“Peace…comes within the souls of men when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the Universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that this center is really everywhere. It is within each of us.” ~ Black Elk
Bluebells: a metaphor for dependability and change.
This morning as I walked through the same bluebells I’ve passed through for the past 2 weeks I realised that I was once again filled with a sense of wonder and awe. The same as I’d felt yesterday, and the day before that, and on the day three weeks ago when they first began to emerge from their long slumber.
Or was it the same?
I realise that each day I look at the same objects and people with new eyes. My view is informed by what I’ve seen, heard, smelt, tasted and experienced the previous day. But the way I look at them is new, exciting and awe inspiring. The view I have is dependent on my distance from them, the light shining on them and wind blowing through them. This morning’s beautiful dappled light gave the flowers an air of mystery and it was easy to see how these tiny flowers have become symbolic of faeries and the other worlds.
At the same time, as within nature in general, there is a dependability and resilience. I know that every year, around the end on January, I’ll begin to see the bluebell plants begin to push their way through what seems to be dead ground. Within a couple of days the plants have established themselves and leaves start absorbing the meagre bits of sunshine in order to feed their plant. By the end of March the first flowers start showing their pretty heads and within weeks the woods have taken on a delightful purple hue.
As a relationship therapist, I’m interested not only in our relationships with each other, but our relationship with nature and with ourselves and how these all interact. There is much to be drawn from the metaphor provided by the bluebell.
Bluebells are not always apparent but even when not seen they exist. They spend much of their life in preparation for their brief display in our world. And yet we always welcome them back as long lost friends. Perhaps there is something to be gained from taking a break, charging our energies, restricting our availability?
To be able to view something with new eyes every time we look at them, enables us to retain a sense of awe. We don’t take them for granted because they’re not always there. And when we see them again we fall in love all over again.
How can we translate this knowing into our intimate relationships? It can be easy to slip into a place of all knowing about our friends and partners.
The phrase, “we’re best friends and know everything about each other”, is a mistake made by so many couples, in the belief that proximity leads to increased intimacy and deeper love.
In these days of enforced confinement it can be difficult, but not impossible, to give each other a little space. Allow your partner to withdraw and have a bath in privacy; Take turns to have a lie in, or go to bed early and alone; Take your daily exercise separately; Create a space (no matter how small) that is your own personal space; Headphones can provide family members the opportunity to listen to different music, or radio programmes – perhaps something to discuss together at a later stage.
Without distance and space there is no need to create bridges. It is on the bridges that love and intimacy draw their energy.
Be safe and keep loving each other during time of transition.