If you don’t know I am a hopeless romantic, always have been. But like most of us, I have developed a nice shell around my heart to protect it from self-induced pain and disappointment.
I grew up on love stories for the ages: Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolde, Orpheus and Eurydice, Erik and Christine…Persephone and Hades, Mark Antony and Cleopatra, Paris, and Helen, Sherlock and Irene Adler, Lancelot and Guinevere, Pygmalion and Galatea, Black Phillip and the Witches, Cupid and Psyche, every Vampyre Book ever written. All those star-crossed lovers that despite their best efforts always find themselves to be so close to happiness to have it snatched away.
I think that the mistake we make by assuming that these tales are one to be acted out in our day to day relationships. I think they may hold up better to scrutiny if seen as an internal process. Waxing Jungian for a bit, they are archetypal representations of our Animus and Anima. It is not that there are no shadows of these mental blueprints in the mates and friends that we choose but that we often mistake the symbol for the thing itself.
The agony that our characters feel are a reflection of being separated from a part of themselves. In real life, this sort of behavior is clearly unhealthy, codependent at best and abusive at worst. Why would we ever want or tolerate this dynamic?
But when we look at these stories from a psychological perspective they begin to make a little more sense as aspects of our personalities or psyche.
No One can complete us. We complete ourselves through introspection and intentional living. You are the lover and the beloved both.
The push and pull of physical existence entices us away from ourselves.
I myself was at different points in my life hyper-focused on matters of an existential nature. I was drawn away not from the pursuit but the intensity of that pursuit by life itself. Husband, Motherhood, Work, etc. There is a reason why so many that pursue unity with all that is make a choice to forgo the typical entanglements of Home and Family ie, Buddha.
Where this makes sense for some, I place great value on my choices to participate in the bustle of Humanity because it is there that I think the secret to unity lies. Is it easier, and quicker to go about this pursuit on your own of course it is? But Madness also lies there in the Darkness waiting. Without the tether of daily existence, we would be a balloon floating off into the ethers. I have also witnessed several that have suffered a psychotic break because of or exacerbated by this lack of connection.
The middle way is always going to be the hardest. Because the meaning of life is to live it, to the fullest possible, not to just mark time waiting for our inevitable demise.