Humpty Dumpty can live Happily Ever After

For the longest time, relationships were a scary thing for me. I didn’t want to be alone… but found it hard to be with others. The slightest upheaval or dispute in a relationship and like Humpty Dumpty, my world would come crashing down… “all the kings’ horses and all the kings’ men.” I felt that if something went wrong in a relationship, it meant it was the end of the relationship… “couldn’t put Humpty together again.”

Yet what I am seeing, feeling, and understanding about relationships today is something vastly different.

In the past relationships were a security blanket and a way of belonging – in fact a need to belong. My wife and I had even attended couples counselling workshops and sessions where we were told, and fully accepted, that we were each angels with only one wing and could only fly by holding each other. It was a model of co-dependence that meant for our relationship to grow, we had to keep having issues to deal with; we had to have a reason to hold on tightly to each other.

The very foundation of our relationship was based on a needed security, which meant that any proposed (or needed) change to that foundation would end up as a defensive battle. Each time one of us started to grow and develop in a different direction, we would claw the other back into an embrace that we thought was security; but in reality, it was suffocating.

At a Universal Medicine workshop many years ago, we were presented with a simple truth…  we do not need to be in a relationship to be or to feel whole, that this feeling comes from within. When we connect to that wholeness we can then choose to be in a relationship or not. This meant no longer needing to be with the other person but appreciating what they brought to our life so deeply that the choice to be in a relationship with them was a no-brainer. More importantly, we also brought an appreciation of what we offered, because we knew more about who we were!

It took a couple of years to really live this simple teaching, and there were some very uncomfortable moments between my wife and I, because she was living this reality earlier than I was. Having someone not need you anymore is both confronting and liberating. For me this was the end of the relationship. I was Humpty Dumpty laying shattered on the ground, until I realised that ending a way of relating is different to ending a relationship.

Whilst we all have patterns of behaviour, these patterns or ways of relating CAN change but it doesn’t mean it is the end of the relationship. At times it feels like the pattern is all there is and we become fixated on fixing the other person. But if I am more than a pattern of behaviour then the person I am relating to is more than their patterns as well. It is the more that I want the relationship with, so that is what is offered.

So rather than threatening the end of the relationship, the change being offered is simply an end of THAT way of relating to this person. The hard part can be that some people are more committed to that pattern of relating than they are to the relationship.

Indeed this happens sometimes – you can see the pattern being clung to like a life raft and the person preferring to float away than step onto dry land. It can hurt when this happens because it is no longer the existence crisis it once was. This Humpty Dumpy handles himself with more care now and has grown his own set of wings. Which means I no longer need ‘all the kings’ men’, because when my relationship with me is solid, I no longer break when I fall.

Published with permission of my wife.

By Joel Levin

Further Reading:
Appreciation in relationships
Relationships – Around and Around We Go
It’s Never Too Late For Love

620 thoughts on “Humpty Dumpty can live Happily Ever After

  1. Seeing the spirit play it’s ugly game of self and individuality in any relationship is confronting and yet very liberating to feel. You see how utterly irresponsible and harm-full you have been in how you have treated the other person, but this is also very empowering as it enables you to truly move on and not choose it again.

  2. A relationship is usually a good reflection of where we are at. If there is a blow-up it means in many cases that there is something to find out. Once found out and dealt with there is the potential for more harmony, a process that can lead to deeper and deeper harmony.

  3. “Ending a way of relating is different to ending a relationship.” – There are times when I have felt a monumental shift in how I am in a relationship and sometimes it feels like I am in the middle of a divorce – not in the sense of wanting to divorce from the person but in the sense of realising that I must let go of the way that I have been in the relationship and hence divorce an old way of being to allow a ‘new’ way (which really is not new, but a more natural way of being). This can be quite a confronting time as it asks of me to review and revise everything and really look at what works and what does not and discard that which does not work and embrace that which does. This then offers so much more growth in any relationship.

  4. “we do not need to be in a relationship to be or to feel whole, that this feeling comes from within.” – How different and amazing would it be if all our relationships began with all of us being whole and bringing that wholeness and fullness to ourselves and then each other?

  5. Most reflections around me of people in relationships is that you have to fit each other and complement each other and that when it does not work or ‘fit’ or when one of the partners changes you have to move on and the relationship does not work. But what if indeed we can work through these changes when we make it about the relationship and commitment to love first and not about the patterns you have together and feel familiar with?

