There is so much change happening in any one single moment. Our minds simply can’t compute and grasp how many conditions must be met prior to each moment in order for that moment to occur. It simply boggles the mind. If we spent our time paying attention to each and every moment and what went into that moment’s birth, we wouldn’t get too much done. I am personally grateful that our minds are set up to operate quite the opposite. Our minds are designed to perceive, filter, interpret, summarize and store information that it deems important. All the rest gets pushed aside. This not only allows us to go about our daily lives in relative peace, but also enables us to go through each day with “ignorant bliss.” We get to maintain some kind of illusion that our lives are under “control” and that we can pretty much feel safe and secure in knowing what tomorrow will bring—usually more of the same. However, in reality life can't help but remind us again and again that this is really not how it works.
Just one week before the devastating earthquake hit Japan, I was having lunch with some friends and we were discussing just how vulnerable we human beings are. I don’t mean in the sense that we can get our feelings hurt or hearts broken. It wasn’t that kind of conversation. We were discussing our role and place in our eco-system. After discussing the merits of human intelligence and our position at the top of the food chain, in the end, we all agreed that human beings were no more and no less powerful, and dare I say, important, than any other part of our eco-system.
I’ve just turned 50. As much as I know that there is a predictable developmental path that all human beings generally follow, I’m still surprised when I notice my life is no different. I’ve traveled through all the developmental phases a typical 50 year old woman does. It makes me feel so ordinary. Sometimes I feel like such a cliché. And then I remember that my book “The Pathway to Love” is all about traveling down predictable developmental pathways.
At the beginning of a romantic relationship when you are in the throes of phase one—object-fantasy, it is common to think you know someone more than you realistically could. It’s the time when you’re under the spell of “falling in love.” Although people feel like they know who someone is in a short period of time, most people logically understand that they cannot possible know someone that well given the limited time and experience you've had together. As time goes by and our relationships develop, there comes a time when we believe we know everything there is to know about our partners. For some this may take several years, for others it may entail decades. This is the moment we stop making inquiries as to whom our partner truly is. This is the time we are most vulnerable to complacency.