Love and connection appears more complex than before. For many the labyrinth of the digital realm, where algorithms bridge connection and hearts beat in pixels, is the only path to meeting someone. Love, once a private, perhaps parochial, sonnet, now performs on the global stage, its authenticity tested by the masks of filters and emojis.
The demands of a modern, technologically enhanced world with its relentless pace and shortened concentration span, challenges the notion of intimacy, even if the ‘web’ has broadened option, overcoming space and challenging our concept of time. In this era of instant gratification, perfection and high (and perhaps unrealistic) expectation, genuine connection faces the challenge of a digitized performance, a tightrope walk between vulnerability and the fear of exposing one’s truest self.
Base line expectations have ascended to new heights, fuelled by a desire for partnership that transcends traditional roles and a connection with someone who is genuinely proactive in emotionally and psychologically taking responsibility for their own personal and ancestral pain and shadow. Yet, there’s a palpable frustration as many women find themselves navigating a landscape where men seem to lag behind in the realm of psychological processing and healing. The expectation for a shared emotional exploration may feel weighty, but is truly part of true intimacy, as each soul carries crosses that are to be worked out as the path of light requires you to embrace the shadow. Within the shifting balance of Yang to Yin, women have been responding more proactively, bringing forth the complexities of their own emotional landscapes, all the while aching for reciprocity for men, or the ‘yang’ in their to-be-partner, to engage in the same introspective journey. The dissonance between elevated expectations and perceived emotional disparities becomes a poignant note in the modern romantic symphony, as many grapple with the disheartening reality of divergent levels of psychological processing.
Yet love remains simple. It is not immune to the tempests that sweep across the landscape of the heart. Suffering, the silent companion of love, is a visceral reminder of the depth of our connections. Love, after all, is a masterpiece woven with threads of joy and pain, a chiaroscuro of emotions that paints the canvas of our souls. It begins with a spark, an ember that ignites the dormant chambers of the heart and grows, unfurling like a delicate blossom in the morning light, its petals embracing the warmth of shared laughter, stolen glances, and whispered promises. But love can and will be eclipsed by the shadows of unmet expectations, shattered illusions, longing for true intimacy and aching with the absence of a beloved presence.
And that cannot be avoided, as to love is to hurt. Love cannot exist without pain and therefore to love is open yourself to deep vulnerability and to loss.
However, for those about to get into relationship you could ask yourself whether the other person has the capacity for presence, the ability to dive into the depths of love’s chambers, to openly explore the scripts and patterns that hinder intimacy, to embody and articulate the sanguine emotions and to physically, emotionally and spiritually be present and available, despite whatever complexities they ‘appear’ to navigate. If someone is unable to be truly available, if someone is not truly present, if someone is not free to engage simply with you, the likelihood is that love will involve a higher level of pain and suffering than joy and laughter. There is no doubt that through suffering, the true nature of love reveals itself, as love metamorphoses into a transcendent force, capable of weathering the storms and navigating the turbulent seas of human existence. But if pain, anguish and bitter tears outweigh the angelic serenity of joy and tears of blissful realisation, then deeper questions need to be asked as to whether this love is truly lOve.
Love, with its kaleidoscopic brilliance, is an artist, painting the landscapes of our hearts with hues that defy definition. Suffering, the shadowy poet, inscribes verses of longing and loss upon the same canvas. Together, they compose a symphony of contradictions, a dance that transcends the boundaries of reason and ventures into the sublime realm of the heart. But this time is one of poignant realisation of the reality of your heart’s scripts and patterns. It is a time of hard decisions as to what you are prepared to engage with; whether there exists true equality of light and shadow in your closest relationships; and whether there is equity of values between you and those you care for. It is a time for simplicity, not complexity; for honesty, not avoidance; and for healing, not pain.
Art by Katlynn Johnston
Reflections on Morning Star Venus in Cardinal Air trioctile to Saturn, opposing Chiron and biquintiling Uranus