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Embodying Love in a Lonely World with Indrus Piche

 

The longing to love and be loved is a universal human experience that can inspire great joy or plunge us into the deepest psychological hell.  Our expectations about a romantic partner are often unrealistic and locate the source of love as external to us.  What if love was not a mythical destination, but a way of being in the world that is accessible to all regardless of your relationship status?

In this episode of AIR I speak with Indrus Piche, a transpersonal therapist and sacred sexuality teacher in Victoria BC about unrequited needs in long term relationships and the everyday practice of embodying love. We also discuss how singles can stay open to the possibilities of love during the arduous search for the right partner.

Show Notes

  • To find out more about Indrus Piche work check out indrus.com
  • King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine Paperback on Amazon

If you enjoyed this episode with Indrus be sure to have a listen to Ep 006 The Lover Archetype in Dangerous Times

 

Episode Transcripts 

 

Silas Rose  0:09  
Hello, welcome to Awake In  Relationship. My name is Silas Rose.  As we are emerging from the pandemic, many of us are looking forward to  brighter days, some people are even predicting a Summer of Love. That sounds very hopeful. So I thought it’d be a great time to bring back a returning guest, Indrus Piche, who is a transpersonal therapist and sacred sexuality teacher, to talk about a big topic which is love. I think it’s fair to say that longing for love and the search for love is really central to the human experience, and can inspire great joy or plunge us into the deepest psychological hell, Our expectations around a romantic partner are often unrealistic and fundamentally locate the source of love as something outside of us. What if love is not some mythical destination, but rather a way of being in a world that is accessible to all regardless of one’s relationship status. This big notion of love really is what guides my conversation with Indrus as we dig deep into the source of unrequited needs in relationships, and the pain and frustration many singles experience in the search for love. So if you’re interested in the idea of love, as a verb, and practices for maintaining love, regardless of whether you’re happily coupled, or single, I think you’ll enjoy this conversation.
 
Good morning Indrus, welcome back to the show. 
 
 
Indrus Piche  2:37  
Good morning, Silas, thank you for inviting me again. I appreciate it. 
 
 
Silas Rose  2:41  
It seems we are coming out of COVID, we’ll see what actually happens. And many people are predicting a summer of love, probably more like a summer of lust, based on what I’ve heard on the street. So I thought this would be a really good time to bring you back and talk about a really big topic, which is embodied love. For those who perhaps haven’t tuned into our previous conversations, maybe you could fill us in on on what you do and, in particular, your personal journey to understanding the nature of love.
 
 
Indrus Piche  3:17  
Well, I’m a transpersonal therapist in private practice here in Victoria, British Columbia. I offer workshops for couples and relationships and also do some work with women around beauty, blessings and bliss at Hollyhock on Cortez Island in Mexico at Mata Hadi. I support Robert and Judith Gas in their relationship workshops, sharing the path and deepening in love. And that’s very much what we’re talking about today. This whole idea about loving and loving as a verb. And can we use relationship to explore how that sort of almost like we all want to be in love. We all think that we are loving I think. And then we get in relationships and it sometimes becomes a little bit more complex and a little bit more challenging than what we expected. And then I think we’ll talk today to around the whole realm of for those people who are non partnered, but want to explore love and the issues that come up around loneliness and having a sense that everybody else is falling in love except them. 
 
 
Silas Rose  4:54  
How has you’re understanding love and expectations around relationships. changed during the course of your life?
 
 
Indrus Piche  5:02  
Well, I’m now in my seventies, just crossed over the border, and it’s been such a beautiful journey. And at some times, one of them definitely one of the hardest parts of my life. I’m not one of those people who got in a relationship at 20. And it’s still in the same relationship, I’ve had an opportunity to have quite a few lovers and some long term relationships, I feel incredibly grateful that I’ve been able to really learn from that a lot. I think that what I’ve come to understand, one of the things that I really understand is how ill prepared I was. And I think that’s true for almost everyone who wants a long term committed relationship. just basic concepts like you are really in a position where you can say yes, to the real person, not the person who you want them to be not the person who you want to create in a fantasy. We all have different aspects of ourself, and do you know the person well enough to say yes, to the aspects that you’re not as crazy about. So those kinds of things is something that’s come with the maturity and the learning and sometimes the heartbreak, of the disappointments that always will be there, the surprises that will always be there, if you want to make the journey as a spiritual practice. 
 
 
Silas Rose  6:56  
So that’s probably a great stepping off point to talk about a very basic question, what is Love?
 