  6. When we become aware of the ‘arrangements’ we have been settling for in relationships and friendships, we can begin to discover how beautiful it is to be transparent, open and truly loving with another – some may not like it, but most will embrace the offer of a true relationship.

  7. We do not ‘need’ another to make us whole but when we appreciate each other for all that we are it offers a whole new dimension to a relationship.

    1. Spot on Kevin, relationships based on needs are very limited in what they can bring on a larger scale and for the benefit of our society and communities.

  8. ..’if I am more than a pattern of behaviour then the person I am relating to is more than their patterns as well. It is the more that I want the relationship with, so that is what is offered.’ When we are honest with ourselves, looking at our patterns without any judgement we are able to see throught the patterns of our partner or friend, colleague or any of the relationships we have, and let go of how we ourselves or others should be to fullfill a need.

  9. Society has setup the ideal that if we are ‘ok’ then we will be part of a relationship with another person and so often people hold on to this picture no matter the what patterns and control are woven into it. Magic happens when a relationship is open to true movement, expression and love and this begins with being in true relationship with ourselves first. I love your statement Joel – ‘Which means I no longer need ‘all the kings’ men’, because when my relationship with me is solid, I no longer break when I fall.

  10. We don’t always see the patterns we are in because they are so ingrained and so familiar and like you say Joel they are our security blanket we go to when things feel rocky or uncertain. Relationships are about supporting each other to evolve and deepen and build on what is already there, and the key when things are a little rocky is to keep expressing what we feel without reaction but a willingness to stay open to what is being offered.

    1. Yes, ingrained patterns become stifling and harsh and a blowup can be a useful pointer that something needs to be adjusted.

  11. I suspect that many people find relationships ‘scary’, needing to be in one but not wanting to be in one. This scariness can lead to all sorts of behaviours that are far from the love we actually feel. We end up trying to control people and situations so we feel safe rather than allowing whatever is possible to flourish.

    1. And, being in any relationship can be scary if we are avoiding evolution because it is through being in relationships with people that we learn and grow.

  12. We need to ‘dare’ something in relationship and that is being who we are instead of protecting the hurts of the past – leaving one´s comfort zone is a must to have truly fulfilling and purposeful relationship.

  13. This is great Joel, and may I suggest that the falls not only become less and less, that when we do fall they also feel some-what-cushioned as we accept the openness to the Love we all are and the increasing levels of Love that come from all around.

      1. Yes we learn so much from when we slip up and not that they are looked for but are welcomed for the healing that can take place from the understanding we have allowed a lesser energy or ill energy in, that is an opening, that needs attending to.

  14. I fully recognize this Joel. Once when my partner took more distance to me, even rejected me, I almost fell apart. Nowadays because I have more solidity in me, things like a partner distancing still disturb me but it doesn’t mean my world falls apart. Big steps forward.

  15. No matter what is happening for the other person, you are only ever responsible for the quality of how you hold yourself. Going into sympathy might feel good in the moment but it is in no way honouring of yourself as it is giving your power away.

  16. Very insightful point Joel that people are more dedicated to their patterns of being in relationship than they are to the actual relationship. I feel this is where a lot of relationships go off track, as despite the love that may be there, our patterns used to cover up hurts often take priority.

  17. In relationships and in life in general, if we have the same issues repeating themselves constantly I have found it is wise to stop and consider why this is happening. This then allows us to make the needed changes, and learn and grow…increment by increment.

  18. Awesome sharing Joel, thank you! And I can share that there are times when I have felt a very large shift happening in my relationships, to the point where I am thinking that it is time to get ‘divorced’ – that strong an urge! And yet when I sit with it and allow myself to feel it deeply, I get to realise that it is time for me to indeed ‘divorce’ but not from the person I love, but simply from my old way of being in that relationship. And so a huge shift takes place with an adjustment in how I relate to myself and to my loved one.

  19. Joel, I love this; ‘This meant no longer needing to be with the other person but appreciating what they brought to our life so deeply that the choice to be in a relationship with them was a no-brainer.’ I can feel how so often we stay in relationships for security and through fear of not wanting to things to change and fear of the unknown if we were not in a relationship. So it is very beautiful to make the choice to be in a relationship because we want to be with the other person because of everything they bring to our lives.

  20. The problem is not just that we may be committed first and foremost to a pattern but also that the people we choose to relate with fits it as well. So, the choice of patterns and people cannot always get disentangled.

