FALLING IN LOVE IS A BLISSFUL LIFE-ALTERING EVENT. It seems to strike us out of the blue. We go along in our daily lives and then meet someone to whom we are at first indifferent, or who may seem interesting in some way. Then suddenly, for no explicable reason, we see them in a new light. It is as if we have been struck by Cupid’s arrow and become dazed. We have fallen in love. Reason flies out the window and we are overcome by erotic feelings, passion and desire. We see the person’s unique beauty and find ourselves deeply drawn to them. We begin to think of them night and day and can’t get them out of our mind. That first “hit” of Eros, when we realize we have fallen in love, is a time where we see the best of the person and feel the best within ourselves. It is an idyllic time where passion and desire, two very powerful forces in the human psyche, overtake us. Our spirits soar. It is a magical time of being enveloped in the mystery of falling in love.
Flash forward several months or years and this idyllic picture by then has paled. As most of us know, it is all too unfortunate that the fervor of the original passionate emotions dies out in many long-term relationships. Whereas at first, the object of our ardor is like a god or goddess, oftentimes they somehow turn into a frog. Initially, we don’t see the totality of the person with whom we fell in love. The harsh light of day or, every day pressures, take from us from that glorious state of mind.
The mythological Greek god of love, Eros (called Cupid by the Romans), visited his love, Psyche, in the darkness of night. She had promised Eros to never look at him in the light in order to keep the mystery of that bond they shared. When Eros was sleeping, his beloved broke her promise and bent over him to see him more closely, dropping candle wax and burning his wing, a metaphor similar to our own minds misleading us and destroying the original beauty and promise of our relationship, injuring deep states of love within us.
After time elapses in a relationship, our eyes “open” to the full totality of who our mate is with all their good and bad qualities. That original first hit of love that was so full of adoration becomes dulled and the sharp impressions of the primordial experience are no longer readily available. Time and familiarity dampen the initial exciting feelings of ecstatic love. The real loss, however, is the loss of our own nature which is capable of this high state of consciousness of pure love.
After years of marriage some partners tire of their mates and seek another person to fulfill that original feeling of Eros, or if they stay within the marriage, seek other pursuits for pleasure and release. To one degree or another, even in the most loving and faithful of relationships, conflict occurs. When that initial passion dies what must assert itself in a long-term relationship is wisdom. When the fire is gone and one is dealing with the daily pressures of life—such as making money, supporting a family, dealing with children, the dirty dishes and the laundry—one needs wisdom and understanding to develop loving kindness, compassion and tolerance for the limitations of one’s mate and oneself. Such wisdom makes for a more enduring, longlasting love, not just one based on the initial first “high” of falling in love. Wisdom is needed to make a safe haven in a difficult, troubled world, for the family and children. However the spirit of Eros is still in the shadows of the mind, along with the enduring, balanced spirit of wisdom. Yet, in spite of this universal balm of wisdom, all of us desire and long to reawaken and experience that initial euphoria of falling in love.
Some couples attempt to find respite from their conflicts when they spend time together away from the kids and their daily grind. They rediscover what they initially saw in each other. They “fall in love” again. They are able to re-ignite those initial fires by giving time and care to their relationship, away from the daily pressures of life. However, it is important for them to know they can’t maintain that idyllic sojourn forever. Even in the best of long-term relationships there always exists some irritation with each other. That is the nature of long-term relationships and wisdom is the universal balm. Still, in spite of this wisdom, all of us desire and long to reawaken and experience that initial first hit of falling in love.
Love relationships typically go through three stages. The first stage is falling in love. That is when Cupid strikes us and we see the essence of the other person. We get an experience of the pure spirit of who they truly are. We see the best in them and in ourselves and we are passionate, in love and our spirits are soaring.
The second phase occurs after we and our significant other have been together for some time, and negative emotions begin to surface. Either we feel insecure, or communication problems arise, or we feel the other just doesn’t meet our needs, or no longer understands us. Clashes and disagreements start to erupt in this phase. During this time, our fears, insecurities, unresolved issues from the past, and negative or unconscious ways of behaving from our respective experiences while growing up rear their ugly heads and interfere with the relationship. Conflicts arise and the person with whom we were so very much in love has somehow vanished. We now see all their imperfections through the lens of our own limitations and they too are doing the same, which becomes the blame game in most marital discord. Thus, we lose sight of their inner beauty and the promise that we first experienced in them and in ourselves.
