Once Cupid has brought two earnest souls together, Aphrodite takes over, bringing romance, love and sexual union. But there is the Angel of Death who inevitably wants to tag along for the ride of love. Will we welcome her, too?
Every relationship will end, either by death or separation. Very rarely do both partners die together. Sometimes the Angel of Death will show up immediately as one wants to put the brakes on a new gush of love, so frightened by losing it or wanting only the honeymoon phase. Within an active, enduring relationship, there will be flow, ebb, and more flow again, requiring ego deaths along the way. When we befriend the Angel of Death and make permanent room for her, the relationship becomes more mature and alive. If not, it will be plagued by anxiety and codependency.
Codependency shows up when we are scared to tell or live our truth. We shun from the difficult conversations on how we really feel – on where we go on the next summer holiday, that we want to go alone on a holiday, about our sex life, or about child discipline styles, fearful it will cause a sulking for god knows how long, or worse – leading us no option but to leave or be left because we have upset the other so much. We walk on eggshells. Slowly and inevitably the life force drains from the relationship. We begin to go to bed at different times. We are bored. Sex is less frequent. We may even entertain someone else.
How do we make a welcoming room for this inevitable Angel of Death?
- Where have we already lived great loss? Separated at birth for an inordinate time? Loss of a dear family member early – parent, babysitter or older sibling off to university? Moving away from a best friend or the loss of a dear pet?
- We take on the grieving work, and we finish it. More info here.
- We do an inventory of what truth-telling of ideas and feelings looked like in our family. Was there a safe space to share our thoughts and also our vulnerabilities, within the family or elsewhere?
- We do the healing work around where it was not safe to be real. We learn the art of exposing feelings and having uncomfortable conversations. More in Cyntha’s Conscious Relationship 2 Article.
- We accept that the life-death-life cycle comes with all things, including intimate relationship. This includes embracing Ego deaths – the relinquishing of control and attachments of our little personality self. We come to trust them.
- We spend quality time alone regularly, coming reliably back to our center, which becomes a go-to, rather than relying exclusively on the relationship as a source of support. This may include a spiritual connection or simply be a deepening to one’s own connection to self.
What are the benefits of befriending the Angel of Death?
As Clarissa Pinkola Estes says, this Angel of Death has the role of the oracle who knows when it is time for things to live and when it is time for things to die. We trust her within the mini-deaths of our relationship and in the bigger looming death or separation to come one day. We trust ourselves. We also trust the jewel death is, clearing what is no longer alive and true, imposing a gestation of what will come next and giving birth to a new version, so we and the relationship can be juicy, vital and creative once again. Yes, there will be fear and grief and the wild Unknown. But if we try to stop her unavoidability, we die a half-death within the relationship, living a grey, depressed existence. If we can accept her in intimate relationship where the stakes of devastating emotional and lifestyle loss are so high, we will live all of life with a greater daring, risk and fervency. Our family connections, friendships and life purpose will upgrade to greater authenticity and motivation.
Is it really worth making this Angel of Death a permanent friend? We can look for the proof in certain role model relationships that are alive and enduring – including some ex’s – whether couples you know or on the celebrity stage (the Obamas, Sting and Trudy, Jada and Will Smith, Gwenyth Paltrow and Chris Martin). It is guaranteed that they have died before they died, took humble time alone and surrendered to the tempering of their rebellious egos to show up wiser and sound and loving in that unmistakably attractive way.
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