With only two months left on our long distance journey, I'm finding it more challenging to live in the present moment. I bring myself back again and again, but before I do that...
Thomas and I have known each other for less than a month. We are sitting on a dock on a small island in Panama, listening to really bad reggae music blasting from an early 90's sound system. To top it off, we are drinking rum and coke out of plastic cups, which is as classy as it gets on Isla Bastimentos. I don't remember exactly, but most likely there are children playing in the background. On this island there are always children running around with no parents in sight. Although this wouldn't normally be considered 'romantic,' we are in complete la-la (or as Thomas and I would say "lulu") land; you know, that phase of the relationship when everything is no less than perfect.
Hesitantly, I say the following: "I think I'm falling in love with you." The few seconds it takes to get a response seem like hours. Then comes a slight laugh, a moment of self-doubt, followed by: "I already did." I don't think either of us said much of anything for a good while after that.
Our nine day Panama trip was a big milestone despite the short time we had known each other. You learn a lot about each other spending 24 hours a day together for nine days in a row, as I'm sure you can imagine. Even if I try, I cannot remember a single thing about that trip that I found annoying or cumbersome in any way. The five hours we spent standing on a bus going across a small mountain range on winding roads was spent talking about everything you could imagine. When we wanted to do something, we did it and when we wanted to just do nothing, we did that too. We hiked the tallest peak in Panama one day and spent the whole day laying around the next. No games, no guessing what the other person wanted to do or wondering how to act, just choosing free will moment to moment.
In retrospect that was one of the greatest lessons of all in yoga and life. Two people can be in relationship with each other free of conflict and complaint. We hear that conflict is good and it's ok to fight, and of course when ego comes into play (and it always does at some point) conflicts are there to be had and there is no reason to judge that as bad. However, I believe it is possible to have a relationship free of conflict and complaint. I've been there on occasion. That's not to say that Thomas and I are living some eternal bliss. We have also had so-called hard times in our relationship, when ego creeps in to play a bigger and bigger role. However, the knowledge and understanding of our potential plays a crucial role in our ability to keep moving and evolving individually and together.
Whether you have been married for years or never want to have any kind of long term commitment, we could all benefit from taking a moment to consider this potential to have conflict free relationships. It's something we speak of often in yoga philosophy and I would say it's a key teaching of many of the world's religions. Peace. Happiness. Free will. Harmony. All different ways to describe the same concept that penetrates the essence of the human experience.