Sappy doesn’t come close to describing this famed scene from the movie, Jerry Maguire, yet screenwriter, Cameron Crowe, draws us in, capturing the magnetic, head-over-heals, “You-Make-Me-Feel-Brand-New” kind of love. We all know that romantic love is just a phase that comes and goes. Robert A. Johnson, Ph.D., Jungian analyst and author of We: Understanding the Psychology of Romantic Love describes it well…
This [romantic love] is a psychological phenomenon that is very specific. When we are “in love” we believe we have found the ultimate meaning of life, revealed in another human being. We feel we are finally completed, that we have found the missing parts of ourselves. Life suddenly seems to have a wholeness, a superhuman intensity that lifts us high above the ordinary plain of existence. The psychological package includes an unconscious demand that our lover or spouse always provide us with this feeling of ecstasy and intensity.
If only our lover would meet our unconscious demands forever. Blissful! If only they’d read our minds and always conform to our deepest desires. Heavenly! But wait. If this ecstatic experience was never-ending, then falling in love wouldn’t feel so special or be so purposeful.
You see, romantic love IS a path to completion, but not in a Jerry-Maguire-kind-of-way. Johnson describes romantic love as the mask behind which a powerful array of new possibilities hide, possibilities waiting to be integrated into conscious. When we allow our lover to see behind our mask, to see all of who we are in an authentic, non-defensive way, we create the possibility to heal old wounds and develop more of who we truly are. But we must choose this path, for it doesn’t appear naturally. Naturally, we veer in the direction of habitual patterns of thought, feeling, and action, but with help from a trusted lover, we can see all of who we are, most especially the parts we’ve been too afraid to face (including painful emotions, obsessive thoughts, or addictive behaviors).
Author Gary Zukov describes this life-changing union as a Spiritual Partnership, a relationship that is substantive and meaningful, one created through shared commitment, courage, compassion, and conscious communication and action. Creating this type of loving exchange isn’t easy, but it is incredibly worthwhile. According to Zukov, it requires you to choose words and deeds, moment by moment, that will create joyful and constructive consequences even when painful or violent emotions roar through you.
This partnership isn’t about someone making you feel brand you, it’s about YOU re-making yourself brand new with the help of someone who, as John Legend sings, loves all of you. (You’ve got to watch this beautiful music video! No harm in treasuring romantic love, even if it does wear off over time).
To learn more about the benefits of creating this powerful connection, read a free bonus chapter of Zukov’s book, Spiritual Partnership: The Journey to Authentic Power, or review his Spiritual Partnership Guidelines.
Wishing you an authentically loving Valentine’s weekend.