Drama in Relationships is a Feature, Not a Bug

This is a story about our beautiful ginger cat Bodhicattva, a/k/a All Love All the Time.

And it’s also about, not to wax pretentious or anything, love and relationship and, oh dear, enlightenment.

Alright then: It’s three in the morning. Bodhi decides the time has come to perch on me for a while. I can’t say no because he’s the Bodhicattva, All Love All the Time, and he tops from the bottom.

I’m lying there in voluntary servitude to my Bodhi buddy, unable to sleep, and my mind gets to wandering in that half-awake space that sometimes leads to unexpected thoughts. Which is what happens now.

Here’s the gist: Just like music, the psyche has keys. It is organized into distinct patterns, each of which has its own characteristic mood, boundaries, and internal connections and ‘laws.’

We probably vibrate differently depending on the psychic key we’re inhabiting. I mean this literally—we are vibrational systems, after all, so why not?

Deep into that night, with Bodhi zonked out on my lap, I identified three distinct keys.

There’s the key of E. The key of ego. It’s how just about all of us are, just about all the time. It’s what creates all the drama in the world. “I’ve been slighted.” “I’m not seen.” “I want to be acknowledged/adored.” “I get furious when things don’t go the way I want them to.”

The key of E is Wagner. It’s Beethoven. It’s you and me.

The key of E creates soap operas. Reality TV shows. And just about all the ups and downs in our relationships, too.

Relationship drama—that’s music in the key of E.

The key of E doesn’t only thrive on drama. It requires it. Drama is what keeps the ego alive and so it creates it.

Music in the key of E is a drama factory.

That night, in my hypnagogic state, I was able to walk in and out of the key of E. I could feel how it lived in my body. I could feel how there was an alternative.

Which is … the key of Me. Not the egoistic ‘me,’ but the Me that’s the real me; my true self; the me that’s plugged into things as they truly are. When I’m in the key of Me, I’m at peace with myself … with life and death, including my own mortality … with the intense tragicomedy of a world driven by the key of E.

On that night, I could sense what the key of Me feels like. It’s an enlightened place. A place of deep peace.

I was in toggle mode. Key of E, key of Me. On holiday from submersion in the key of E.

And then there’s the key of We—the energetic and emotional set when lovers are in relationship with each other.

When both partners are playing in the key of E, you have all the usual enthusiasms and nonsense. Laughing, fighting, making up. This drama definitely has rewards, but it comes with a chaser of sorrow because it’s hard not to ask, “We love each other, so why do we have so much trouble liking each other?”

Because you’re making music in the key of E, that’s why. Because turmoil is part of the package. A feature, not a bug.

I believe that in our hearts we long to make music with another person in the key of Me. We want to meet beyond the drama, in a place of pure acceptance and love.

Beyond our addiction to drama, we all want this.

When I’m making relationship music in the key of E, I spend way too much time making my partner wrong (and me, by contrast, perfectly okay). Sound familiar? Doing this has a kind of inevitability—it’s part of the vibrational system of the key of E.

The next time you find yourself wearying of your relationship drama and wishing you could step outside it, try asking yourself if you can shift internally to the key of Me. Ask yourself how that might happen; imagine yourself into what the key of Me would feel like. The ego is wily; the shift may not be genuine. But set yourself the target—key of Me! Make it your north star, and sooner or later your soul may take you there.

At a minimum, simply holding the intention will calm you down.

If your partner doesn’t join you, you’ll still be better off because the drama factory will have 50% less power to manufacture with. And if your partner does join you there, well, then—welcome to relationship paradise!

You’ll be making music—beautiful music—in the key of We.

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