In this sharp energy that we are all swimming in, it seems that consciousness is beckoning to us directly. In particular, I am currently noticing a great turbulence and questioning around the social contracts that people find themselves in.

Let me explain: when we enter into relationship with someone, there is a conscious interaction and an unconscious agreement. The conscious part is what we are aware of, such as a physical attraction or a sense of social compatibility.

The unconscious level, as the name implies, is what is going on underneath. It is here that things become tricky because the unconscious, contrary to what we sometimes like to believe, is not our inner truth-teller. In fact, it is where most of our distortions and addictions first formed. 

So when we’re getting that sugar high from an extended gossip session, we might be telling ourselves that we’re bonding with a clever, worldly friend, while really we’re tapping into the dark depths of our own judgment and alienation. Or perhaps, we’re feeling the warm glow of virtue and philanthropy in taking on another person’s crisis, when secretly we’re getting off on the drama and enjoying the time out from our own problems. The point is that, like anything else, relationships are susceptible to fake highs and false consciousness. As the inevitable hangover descends on us, the reflex is to blame the other party. In reality, it is ourselves we have betrayed by failing to examine the unconscious agreements that always underlay the relationship. 

I am observing people waking up to the fact that they are in unhealthy relationships. Sometimes this can be a gentle process of letting go, but more often it is a jarring experience. These types of change are difficult enough to navigate if they occur in a business situation, but in a friendship or love relationship, they can be deeply painful and confusing. Recently, I was forced into a not-so-pleasant reminder of a relationship dating back a decade. The gossip that brought it to my door was hurtful and false. After sitting with the hurt, I had to take responsibility for my lack of integrity in the situation. I gave thanks for the stern teacher the other person had become in forcing me to address my unconscious material. But I also sat with the self-acceptance of the specific blind spot that had created this situation in my life, a wounding dating back to my childhood. The action was not malicious on my part. Nor, I realized, was it malicious on the part of the other person, though I felt that rather than take responsibility, there was hiding in the guise of a victim. It reminded me of two important truths: the first is that we all need to share equal responsibility for what occurs in relationship, because relationship in essence is an observing and a sharing of our unconscious material; the second is that while we do not have to like certain people, we do have to love them.

Ultimately, all these seeming detours are roads back to our Self. In this return trip, the devil is in the unconscious action, the divine in paying attention to the intent.