Part One – The Inner Marriage
The Inner Marriage represents the ultimate in inner balance. If we are not in balance with ourselves-how can we expect to be in balance with the universe, with others, and with God. Love, in all its forms is all about balance and it is our search for inner balance that takes us to love and to relationship. Sometimes, losing love takes us there-it takes us to experience our own hearts and our soul’s longings and connects us with our archetypal need for inner wholeness and harmony. As a therapist with almost 20 years of listening to and bearing witness to heartbreak, it wasn’t until I experienced it most profoundly myself that I understood its beauty, it’s depth and its ability to thrust us into a spiritual journey. It was this experience that propelled me into writing my last book, ‘Love in a Time of Broken Heart-Healing From Within’. In it I have shared my life experience both as a woman and therapist. Using myths and stories, I’ve charted the inner journey to healing after heartbreak as well as outlined the influence our early lives have on our love relationships-and much more. More importantly though, writing this book led me to a deeper understanding of the universal search for wholeness and the essence of the inner marriage, as well as the nature of love and our search for it.
What is the Inner Marriage? Fundamentally, the inner marriage is about the balancing of the masculine and feminine within oneself. Swiss psychologist Carl Jung believed that every human being has contra-sexual components; in other words, all of us have masculine and feminine energies, and what every individual seeks is a balance between these two energies, in order to feel complete. In this respect, outer union with a partner is merely a reflection of our need for inner balance. Or, to put it another way, the drive to relate in love is merely the outer manifestation of the universal drive for wholeness and union within. That is the reason why, for so many of us, the urge to love another soul and have a partner is so strong. From a psychological perspective, the inner marriage is encompassed in the Jungian concept of individuation. Jung suggested that the drive to wholeness is inherent to the psyche and is a process of gradual lifetime unfolding. Individuation is a natural process – an inner union that, in essence, is essential to the spiritual well being of every individual,
In a time of increasing emotional isolation and fractured relationships the search for love is all the more urgent. Because our sense of separation is so acute, the world is crying out for the touch of the divine, for a higher force that can help us heal. Despite knowing that love lies within we still seek it outside of ourselves. This means that when the one we love leaves us, we are heartbroken, leaving us not only bereft of him or her, but also of love. And the inner marriage becomes even more elusive. There are a lot of broken hearts out there, and a great need for healing.
At the basis of our human relationship experience lie three fundamental truths, as I see it:
Our impulse to love another soul is part of our spiritual journey and our inner search for wholeness and balance.
Our adult relationships bear the mark of our first relationship with our parents and our early life experience impacts on the way we relate.
A broken heart is a sacred initiation with opportunities for soul growth.
Over the next few months, I will be dialoguing with you, the reader, about our hearts, our relationships, and how we achieve inner balance and healing. Excavating our early life experiences and family heritage and uncovering the stories we live by, we will enter the inner landscape of our relationships and begin the work of healing from within. Bottom line-the search for inner wholeness/balance is most often given expression in our love relationships. Love has a transcendent quality that draws us. Of the Inner Marriage the poets say: ‘When two souls have finally found each other there is established between them a union which begins on earth and continues forever in Heaven.’-Victor Hugo
The mystics say: ’If you want to make progress on the path and ascend to the places you have longed for, the important thing is not to think much but to love much, and so do whatever best awakens you to love. -St Theresa of Avila
Next month: The healing power of love: soul mates