“When two souls meet, they touch, they kiss, and of their love a new soul is born: the soul of the relationship. Upon these unique emotional and spiritual wildlands they will walk, with kindness and patience of rhythm, and with understanding and awareness may they allow an opportunity for a deepening.” ~ Lubomira Kourteva

As I’m still soaking up each second of the hot summer’s sun on my face and skin, the cool breeze is now more felt in September – only to remind me of the Yucatan. More precisely – the heart of the building. So today, let me walk you through our beautiful wild roses in the gardens, while we talk about about hearts, love and relationships.

If you’ve been to the Yucatan, or anywhere else with this kind of architecture, you might have noticed that some of the older buildings and houses have these really long corridors as you enter them. And when you stand in the middle of the corridor, you’d feel the breeze cooling your skin. It is a cool breeze much needed and very purposeful, as everywhere else the heat and humidity can be quite intense. The locals call these corridors the heart of the building.

The space of our heart, or heart chakra, is represented by the element of air. The root is earth, the sacral is water, the solar is fire – and our heart is air. It is about freedom, openness, generosity, and ability to flow continuously. And just like the Yucatan buildings, our heart space too is an open pathway – our hearts are meant to be open.

Open door,
open door,

and two hearts connect to one another, in the space of togetherness, rather than stay in retreat in their own chambers where they each once individually dreamt.

And when hearts are open and connect, they become a bridge: a bridge of, and to, love.

Within the context of relationships, two people need to both open their doors within, open their hearts, and meet in the corridor that is essentially the home of their relationship. They need to see one another, and they need to feel seen, feel heard. Because love is to see and to be seen, to know and to be known, not of flesh but through the flesh.

Throughout my work with clients over the years, one dynamic we usually witness is “when man goes silent, woman goes cold”. Silence and coldness are usually when the bridges begin to crumble, to rust, leaves pile up, and cover the pathways towards one another. At first, worried by the increasing quietness of her partner, worried about what is wrong with him and how can she help him, she may become louder and louder; tensions may rise, provocation may rise, and yet at the root of this is her worry for him and the instability this has all created – it is her aloneness in the corridor that is the home of their relationship.

Her intention isn’t to “nag him”, it is to narrow the distance between them, for her voice to reach him from the other end of the corridor. The reasons for his retreat and quietness can be many, and they are all valid; perhaps he is stressed with something at work and feels too ashamed to share it, or does not want to look weak, or does not want to worry her, or he just needs his space for a one-directional focus until he fixes what he needs to fix; perhaps he feels depressed, or doesn’t feel good enough for her or feels inadequate. Perhaps he doesn’t even realize how important it is for her to communicate and share, because that’s not how he experiences the world or what his own unique needs are. Perhaps he thinks her behaviour is annoying and yet he doesn’t express this neither.

Regardless, his quiet retreat stresses her even more; and the louder she becomes, the quieter he may become until silence fully takes over. And then coldness takes over. The woman too quiets down, because she felt unheard, and she retreats into her own chamber, closing the door.

And then, trust is lost, sight is lost.
And no one is there to meet in the corridor of togetherness.

He might come back later, perhaps carrying a bouquet of flowers, confused why she no longer wants to talk – when in reality, she was trying to be heard and tried to talk many times before but he wasn’t paying attention, he wasn’t listening. All she wanted during these times was for him to acknowledge her and just say “I hear you”. It’s okay to have problems, it’s okay to need space, but people need to feel seen and heard.

In Bhakti yoga, the heart space is also known as the center of spiritual devotion.

Devotion is the veil through which awareness shows its beautiful face. And it isn’t just spiritual devotion, nor religious, devotion can often be found in our mundane and ordinary every day – in our tending to another, whether person or a cause, and in our walking of a kindness and patience of rhythm. No matter the form or shape though, devotion, just like love, is a doing, it is an expression through our hands, lips and gestures.

Without self awareness and intentional listening to one another, relationships can rarely work out in the long run. There are no short cuts to doing our inner self work, but without self awareness we cannot truly see another, nor ourselves, and we cannot settle our relationships into peace, harmony and deepen in intimacy and true love.

Relationships bring out our best and our worst, and our most vulnerable also, but that’s how we grow in life. Love opens us, love peels us. It peels the layers off our bark, so that we unveil our true selves and see our true essence, and our sweet true aroma rises. That’s when love rises also in its sweetest truest scent, and when two people can truly connect on an intimate level, and only on truth can love last.

A petal a day,
stay in the open pathway.

We don’t need a bouquet of roses once or twice or thrice a year, but all do need a petal a day. A petal of a hug, a petal of a kiss, a petal of a “how are you” or “how can I be there for you in the way you need me to”, a petal of “I may not understand you, but I am still here for you, for us”, a petal of “I want you, I desire you, you’re beautiful”, a petal of “I miss you”, a petal of support and help. Petals of love, of caring and of tending to one another.

And with water and faith, all can be nurtured into a beautiful rose garden. No matter the seasons, no matter the time of the risings of the sun.

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