 
Indrus Piche  7:04  
I think it’s an important question. Actually, I think it’s a question we all should do personal inquiry about, I think it’s very different for different people. And I love that we’re beginning to understand this, so many forms of love, so many pathways of love, in loving, I have been very, very blessed, I have a loving partner. So I’m in that kind of intimate relationship with someone, I have children and grandchildren. And I was very surprised about having a whole different opening to love from my grandchildren. It’s beautiful, and something that I treasure and feel very, very blessed to be able to experience. I also have a very long term relationship and very deep friendships with people. And one person who I would term an Anna carom, which is in Gaelic from john O’Donoghue, a soul friend, where we get together once a month or so and just really explore what’s happening in our soul life. So I think that although we place a huge emphasis, especially in our culture, on romantic love, and I think it’s very valuable and very important, and I think that having some sort of loving that includes sexuality and sensuality. And that kind of passion is very vital, if if people have a chance to experience it. But I do think that there’s other ways of expressing love, of learning about love, that shouldn’t be undervalued.
 
 
Silas Rose  9:08  
 How did the Greeks define love, because I think they developed a number of interesting categories to explore those different expressions
 
 
Indrus Piche  9:17  
There’s the brotherly kind of love, the idea that we can transcend ourselves, our ego, in union with something bigger and greater the idea of spiritual love. I think we should look at it in terms of what’s most meaningful for us. How do we want to be loving in our world? How do we want to express it? I think one of the ways that’s really coming forward in this generation and I think it will be happening in the general nations to come, is the idea of almost social justice as an act of love, can we help the world begin to love the diversity that we have in people in our cultures and religious beliefs, in the way people have sexual preferences and who they identify themselves as I love this, that we can help ourselves become more loving, and evolve into acceptance and inclusion, and learning from one another. 
 
 
Silas Rose  10:41  
The desire for love is really kind of ubiquitous and  very central to the human experience. We live in a society or culture, where there’s also this sense of a kind of unworthiness or incompleteness, and it’s very much kind of a ‘pay to play’. It can be very transactional. I think that’s very much part of the materialism that dominates our culture.  I’m wondering, can transactional love still be loving?
 
 
Indrus Piche  11:17  
I guess for me, the answer to that would be if people are still learning and growing, and they’re gaining awareness, do they understand? Do they have awareness around where sometimes they fall into that transactional love pace? Are they able to keep a sense of the person that they’re engaged with in like a respectful way? Are they opening? I don’t think it’s a matter of like we’re loving or we’re not loving,  I think it’s one of the most important places where we have an opportunity to grow, I think relationships very often are fluid, and they can move from a transactional relationship into a more deeply loving relationship.
 
 
Silas Rose  12:15  
There really seems like there is a predictable kind of trajectory for most kind of romantic relationships where it starts with a kind of big Love, you know, the intense emotion and connection. And then it progresses towards more of a long term relationship, then you get into a transactional kind of love or what one might call small love.
 
 
Indrus Piche  12:38  
Yeah, I think we all fall in love. And even that phrase is very interesting to me. I mean, even the chemicals that happened in the beginning, and it’s a beautiful thing, I can understand how people want it as an experience. It’s very powerful. When it happens to people, no matter what the age, the circumstances. But then if we have a chance to keep exploring with that same person, all of us have what you would call shadow, all of us have pieces of ourselves, or an aspect of ourselves that isn’t going to bring out that same feelings of, Oh, I’m more and more in love, there will be a place in every relationship, where it’ll be like, Oh, I didn’t know that about the person or I don’t like that part very much. And then begins the process of, can’t they just change so I don’t have to go through these difficult feelings. Everybody has to figure out in every relationship that they’re in, sort of where their bottom line is, are they getting enough? One of the things that I’ve experienced is, you know, especially I came into the relationship that I’m in, around 14 years ago. So I was an adult, I had spent about half of my adult life in relationships and about half non partnered. One of the things I knew by the time I came into this as a mature woman was there was going to be things that I didn’t like, and could I still say yes to them. It’s one of the gifts of making the journey of learning from past relationships. And, you know, being in some ways more realistic. So when I meet with a young couple, sometimes they come before a big commitment like marriage. One of the things I asked them is, what are the issues that you know that you’re going to have? And how have you decided to work with them, and sometimes young people do or younger people do know what those are But for the most part, what I found is either a denial that there is issues. No, we’re so in love, we don’t have any issues, or they haven’t a clue or they know what the issues are. But they actually don’t know how they’re going to deal with them long term.
 