  21. Relating between partners is an amazing learning ground. I’m learning every day and being aware of growing my own wings and the resistance to fly at times, the devastation felt and the returning to holding myself and repeat all over again until a true stop to this pattern. I’m giving myself lots of patience and acceptance and always allowing myself to feel.

  22. It’s quite a process uncovering the need we have of people, instead of living from the fullness of who we are and the love we have within ourselves. I find this in all kinds of relationships, there are areas where I believe I need another to be or act a certain way, and then also feeling the fullness of me at other times which places no demand on others and let’s them be, because I am allowing me to be all that I am. It’s a really honest enquiry we can make of ourselves to feel where we are in need, or allowing others the space to be themselves and offering all we are without expectations.

  23. “I felt that if something went wrong in a relationship, it meant it was the end of the relationship… “couldn’t put Humpty together again.” ” – no matter how long the length of relationship, 8 days, 8 weeks, 8 months or 8 years, being with another human being and irrespective of what happens in it during that time i.e great or not so great, when we have the essence of understanding through being an observer of ourselves we realise the relationship has allowed us one of the greatest opportunities in which to grow, to grow in love and to evolve as a person. Then we see there is never a “wrong or bad relationship”, only a relationship and its contributing quality we are to learn from to support who we truly are.

  24. My experience is that in a true relationship you can go through many changes and it may take (many) years before the upheaval settles without needing to enter into an arrangement. However, eventually it can settle and the relationship gets more and more joyous and the upheavals shorter and shorter.

  25. Wow, how far away from relationships are we. We live in a world where everything is telling us that relationships are about fulfilling each other’s needs, yet a true connection with another is based on a connection with our essences – there are absolutely no problems when we are in our essence. So for us to stay stuck in the idea that we are “angels with one wing” is just a lie to keep us small and stuck in problems.

  26. Much like Humpty Dumpty, sometimes I do not know if I am ‘cracking up’ or ‘cracking open’, such is the feeling when you let go of all that you thought was true but you now know is not truly true now that you have reconnected to what truly is.

  27. Very cool Joel – it shows how there is a possibility of being with someone in a different way. And I love what you share here about a relationship being about appreciating the other person, not needing them.

    1. That is a game changer HM, when we appreciate people in our lives it can change our relationship from one of blame to love.

  28. I would say I have been the opposite, running away from relationships and not needing them. Yet recently I have found yes I may not need to be in a partner-style relationship with another but it does bring a different reflection to life that I wouldn’t have if single. Sometimes this Humpty Dumpty jumps off the wall to get smashed to avoid being whole, preferring to moan in a broken state but this is changing the more I appreciate being whole and hate being that smashed, bitty mess I choose to go into.

  29. We often think of completion as the end instead of a new beginning and expansion. A true relationship is constantly expanding and evolving so that means we need to let go of old ways of being as we grow – this is something gorgeous even if at times confronting!

  30. I have a great image of two humpty dumpty’s happily sitting on a wall, with their wings stretched out, smiling at each other, each their own person, being their own amazingness, and then appreciating each other and their connection.

  31. Amazing Joel. What you have shared really asks us to be honest about what it is we are ‘in love’ with in our relationships. Is it that we love in being left alone to in a sense, allowing unloving behaviours to play out to avoid the responsibility of being honest with how we are with ourselves, or do we love who we are and bring this truth and honesty as such a relationship with evolution to our relationships? Either way we are always in a relationship with something, however the quality of the relationship with ourselves is what determines the quality of relationship we share with everything and everyone else.

  32. The belief that we need to be in a relationship to be or feel whole is a big one, permeating through many a ‘romantic’ movie! But what I can see now is how that really sets us up to be needy and imposing on one another, rather than coming together from a place of co-operation, love and togetherness that is founded on already being complete and full in our essence…

    1. My experience is that we may well be a mixture of need and love and in a relationship we have many choices to move away from need and to be love.

    2. That is one of the biggest lies about love and relationships is that we are not already full and complete in our essence. We see this when people refer to their spouse as their “other half”, and even that we won’t be “complete” until we have children. It’s an enormous pressure to place on others.

  33. What a honest account of when our foundations of relationship are based on getting our needs met outside of ourself. Indeed change the pattern of relating first not the person and see what alchemy is possible.

    1. It is incredible to discover just how evolving, liberating and empowering every relationship can be when we are open to being honest and to deepening our connection to love, both with ourselves and each other.

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