About Love and the Shadow

Alan talking to participants in Love and the Shadow workshop in Munich, March 30, 2012


You came here with your partner. Do you realize how rare this is?  Do you realize what you’re giving yourselves in your relationship, and how extraordinary this is? There are countless couples out there who spent this weekend doing all sorts of interesting things, and who maybe didn’t have a moment of being really present with each other. The world has become so used to people being more absent than present that it has become normal for people to live their relationships as a kind of shared absence – being comfortably absent together. TV is important, shopping is important, alcohol is important. All kinds of things cansave couples from facing the fact that they actually don’t meet each other. People can be quite lonely in their relationships!

Of course there are lots of people who are having a beautiful time with each other. Still, you only have to be here in this circle for a short while to realize what incredible treasures and untouched mysteries there are to be discovered in really being with your beloved.  It is a privilege to sit here with you all now and to sense the depth of your communion with your partners. It happened because you chose to look after the love – yes, and the shadows! – of your relationships.  They teach us to care in all kinds of ways. When you bring your partner to tears, for example – not that you meant to, but you were careless, a bit hurtful – their tears teach you to care. In all kinds of ways you are teaching each other. Sometimes they’re really tough ways. Your partner says, “I’ve had enough, I’m leaving”, and you realize how much you care, that you can’t go on living in your old I don’t care habit. Most of the ways that we learn to care for each other are sweeter, like coming to Love and the Shadow! I thank you all for being here.

And remember too: your relationship is not only a beautiful gift of giving and receiving love. It is also an invitation to each of you to wake up and feel the richness of your inner life. That has been such an important element of this experience. So please, just take a moment and meet your beloved’s eyes and feel the invitation to be present! The invitation is always here, now.