Beyond Us and Ours
01 March 1990

I wanted insurance against pain and failure; in other words, I wanted someone to play God to me.

Marriage was out of the question for me. Events in my childhood meant that I could not stand the thought of risking another failed relationship. So when I found that I had fallen in love, I stifled my feelings for the man by comparing him with some utopian idea of what I needed in a life companion, and by looking elsewhere. When he asked me to marry him, I said no and meant it. I had lost all feeling for him and had become very conscious of the aspects of his personality which I felt were less than perfect. I wanted insurance against pain and failure; in other words, I wanted someone to play God to me.

One afternoon while I was relaxing, a strong insistent thought grew in me: `You are chasing a rainbow. You need to grow up. You must stand on your own feet and not depend on perfect people or circumstances.' Then came a personal promise somehow underlined, from somewhere: `When I put people together I fit them together.' There was such authority in this message that I knew my own mind could not have fabricated it.

I tried to shake off the effect of this 'encounter'. But it persisted in a quiet, confident, implanted way. I made a date and accepted marriage, for better or worse, until death would us part. And to my utter amazement and joy, I found myself flooded with love of a different sort from the 'in-love' attraction which I had known before.

We are both artists and we went into marriage with high expectations. These were fulfilled - to a degree. After a time we recognized longings which went beyond the solely emotional and physical. We wanted our lives to have meaning outside ourselves. We sensed that there were reaches of living as yet unexplored by us, that there was inspiration to be experienced, creative forces to be tapped, sources of power to grip us and alter our role - a genuine change, not willed but welling forth. We came to the conclusion that we had nothing significant to lose and everything to gain by allowing the priorities in our relationship to shift.

Something magical happened. We both began to experience another love - not the satisfaction of getting something but the fulfilment of giving something. It was mostly in little ways: encouragement, appreciation, interest in each other's thinking and activities, suggestions for each other's work. It was only later that we realized how much our attitudes had altered, and that creativity had crept into all we did.

There came a time, as often happens, when our personalities and back grounds began to impose a strain on our relationship. We are of different nationalities and cultures, we have different tastes and opinions on most things, one is a morning type and the other an evening type, and both are strong-willed and resistant to change. At times the strain seemed intolerable. Without our new priorities, we would not have come out whole. But we kept our promises and stuck together, and came to the discovery of the delights of the spirit.

Satisfaction and joy are perceived by the senses; if the senses are continually occupied with physical satisfactions they are less tuned to perceive the spiritual delights which are our birthright. We have found that these delights fill us with courage and insights for our tasks on Earth, and are the way to union with our Creator.

Across our many differences, a deep love and understanding has become grounded between us. We are able to undertake projects for the relief of distress and disaster caused by ignorance or wrong choices in our society; our home has come to be a place of endless adventure and countless little miracles.

Now we are watching our grandchildren grow up, and have come to understand that the real issue is not just what happens to me and mine, but what happens to humanity. Honest assessment, purity of intent and unselfish love are the simple ideals which, for the sake of the future, we need to demonstrate.

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