Connection. It happens everywhere in the world. Anywhere. It happens early in the pre-dawn hours, at mid-day or late into the evening. Often, it is a beginning or poignant time of relationship within the intimacy of lovers, family or friends. Sometimes, it stands alone as a shared moment between strangers. For me, it is the whole reason for existing at all, and I know that I am not alone in this belief.
We all know that feeling love and emotional harmony with your partner is wonderful; feeling angry is not! But anger is a natural part of life and is therefore inevitable, especially when two people share life closely. One of the biggest challenges a couple faces is how to deal with anger—both their anger toward their partner and their partner’s anger toward them.
Inclusion in tribes was a condition of survival in earlier eras of human history. As a result, our ancestors grew extremely sensitive to the threat of rejection from the group, and we retain sensitivity to social exclusion to this day. But most of us no longer have strong group bonds akin to those that exist in tribes, and we are also potentially able to be in contact with cast numbers of other humans. Thus each and every individual we encounter can represent either a source of great comfort and safety or a looming threat of social exclusion.
For the last several weeks we’ve been presenting views and definitions from a variety of researchers and psychotherapists on the consuming and powerful force commonly referred to as love. We’re just about ready to move on to other subjects (we promise we’ll return to love again, eventually), but need to add one final point.