Stage 4: Creating Real, Lasting, Love
When Carlin and I hit Stage 3, we were prepared. As painful as the rights were and the loud silences, we never gave up on love. Instead of bailing out we went deeper. The benefits of Stage 4 are contained in the name. It’s real. It lasts. It is love like you never imagined it could be.
For the first time, we were able to see the other person as they really were, not the selfish projection of our unmet needs. We felt safe in a way we never had. We felt truly seen and accepted for who we were and we accepted ourselves as the flawed, yet glorious, human beings we all are.
And here is the bonus. We fell in love again. But it was much wilder, much crazier, much more joyful than the first time around.
Stage 5: Using the Power of Two to Change the World
Here’s a little mind experiment. What would the world be like if every couple had a proper love map and successfully navigated the five stages of love? I’ll bet it would be a more loving, kinder, world where we understood and respected our differences. I suspect the left and right wouldn’t be as rigidly separated and heads of state wouldn’t so easily lead their countries to war.
In practice, it means a couple feels so much gratitude for what they’ve been given, they want to do their part to create a better world for their children, grandchildren, and all people who share this beautiful planet. In the words of my colleague, Charles Eisenstein, we work together to create “the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.”
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