don’t you love us?”  For those who have been trained to forsake their own needs for the needs of those they love, this can be a difficult transition as the demons of guilt whisper, and sometimes scream in our ears, “You are abandoning your family….they need you….this is your job…..”  In response to this, I will share with you a mantra that was once given to me by a great teacher:

The most loving thing you can do for those you love is to do what is most loving for yourself.

Every time you claim your own need, every time you set boundaries around your own time, every time you stop doing something for someone that they are capable of doing for themselves, you are teaching them how NOT to be co-dependent.  You are modeling for them healthy, interdependent behavior. And you are empowering them to be GROWN UPS!

Lauri Lumby mentors individuals and couples in their journey of birthing their Soul, which includes navigating the difficult transition of the dark night of the relationship.  To set up your own one-on-one session, call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com.

Posted in Midlife Journey, Relationships

Midlife and the Dark Night of the Relationship – Part 1

The purpose of the midlife and menopause journey is to birth our Soul – the uniquely creative way in which we have been gifted to find meaning, purpose and fulfillment and through which we are called to contribute to the betterment of our world.  In the process of birthing our Soul, we are invited to heal and sometime release any inner, as well as outer obstacles to enjoying the life of Soul.  Our intimate relationships are not exempt from this invitation.  It is not a coincidence that the Dark Night of the Relationship often surfaces during midlife and even becomes the catalyst through which real transformation can begin to take place.  For the next few days, we will be exploring the Dark Night of the Relationship, its signs, symptoms and characteristics and where to get help during this critical stage of transition.  Click HERE to learn more about Dark Night couples’ mentoring.

dark night of the relationship

Dark Night of the Relationship

The Dark Night of the Relationship is a term that I created to describe the dramatic realization of relationship issues that often surfaces during midlife.  The Dark Night of the Relationship can take on many qualities and characteristics, and all point to a significant turning point in a relationship, of which the end result, for many, is divorce.  While there are many contributing factors to the Dark Night of the Relationship, including years of issues ignored and swept under the rug, in my experience, there is one core cause for marriages arriving at this juncture in their development.

You Complete Me!

In my opinion, the single worst and most destructive movie line in history is, “You complete me,” from Jerry MacGuire.  When we enter into a relationship hoping for the other person to fill the emptiness in our soul or to provide us with something that we feel that we are missing, the relationship is immediately doomed…or at the very least, to suffer.  When we believe it is the other person’s job to complete us, or visa versa, we are entering into a contract of co-dependency, and insuring disappointment, frustration and eventually failure.  There is nothing and no one outside of us that can provide for us what we are missing within ourselves.  If we are lacking courage, strength, creative expression, excitement, fun, peace, joy, hope, balance, fulfillment, meaning or purpose, and are expecting the other person to provide that for us, or at least to provide the opportunity for us to live vicariously through them, our relationship is doomed.  Soon, we will be disappointed, angry and resentful toward the other for not giving us what we need, because ultimately, no matter what they do or how they do it, even if they possess these qualities, they cannot provide them for us.  We long for the things we do not have within ourselves, because our Soul has ignited the flame of longing so that we would seek, discover and cultivate these qualities within ourselves. And the Soul knows the difference between authentic inner strength, for example, and counterfeit strength or strength we are trying to “get” from someone else.  So if our relationships are founded on the hope that the other person will complete us (as most relationships of our youth are), then we can pretty much expect the Dark Night to rear its ugly head – at least by the time we are forty, if not sooner.

How have your relationships been reflective of the hope for the other to complete you?

Lauri Lumby collaborates with Ted Balser to provide Dark Night of the Relationship mentoring and support for couples.  Contact Lauri at (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com to learn more. 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Midlife Journey, Relationships

Authentic Freedom – Thoughts on Love

When I look at the search words people are using to find my blog, Authentic Freedom, Dark Night, Twin Flame and Soulmate are four frequently appearing keywords and phrases.  As such, I thought it a good idea to address these topics and see how they might relate to the current discussion thread on midlife and menopause. 

