I consider my sister Connie to be a very wise woman. Once in a while she will say something that triggers deep introspection and this introspection usually changes my life.
In my recent conversation with her I was sharing the state of my life. I told her that I realized that I live a life most people would envy. I live in a very beautiful place of my choosing. I travel all over the world. I have very interesting, like minded friends and 2 beautiful daughters and a new grandson. I work when I want to, and play when I want to and I answer to no one but the creator. I have had many magical and mystical experiences in my life. The best of it was that I have and powerful and intimate relationship with the creator.
Having The Icing And The Cake
I should be really happy to be in charge of my life, to live the way my heart calls me to. But I also told her of the emptiness I feel now, in spite of the seeming full, interesting and down right adventurous life I lead. There is something missing, and this year it has become painfully clear, not just for me but for so many. I feel emptiness because I do not have a deep and intimate personal relationship. Victories and adventures are dulled when there is no one home to share them with. When I was finished, Connie said, "Sounds like you have all the icing without the cake."
Now Connie has led a blessed life with very little chaos, at least from my perspective. She married her one and only, and still to this day glows from the love they share. They have raised 3 sons together who are all exceptional adults and delivered Connie, and husband Pete, with a house full of beautiful grandchildren. The respect they have for each other is amazing and the glow of real deep intimacy shows.
Connie knows what cake is, and she works hard to keep cake in her life. What they have, I feel most are searching for and darn it, I want my cake, icing and all, and get to eat it to! And why not! Why can't we have everything our heart desires and feel fulfilled? And what stops us from having it all! Why do so many on the spiritual path endure traumatic relationships or have no relationship at all?
Where Are You Not Fulfilled?
This conversation -- cake icing theory -- led me into a whole process of thought over the next few weeks. I looked at where I was not fulfilled and where my extended family felt unfulfilled. I knew of some who had lived the solitary life for many years were now coming to a place where they were beginning to feel a deep loneliness, and I had to ask myself why.
I looked at the world in general and looked at how we try to fill those empty spots inside of us. And I had to ask why the empty spots seem to be getting larger, rather than smaller, with our spiritual growth.
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I began to see a pattern in various groups. First there are those who crave the depth in life, but seem to have an abundance of sweet icing. They want the home, the intimate family and loving partner, the garden in the back, and a kitty in the window still.
It isn't that they do not appreciate the icing, they do, it's just the icing has no home base, no roots in which to rest after a great adventure or victory. The icing doesn't fulfill the spirit and these ones know there is more to life than they have been getting. They are open to the experience, but for some reason it does not appear. They have tasted cake on occasion and they know what they are missing.
All Icing and No Cake?
Then there are the ones who would rather grab the easy fix and go for the icing. They feel if they get the new car, the big house, the perfect job, or Barbie Doll girl friend or Prince Charming, that they will be happy. Let's face it -- the new car will get scratched, the house will have to be cleaned over and over, and the job will become a boring routine once again... and Barbie doesn't have a brain, and Prince Charming never gets off his white horse.
It's all icing, very sweet upon first taste -- but it will make us sick if we eat too much of it. But it is the sweet stuff many keep going back for. We are so addicted to it, and yet we still feel so empty. We run from fear of being hurt and from the hard work it takes to bake the cake that is the very foundation for the icing we crave.
Then there is the really sad group who forgets there is cake at all. They are like squirrels on a treadmill going around and around working night and day to keep the icing up high. These ones have no idea what they are missing. They have only tasted icing and the cake has eluded them completely. My question is, if you never tasted the cake how do you know what you are missing.... Maybe you don't.
Approaching Relationships with Love not Fear
Then I discovered conflicting spiritual teachings.... Marianne Williamson in her book "Enchanted Love" shares that the coming together of two people is a magical and mystical experience and something that we should dive into it with total abandon to receive the gifts the creator is giving us. But the collective consensus out in the world is saying to be careful... be discerning... Watch out! Isn't this approaching relationship with fear and not love? And if we approach relationship with fear, will we manifest the relationship we want? Is it true we get what we give?
Don Miguel Ruiz in his book "Mastery of Love" says that we need to fulfill ourselves first before we can fulfill ourselves in a relationship. I believe we need to know ourselves to be able to draw in the right person, BUT still in nature nothing exists without an intimate connection with something else. We are part of nature. Do you see anything under the sun that does not need something else to survive?
We are not autonomous beings, as much as we would like to be. Are we using spiritual new-age concepts and teachings to avoid intimacy? Are we using them to protect ourselves from getting hurt? Are we using this kind of teachings to build a wall in which to protect our wounded hearts and to avoid possible future pain, instead of risking and opening ourselves to God's magical gifts of Love?
Now don't get me wrong here, I love Marianne Williamson and Don Miguel and other teachers like them. Without a doubt they are opening us to look at ourselves in new and expanded ways. These teachings are profound yet they also seem to create a lot of confusion about relationship -- relationship to ourselves and each other. We are torn between living in the idealism of spirit and the reality of being human. And darn it! ... we all want our cake and eat it too! And no cliché saying is going to tell us otherwise. Right?