 
Silas Rose  15:19  
Sound sounds like there’s a lot of intentionality at the beginning of the relationship that kind of sets it up for success.
 
 
Indrus Piche  15:27  
And I would say we are all set up in a way, because I have come to believe that we could help people be way, way more prepared for loving, romantic relationship, if we gave them some basic tools starting very early on. And it’s certainly not the school’s job to do everything. I mean, I sometimes wonder about school systems are being asked to, you know, help people learn about feelings, all the academic staff, how to become better citizens, how to have more consciousness around the issues. There’s a lot that the schools are trying to do, but basic communication skills, which are also being introduced into schools now, just things like I statement, nonviolent communication tools, I think we could do more to help people certainly starting around Middle School, become more aware of, if they decide they want to explore relationships, what they might expect, what does it actually take to commit to love somebody and, and use it as sort of a verb in terms of, can I? Can I be more loving? can I learn about love through this relationship, even though there are parts of it that are going to be extremely challenging and hard,
 
 
Silas Rose  17:04  
You mentioned earlier, working with disappointment, and coming to some sense of seeing the full person and learning to work with that, there might be people tuneing into this conversation that are in a long term relationship that is sort of fizzling and in that transactional place, and it just kind of going through the routine in the day.Is there a point when you know it is too late to save the relationship?
 
 
Indrus Piche  17:30  
I think sometimes it is too late. But I also think finding out whether or not it’s too late, takes courage. But I think that in itself is a huge act of love. I think being able to say I want to try something else, I want to engage more, I want to see what else is possible, whether it be to go to a counselor, to go to, you know, a retreat for couples, which is a good way because you’ll get put through a lot of practices, and somebody else will guide you through them. And you should be able to come away with tools that you can return to over and over again, that in itself is an act of courage. And I’ve seen it so many times and the couples retreats with Robert and Judith, where some people are actually trying to decide whether or not they’re going to stay together, that they’re trying to see that old phrase, you know if it’s a breakup or a breakthrough, and I always really love the courage that the couples bring to that process. I think it’s one of the hardest things in the world, to stay in a dead relationship and do nothing. I think it takes a lot of our lifeforce energy, I think it can make us sick. So having the courage to find out, and then you know, the courage to act one way or the other, I think it’s a very important thing to know that you can do.
 
 
Silas Rose  19:06  
And that seems like an act of self love.
 
 
Indrus Piche  19:09  
It’s an act of self love, but it also can be an act of love the other ultimately, because sometimes people flourish, or blossom, either in the same relationship when they recreate it. It’s the same two people, but if they do that kind of work, they’ll never have the same relationship. They’re actually recreating a brand new relationship doesn’t mean that some of the pieces don’t carry forward. But it has to be revived, revitalized, if they’re going to stay together and that always mean something new. Sometimes it means not staying together, having the completion and then both people find something new in their life, whether eventually they land up in another relationship, or they just find that they can have more vitality in their life when they’re not in a relationship that’s been so deadening for them.
 
 
Silas Rose  20:13  
I know that Esther Perel has said she’s been in three kind of primary relationships all with the same person over the course of 40 years.
 
 
Indrus Piche  20:23  
That’s right. And Robert and Judas, say the same thing. They have a, like 52 year marriage, they got together when they were 20 years old. It’s mind boggling to me. And they talk openly, they’ve had probably about seven different marriages.
 
 
Silas Rose  20:41  
So currently, I believe that 1/3 of the population in North America lives alone. And many people make that choice. They’re happy going solo, there’s also many people searching for love. And that’s, that’s tough. It’s it’s tough time to find love for many reasons. Many of those reason we cover in the podcast, and certainly COVID hasn’t made any easier. It’s easy to get disheartened. How to you suggest staying connected to your heart and  staying connected to the possibility of love in that search.
 
 
Indrus Piche  21:12  
I think it’s a beautiful question. I think it’s an important question. First, I want to say that I think wanting to be in love, wanting to fall in love is a beautiful thing. I think it’s important that you stay true to that. If you want it. I’m not of the I don’t think it solves everything. I don’t think it’s for everybody. But I think if somebody has a deep longing, and it’s from the deep place in themselves, I don’t think we should go into too quickly these things like, Oh, well, not all relationships are good, you know. So I would say hold true to that deep longing and don’t let other people dismiss it for you. And I think it is very, very hard to be in that vulnerable place, where you try to see if this person for you that you can happen to encounter that you can go on a journey with. And it’s hard to keep trying if it doesn’t seem to be happening. So I just want to, I guess say that I i understand that and I feel for and I think there’s a lot of courageous people out there. 
 
