Falling In Love with ‘Potential’

Last night I was nourished by a home-cooked meal and the wisdom of a dear friend as he shared about his last relationship and the vision he set forth when it ended. Part of his vision was,

‘I want to be attracted to reality not the ‘potential’ of something or someone.’

This resonated deeply for me.

It’s a funny paradox because often our vision of ‘potential’ becomes the source of creation.  For example, entrepreneurs fall in love the with potential of their vision; therapists and coaches see the wholeness of their clients and invite them to unfold into their own divine wisdom; conscious parent’s and teachers see the potential in their children and students and encourage them to express themselves and their gifts more fully.

This seems like a healthy natural cycle of creativity and inviting people to shine and be their true selves; whatever the risk.

Being ‘seen’ is medicine for the soul.

Dancing Between Reality and Illusion

What happens when we fall in love with the ‘potential’ of someone and forget to pay attention to reality because we see them as this whole and beautiful person despite the shadows.

Where does reality thread its way through a view of perfection and yield from a view of practical reality?

Have you ever stayed in a relationship (romantic, work related or friendship) that didn’t match what you desire in partnership but you stayed hoping that it would change because you saw the potential?  Or maybe you have felt uncertain about how to bare the responsibilities of the business, household or meet your heart’s longing for deep connection if the partnership dissolved?

I know this territory in many domains of my life.  I fell in love with the wholeness and potential of someone. Unfortunately, he wasn’t ready to begin the exploration of finding that in himself.  By staying so long in a relationship, haunted by shadows of my friend’s untouched pain, I bypassed my own sense of safety and need for authenticity, honesty and truth.

Sometimes people espouse the desire to do the personal work but they just aren’t ready.  How long do you wait?  When do you know it’s time to let go?  How do you accept that your needs don’t match?

Conscious leadership coaching

Some of the questions I’ve asked are:

What made this connection more important than trusting my intuition?

What became more important to me than seeing reality?

What made me more patient with contradictions and lies than I would be in other circumstances?

What pattern is this calling me to see and heal? What is the opportunity for growth here?

It’s a tender journey being human and having conditioned responses that often aren’t conscious.  It requires vulnerability and power to open our hearts and minds to collect the fragmented parts of our psyches that split off to survive.

Breaking the Cycle

It seems one of the most common gateways is through repeating the pattern often enough until something breaks and we see the illusion.

Sometimes that break in the cycle can be realized over a simple cup a tea with a friend and sometimes it can take years being in a particular relationship bleeding between reality and illusion.

The question I have for myself and those who are on this journey of returning home is:

"Are you willing to be devastated in order to find true liberation?"

As the sticky arms of conditioning seduce us into the realm of feeling victimized how do we unfurl its claws and listen for the songs and whispers of truth, love and trust?

Even when we feel alone and it seems that the darkness is swallowing us whole can we find a small crack of reality that reminds us we are guided, held and loved?