loyalty_commitmentWe really don’t know what we’re getting into when we fall in love with another, do we? We fall under the spell of love, we fall for someone trustworthy, kind and true, and trust that no matter what comes our way, the tender feelings we have for one another will insulate and protect us from what inevitably comes next. Given the right person and barring red flags it would be silly to think it’s not worth the risk. Love is the ultimate reality, and many know that God is Love, too.

We take a vow, make a commitment to our Love, to love, honor, respect in sickness, in health…and a host of other potentials. What comes next…is hard. It can happen five months down the road, or five years. The inevitability of love is that eventually something will challenge it in the deepest way. When something devastating or unexpected blindsides us, we are forced to trace backwards how it “got this bad”. Maybe we can start to see how poor communication, piled up resentments, a mutual unwillingness to have an honest conversation contributed to this. Maybe we never thought that letting that same argument go (over and over) could erode the attraction and affection we have for each other, let alone the very center of our union. A failure to adequately resolve what is happening in the present creates the atmosphere of living under a volcano. And these oppressed emotions and unspoken words are like time bombs.

In love, we also tend to underestimate the level of unhealed trauma we all bring to our partnerships. Very few of us are enlightened enough so as to be healed from our childhood or karmic wounds. We each have baggage of the deepest, most buried kind – and this will always be revealed in partnership sooner or later. It is the function of an intimate relationship to show us all the areas where we are still separate from Love. It is the contrast that illuminates Love, like a black and white photograph the more intense our love for another is (the white), the more pronounced what is keeping us from living there all the time (the black). The black holds our blocks, our feelings of separateness, pain and aloneness. It is also the trauma we carry but cannot yet see in our self – until the partner we love holds up a mirror and shows us how far we have left to go, to get the love we are aching for.

We all have darkness, hurt and pain. We all have suffered, deeply, to achieve the spiritual awareness and growth we can claim today. It’s important to remember this when we’re having relationship troubles, when love isn’t romantic and good-feeling but painful. Love isn’t supposed to feel good all the time. Marianne Williamson says, “Part of our problem is that we expect love affairs to always feel good. They don’t. Actually, relationships don’t feel good anyway. We feel good. Unless we are centered within ourselves, we cannot blame a relationship for throwing us off.”

On December 20 and 21, the Uranus-Pluto square toggles with the planet of love, Venus, in the sign of Capricorn. We may need to look at the blockages in our relationships, to see where we are standing separate from Love –and then dive deep to correct it. Venus and Pluto in Capricorn ask: Are you in integrity within your self, in your partnerships? Do you feel honored, heard and respected by others? If the answer is no, the relationship isn’t mutual. If you’re in this planetary birth canal, resurrection is at hand. Pluto-Uranus is the epitome of peeling the onion. Just keep peeling it.  We may not have arrived at the core issue (or we may), but with each layer of truth we uncover, we grow incrementally closer to being whole, to opening our heart where it’s been shut down and broken. It’s stubborn, Holy work. But if pain is the motivator of spiritual growth, I can’t imagine any better way to learn than through love.