Silas Rose
How does one deal with the sense of neediness or scarcity? Because, you know, I think it’s, it’s hard to attract from that place?
 
 
Indrus Piche
Again, thank you for the question. And I think it’s a vulnerable question across vulnerability has so much to do with what can actually be in love unless we’re willing to become more and more vulnerable. Maybe that was one of the ways that spirituality and religions help people to keep being open to experiencing love, or some sort of sense of their worthiness, that they were lovable. And I think that can still be true. If, if like our spiritual nature, it’s alive and well in us. But I think it’s, it’s hard. Actually, it’s hard work when we want to have a sense of haveing a lot of love to offer someone, I really want to take that journey with someone. And yet it doesn’t seem that waves opening to having that person come across my path somehow. And I think we have to, I think the sadness, I think that for most people, a lot of it is trying to trust and come back to some sort of sense of the best place to be, I think is when you’re open, you feeling pretty good about yourself, you’re clear that it’s something that you want to invite in, but you’re not in a place that feels so needy, or grasping, that the energy gets different. Because if you have an opportunity to meet someone, what you don’t want to do is you actually want to have that beautiful time in the beginning to just explore and see. And I know that sometimes when someone’s waited a long time, whoever crosses their path, they want that to be a person they can take a longer journey with and it’s really hard on you know, to, to be honest and know that isn’t perfect. arson, all in that feeling of scarcity just gets reinforced off this, this isn’t a person I can, I can explore this with. And I think we have to just, I think we have to have our cries are times that we have to comfort ourselves. And then if it is true for us that we really value this highly, and we want to have an opportunity to somehow put ourself in a position, that’s whatever that is, whatever the decision is online dating, going out more. But we have to risk, the hurt. And the disappointment, again, we have to make ourselves vulnerable in that way. 
 
 
Silas Rose  25:49  
there’s very much a kind of path quality, or sensitive journey, people like Rumi, often spoke about a kind of exalted love both with a sense of longing and heartbreak, and also a kind of intoxication, talk a bit about the possibilities of how a romantic relationship can possibly lead to a more transcendent experience in love.
 
 
Indrus Piche  26:14  
Yeah, I love Rumi, so many of those. I mean, there’s this some earlier poets mystics, even Lala, who isn’t as well known, a woman poet, this whole idea that the beloved, this is where these terms come from not being Beloved, loving, the beloved, where we can open into realms of other experience to lift us out of ordinary every day, I think that we’ve set up life, in many cultures, certainly our culture, it doesn’t invite that experience. And it’s we’re so busy with so stress, Stress itself is keeps us away from the state of being. Because a lot of what Rumi and so many others were invited guests into, we are we enter into a state of being with the other. And when we spoke before about sexuality and sensuality, on the podcast we were talking a little bit about the lover, and the lover has to go into a state of being not not doing, not doing sensuality and sexuality, but entering into a state of being, and then having experiences of love. In that. I think it’s very, very possible. I think it’s something that all people could learn to explore for themselves. I think it extremely healthy, and would help with our state of well being. But I don’t think we know very much about it. And I don’t think we have a lot of opportunity to learn about it. And it takes a huge commitment. Because for some people, they have to actually look at and make serious changes about the way that they’re living. It takes time. It takes being in another state. But I think it’s I think it’s beautiful. And I think for those people who are exploring it, either by themselves or being partnered, I think they have a different experience of life. 
 
 
Silas Rose  28:48  
That’s probably agood place to end our conversation, as usual, underspin, central planner, and how can people find out more about when you knew,
 
 
Indrus Piche  28:56  
Well, you can get in touch with me at interests at Indurs.com and I have a website. And when I do believe we’re going to be moving into a different realm these next couple of months. My hope is to start offering groups again in the fall. I’m going to wait a little bit to wait and see. But there’ll be posted on the website. And if you do want to get on any of my mailing lists, you can just email me and then you’ll be notified of everything that I’m offering.
 
 
Silas Rose  29:34  
Well thank you again, and I hope you enjoy the Summer of Love.
 
 
Indrus Piche  29:39  
Well I plan to in all its forms. And thank you Silas and thank you for what you’re doing.
 

 

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