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authentic-freedom-love

Authentic Freedom and Love

In my book, Authentic Freedom – claiming a life of contentment and joy, I confront our Western ideas of love.  Specifically, I address envy as the compulsion related to our unhealthy attitudes and choices around love.  Envy comes out of the fear that we are not  loved and that someone out there will make us feel loved.  Through envy, we believe someone else will make us feel whole, complete, content and loved.  Hello Jerry McGuire!

Love and Co-Dependency

For many (if not most) of us, the love relationships of our youth reflect these beliefs about love. We believe we will find our happily ever after when we find that PERFECT partner.  We eventually learn that the person on whom we have projected our unrealized self is not perfect after all and if we are honest with ourselves, we realize that the things we sought in the other are really qualities we need to discover and cultivate within ourselves.  This realization ushers in the dark night of the relationship. It is at this stage that the relationship either dissolves, or one or both parties begin the process of self-discovery.  If both parties decide to do this work, there is a possibility that they could re-create their love relationship, firmly rooted in mutual self-love and interdependence.  For couples that never acknowledge the dark night or where only one decides to do the work, the relationship is probably doomed or at the very least will seethe in the silent misery of discontent.

Love and Soulmates

The most common idea of a soulmate is the one perfect person with whom we will find our happily ever after.  This definition of soulmate originates in the deadly compulsion of envy and is rooted in our fear that we are not loved.  I prefer to define soulmate in a much broader and perhaps healthier sense.  I think of soulmates as those persons with whom we feel a soul-connection – those people we meet and feel an immediate affinity with….those with whom we might share a common purpose, passion or even vocation.  I  think of a soulmate as part of our soul family – those persons with whom we agreed to connect so as to accomplish our work in the world.  As such, we might have many soulmates.

Love and Twin Flames

Transcending romantic ideas of love, a Twin Flame love exists between two individuals who have come to realize the love that they are as individuals and are therefore not looking for the other person to complete them.  Twin Flames are recognized in a shared passion and vocation, they tend to have common interests and share a similar way of seeing and being in the world.  Twin Flames, in a sense, seem to share a single soul and are here to accomplish a very important mission which they both feel and which is more fully awakened in each other’s presence.  When Twin Flames come together, there is a recognition beyond that of mere soulmates because, when we behold our Twin Flame, we are seeing ourselves.   In Twin Flame relationships, 1+1 = INFINITY – an infinity felt by both parties in an awesome, almost wordless kind of way.  (I recently had a glimpse of this love while in meditation and it quite literally took my breath away – I could not breathe, I could not react, all I could do was sit in silent wonder over the strength and power of this love.  If I had entered fully into it, it would have brought me to tears….or even collapse.)  Twin Flames often speak of having had a sense of “the other” along with a deep longing to be reunited with “the other,” – a longing that may at first have come out of a sense of lack, but after they have done the work of self-love, this longing is more of an awareness of the presence of the other.  When the Twin Flames come together, this longing finds it fulfillment….but not in a codependent kind of way.   In coming together, Twin Flames reflect the abundant and infinite love of God.  Twin Flames intimately know the love of God and are called to live and reflect that love in the world and in their presence, the world is awakened and transformed in exponential ways.  The coming together of Twin Flames causes a ripple of love in the universe that quite literally, turns the world to love.  (Twin Flame relationships are not, however, free from conflict. While they have come to remember the love they are, Twin Flames are still human and as such, will experience the normal range of relationship conflicts….they will just be better equipped to negotiate healthy resolutions to conflict. )  Historical examples of Twin Flame love might include Jesus and Mary Magdalene, Krishna and Radha, Francis and Clare of Assisi, Theresa of Avila and John of the Cross, John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

Love, Midlife and Menopause

How does any of this pertain to the midlife/menopause journey?  It is most often during midlife that we are confronted by our unhealed illusions around love and are invited to remember the love that we are so that we can do the work of creating life-giving, mutually loving and interdependent relationships that then serve to help us change the world.  That’s how!  🙂

Lauri Ann Lumby mentors individuals and couples in the birth of their soul – the way in which they are uniquely and creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose and fulfillment and which they are called to share in service to the betterment of the world.  You can contact Lauri at (920) 230-1313 or lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com to set up your own mentoring session.