Sometimes it's almost impossible to believe that I've been in a committed relationship with the same partner for more than half of my life…Where does the time go? At some point in the more than twenty years we've been together, our connection became bigger than the both of us.
A bit like water to a fish, it’s become an unseen container for living that sustains and nourishes us, a resilient and adaptable environment that expands as we expand, individually and together.
I often get asked how we do it. How, in a world where divorce is so common, and where “starter marriages” have become the norm, have we managed to stick with this one thing that challenges so many? And mostly, I don't have any other answer except for…love.
Love and Ayurveda
Looking at our relationship through my “Ayurvedic glasses,” I see the interplay of energies: his and mine.
How his calm, accepting Kapha grounds and nurtures my wild, wandering, and scattered Vata. How my creative, off-beat, and excitable Vata energizes and motivates his far too comfortable Kapha. Our Pitta's battle each other for space, the spotlight, and the privilege of being right.
The Ayurvedic view of love examines what lies at the heart of the complex interactions we have with ourselves and others. It's an experience of our elemental qualities expressing themselves—hot, cold, heavy, light, dry, smooth, oily, sharp.
If you pay close attention, you'll notice that each of these characteristics shows up in our mental, physical, and emotional expressions of everything…including love. Ayurveda sees love as a dance of the doshas that looks a little like this.
Vata love is expansive, variable, and impulsive.
Vatas love with wild abandon. They love everything all at once, and then nothing (and then everything again). They are tuned in to the subtleties of the many ways love can be expressed, so much so that they can get lost there.
Vatas are in love with love. For Vata love to flourish, it needs grounding and a little focus, to be pointed in an inspired, useful direction and brought down to earth every once in a while.
Pitta love is focused, intense, passionate, and all-encompassing.
Pittas love with “diva-like” precision. They're the calculated risk-takers in the love stakes, going all in or playing their cards close to their chest (nothing in between). As a result, they tend to win AND lose big. Either way, drawn in by the thrill (and challenge) of the game, they keep playing!
Pittas want to be at the center of love. For Pitta love to shine, it needs to be met with just the right amounts of opposition and surrender. Like a beautiful, passionate tango dance, Pitta love can have only one lead.
Kapha love is nurturing, faithful, steady, and enduring.
Kapha love is the closest thing to emotional comfort food there is. The purest, sweetest, most unconditional and nourishing kind you'll find. Kapha's unlimited desire and capacity for love shows up both as abundance (they've got plenty of love to share) and scarcity (they can never get enough).
Kaphas need someone (or something) to love. For Kapha love to be expressed, it needs only an object of affection, but for it to bloom, it needs to be met with gratitude…and stamina.
The Lessons of Love
So…what does YOUR love look like? With any likelihood it'll be some combination of all of the above that will shift depending on the time of day, time of year, and even your age!
The key is embracing who YOU are in love, understanding that it's vital to what makes you YOU (and what makes people love you). And be sure to direct a little (or a lot) of that love toward yourself every chance you get.
The other equally important thing to embrace (with those same arms) is the way those you love, love (every crazy-making quality).
Understand that although their love may be expressed through qualities that are different, opposite, and even complimentary to yours, it's all a part of what makes them unique, desirable and alive and may very well be what makes YOUR love together work!