Living With Wonder, Curiosity, and LOVE
Christ said to go into the kingdom of heaven as a little child. Children do not approach life with fear. They don't worry that if they take their first steps they will fall and hurt themselves... and when they do fall, they feel it, get up, and go do it again and again until they get it right. They live with wonder, curiosity, and LOVE. Most of all their hearts are not yet closed, their minds not programmed with limiting concepts. They take life as it comes to them.
Do we? Have life's challenges closed us down? Have our painful experiences made us jaded, cautious, and overly discerning? Are we missing on the big cosmic cake because we go for the safety or the instant gratification of a little icing?
Let's face it, a blob of icing without the cake underneath it, is just a blob of icing. Icing needs cake! Cake needs icing. And we need each other, so let's quit pretending that we don't. Let's quit twisted profound spiritual concepts to hide behind. Let's quit professing everything is wonderful, when it isn't. It is time to get real. It is time to feel the heart not just speak about it.
It is not codependent to desire a deep relationship with another human being to feel fulfilled! It being human, it is being real, it is natural. Many spiritual teachings forget that we are human! And how do we bring together the spiritual and the humanness that we are in a fulfilling way?
I began to think in deeper terms about relationship and how it relates our planet. If we can't get real with each other, how can we assume we can get it right with humanity and manifest harmony! If we can't be vulnerable, intimate, and committed to our girlfriends / boyfriends, husband / wife, mother / father, sister / brother how can we with humanity as a whole?
But we know it takes a hot kitchen to bake these kinds of cakes. If we can't stand the heat, we run for the icing and at the end of the day we feel empty. It is time to honor our humanness and honor our heart's desires. It is time to quit using spiritual concepts to mind trip ourselves into denying ourselves of what we truly want. Being a human on earth is a spiritual experience and all that it offers us as experience in body, mind, and spirit. We crave relationships and community that will support us on our worst days and that will be there to celebrate our victories. We are human, but we are also spirit, and we need to honor both sides of our beingness.
Hunger for Real Loving Relationship
This progression of thought might have been triggered by the recent passing of both my parents or even the abrupt departure of my long time partner last year. It might have been triggered by a 6 month classic imitation relationship I endured. Six months of "nothing was what it seemed". It was this illusion's thick icing that gave me a real deep, but new, perspective and understanding of what icing really is, and why we are all still so hungry, me included. Maybe our addiction to icing or the fact that we only have icing, comes from deep woundings or the simple fact we do not recognize that there is a cake waiting for us at all. Maybe we forgot that the heat created in the kitchen to bake the cake is worth the sweat.
One day all that we have owned, created, and done here on this plane will pass away. It is a fact. All that we will take with us is the love we shared, the connectedness we have experienced with one another, and the lessons we learned. This is the real stuff -- the stuff that makes life rich. It is the soft and crumbling cake we need -- to gobble up every crumb while it is still warm from the oven like it was the last crumb and to lick the plate like a child when we are done. We need deep and intimate connection with others, and with God. What we crave most is eternal.
Opening the heart and living with love takes work and the kitchen gets hot when you bake an eternal cake. If we look to nature and God's creation all around us, nothing under the sun can survive without a intimate connection with something else. We are all working together -- to deny this fact is to deny nature itself. I am beginning to see that the days of the spiritual hermit, the lone seeker are over. We have all done the hermit thing. We have fasted on the mountaintops and we have gone to the desert. We have isolated ourselves from each other because of hurt and trauma. We have learned who we are.
First A Partner, Then Community, Country, and Planet
Maybe the loneliness many are beginning to feel is a universal push to bring us together once again. First a partner, then community, country, and planet. The heat in the kitchen is getting too hot to do the baking alone. The desire to share deeply with another is not dysfunctional, it is natural and healthy.
The Maya have a saying, "In Lak'ech - A La Kin". It means, I am you and you are me. It reminds me we are simply wanting to re-connect the other parts of ourselves. It is time to recognize that we need each other to create our dream and to feel fulfilled, because we are a part of each other. In fact we have never been separate. It has been the greatest illusion.
I don't have any more answers than when I began this quest for understanding relationship. In fact I seem to have more questions. I have shared many things I have been feeling. Sometimes it scares me to do this, but I try with all my heart to live open and be vulnerable. I know things are changing and we are not really sure how things are going to end up.
All we know is what we have been doing is not working anymore and we are all looking for the answers, the new path. But the one thing I am sure of it that the answers can only come from our open hearts.
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About The Author
Aluna Joy Yaxk'in is an internationally known Speaker, Author, Photographer, Clairvoyant, and Sacred Site Essence Formulator. Aluna's work has been influenced by a life long interaction with the Star Elders combined with a series of shamanic experiences that accelerated over a decade of travel in Mexico, Guatemala and Peru. She now acts as a cross cultural guide on spiritual pilgrimages and offers unique Star Elder Sessions. Aluna is author of Mayan Astrology, and her articles have been published worldwide. Aluna Joy Yaxk'in, PO Box 1988, Sedona, AZ 86339. Webpage: http://www.alunajoy.com/
Watch a video prepared by Aluna Joy: The Conscious Army -- Love is the New Religion