Then comes the third phase. Either we break up, emotionally, or leave through divorce and look for love elsewhere, or we resolve the conflicts and learn to love each other, despite the problems that have arisen. At this stage, we must learn to love our mate in a deeper way. Hopefully, we learn that we are not perfect and neither are they and we learn to resolve the discord in our relationship in a more positive manner. We may have lost that initial experience of when we first fell in love, but still have a glimpse of it, that first wonderful hit of love is still there buried in an image somewhere in our minds. It is just obscured under all the mixed emotions that have arisen since that first blissful encounter.
We can retrieve the image of our first hit of love, the essence of our beloved, and re-invoke our own sensual spirit through a very deep image of mind and essence: “Cupid: The Idol of Love.” It is a powerful transformative image that is great for couples, indeed for all of us, who have lost the magic in our relationships and even extends to lost partners in the past when that emptiness continues on. That fulfillment is within the capacity of our own minds, our own imaginations, which can heal past injuries and embrace a deeper more feeling-full place within ourselves. This image brings one back to that good feeling that helps deal with the relationship issues that arise.
CUPID: THE IDOL OF LOVE IMAGE¹
This technique brings back the first impressions of your mate or lover when you first fell in love. It recaptures the original vision of their essence that captivated you. It brings back all the good feelings you had at that time. You can do this image with eyes open or closed. Just find a quiet spot and take your time in following the image instructions.
- Remember yourself in love, and the person you touched, or who touched you, the first time you realized you were in love with them.
- Remember the touch and see the person before you again. This is an early image of love. All other images are late images of love, even of this person. There is Cupid in this early image. The god is present here. The more you look at this image, the more it becomes like an icon.
- See the image. You have bodily feelings and sensations of the god of love being near you. Keep this image at this early stage. Do not bring to your mind later images of this person.
- Feel your body relaxing, your bones and muscles relaxing. This is Cupid, the god of love in the image. All other human images of love are late images, which may only contain the problems between you.
ARE IMAGES MORE POWERFUL, MORE INSIGHTFUL, THAN WORDS?
We’ve all heard the expression, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Eidetic Image psychology has proved this truism time and again. So, here is a story of how this image affected one of my clients:
Ellen was angry at her husband Ted because she felt that he had gotten too busy to pay attention to her with his new interest in golf. He was spending most of his free time with his buddies and no longer with her. She began to nag at him over many insignificant things because she needed more attention. Ellen’s behavior only pushed Ted further away and fights began to erupt. When she went through the “Cupid: The Idol of Love Image,” she recalled, “When I see the image, I remember when I first fell in love with Ted. I met him at work. One day he walked into my office and told me he was attracted to me. I told him we could not date because of our professional relationship. In the image I see him leaning over my desk and reaching for my hand. That was the first touch. As I see that early image of his touch I look into his eyes. As I see those eyes, I see his intensity, aura of confidence and depth. I am totally turned on to him. As I look more, I melt and actually feel my heart beat faster. I have a sensation of burning up in passion and being enveloped in desire.” Once she recalled what she loved about Ted, his confidence, intensity and depth, Ellen’s attitude naturally shifted. She started treating him with adoration just like when they first met. Ted picked up on her “new” behavior and positively responded in kind. He too wanted to spend more time with Ellen because he felt so good being around her.
We can talk, dialogue, try to understand or “get” each other, but somehow words do not capture the true nature of our deepest desires and states of being. The “Cupid: The Idol of Love” image is an eidetic image, developed by Akhter Ahsen, PhD.1 Eidetic images are clear, multi-sensory visual cues within us that evoke deep emotional, feeling-full states and profound meanings of our own existence that when seen, open up the generosity of our nature and that of those significant others in our lives.
- Akhter Ahsen. 1992. New Surrealism: The Liberation of Images in consciousness. New York: Brandon House, Inc.