Like most girls, I spent my childhood imagining that I’d meet a wonderful man and live happily ever after. The search was the hard part, according to cultural lore.
One day, about 6 years into my marriage, and much to my surprise, I found myself crying as I walked down the street.
Why? I had 2 beautiful children and a dream life and job. By all outward measures, my life was perfect, just as I had strived to create my whole life. What was wrong?
In that moment I had to admit to myself that my marriage was on the rocks and I had not awakened to this reality until literally, the tears were pouring. My body knew, even while my head was stuck in the sand.
How could this be? I had found the right husband.
Being a studious person, I started to do some reading and exploring. I learned, with a great deal of humility, that relationships require ongoing work. That the diapers, bills, and taking out the garbage are the easy parts of a partnership. That the hard work is nurturing, mending, and growing the relationship every day, and includes doing the courageous inner work that’s required to understand all the baggage and garbage we unknowingly and unintentionally let seep into that precious bond.
But if you don’t know such a thing exists, you can’t work to improve it. I had thought that the relationship was just there. Like the air you breathe and the ground you walk on. I took it completely for granted. My big bad.
A relationship is really more like a home. There’s a structure that you might take for granted for just being there every day. But if you don’t attend to its care, it’ll fall down around you due to neglect.
An even better analogy is a garden. If you nurture it and tend to it, it’ll bear beauty and fruit and feed you in all the most important ways.
So I did the hard work needed to understand myself and feed my relationship. Though that relationship did not go the long haul (though we survived another 14 years), the knowledge and skills I learned during that marriage provided the formula for success for my beautiful relationship with my late husband, Christopher.
Similarly, I had not noticed that I was in a relationship with Earth too until recently (see my last blog about this awakening). Nurturing this relationship with Earth is simultaneously harder and easier than being in a relationship with a human partner.
Harder, because I have to listen differently to Earth since she does not always communicate by vocalizing English aloud to me. But I now know to listen with all of my senses, to my human loved ones too, else I miss important information. My grandbaby is a great reminder of that reality.
Easier, because the way Earth loves me (us) is completely unconditional. We know all too well that relationships that should feel unconditional, often are not. There are prerequisite behaviors, beliefs, and ways of being that influence how we’re treated, or whether we’re in a relationship at all. Even our most primal bonds, like parent/child, can feel conditional. But Earth is always there providing for us, no matter what we believe, or even how we treat her.
Our relationship with Earth is also similar to our human relationships in that it should be reciprocal. Having some kind of balance in relationships is necessary for it to be successful and fulfilling. Not that each party has to do the same thing for each other, tit for tat. But each party should be carrying the weight on some aspect of it, so that it balances out in the end. For it to really work, there should be mutual acknowledgment and appreciation for those efforts and gifts, even as the roles will differ.
And relationships are a lot of work and require full commitment. I’ve been hearing successful couples talk about how each need to do more than their 50% to make it work. It takes a 200% total effort to make it successful, each person giving 100%.
This feels like truth to me and is in accord with my own experience.
How does this apply to our relationship with Earth, the one who has also loved each of us unconditionally?
How can we be more intentional about a reciprocal relationship, where we’re giving more than our 50%? Or maybe at least 50%, as the case may be?
There’s no one answer. Our relationships with Earth are as unique as our fingerprints, or our connection with the Divine. Like 7 billion mirror panes on a disco ball.
And we should not settle for taking the relationship for granted anymore. Earth is standing on the sidewalk with tears on her face, metaphorically speaking. We’re directly experiencing her trauma from our neglect as storms, fires, drought, disease, and pests rage. She’s longing for a deeper, richer, more meaningful connection to each of us. She wants us to awaken to our true nature of being in a loving, reciprocal relationship with her. She wants us to tend the garden of our connection and for us to all enjoy the beauty and fruits of our labor.
This may feel overwhelming or intimidating to you but I assure you that our genetic lineage has us instinctively knowing what to do to be in a loving relationship with Earth. We’ve just lost muscle tone for this skill but the muscle memory is there. We can just allow it to open up, encourage it, then reap the joys of the return to the arms of our Mother. Humanity has done it for thousands of years; we only have temporary amnesia.
Join us if you want company as you rediscover your bond with Earth. We’re talking about her on social media and throughout our many events, which you can find on our Facebook events page.
We can do this together; after all, we are siblings in our Earth home, and the relationships throughout our communities also need TLC, reciprocity, and unconditionality.
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