This testimonial came in the form of a blog from a student who was on a year-long trip with her partner:
“…Melissa’s classes taught us that long-term partnership is hard work, an un-relenting, soul-stretching course in self-development, if done fully and properly, that is not at all supposed to be easy, and because of that, relationship is also one of the most rewarding things we can participate in as human beings. This assumption … falls heavily against much of the conditioning we have received about love and how it is supposed to feel, according to societal teachings. If we are in the right relationship, we are supposed to be happy all the time. It is supposed to be easy. We have had some relearning to do.
Somewhere in Sri Lanka, we both grew more into living the attitude we found in Melissa’s classes, neither of us can pinpoint exactly why it began to happen, besides months of culminated and non-stop living together, loving and arguing and processing and praying and working things out together. I do remember a night, before sleep, my partner revealed to me a situation that day in which I was acting as a wounded child instead of my grown self. For one of the first times since I can remember, I received it with all the love and support intended, and looked clearly at myself in a way I had not before, without blaming myself or him, finding the path to that place of love and receiving, becoming more familiar with it, we try to return more often, when challenges arise.
Accepting that relationship is hard work. It lessens our resistance to the moments in which things are difficult or frustrating: it’s like learning not to worry about worrying. When my partner gets frustrated, I used to get frustrated immediately that he was frustrated. It is learning to lessen that, and release it, practicing, practicing, practicing, making mistakes, practicing through the mistakes.
If you were a fly on the wall for one of the arguments we had, a day-long yelling match, we now have arguments that are usually brief, often quick with apologies and loving words and holding hands, you might see how big the change is, or rather how deep it is, and it is not because we no longer grate on each others’ nerves, but we have grown up a bit, … we trust each other more…we have been through a lot.
We find ourselves, in large, distant from the expectation that we feel in love all the time, distant, even, from the disappointment of learning that in relationship it is impossible to feel in love all the time. We have perhaps grown to trust in the fact that we also have conflict, and this is how it should be. The conflict actually helps us if we hold it with love. And, the irony? Since this shift began, we do, in fact, feel in love much more of the time than when we largely avoided conflict, or felt frustrated about frustration. HA! It sounds so simple, except that it also took a lot of work, practice, and commitment, from both of us…”
Irene S. age 22