Most couples spend many hours each day immersed in very different activities. Often one or both partners race out of the house each morning to drive to their separate workplaces. At the end of the day, they come back together and wonder why there is not more joy in their reunion.

When our first daughter, Rami, was a baby, I worked as a doctor in a general medical clinic in Santa Clara, an hour’s drive from our home. Although I only worked two or three days a week, each shift was thirteen hours long, seeing a minimum of four patients an hour. Joyce, meanwhile, spent her day with all the duties of caring for a baby and keeping the house clean. Most days she never saw another adult until I came home. The content of our days was quite different. I would finally arrive home with a strange mixture of fatigue, nervous energy and a whole collection of patients’ energies in my aura.

Joyce would be fatigued also, but would be in a very delicate and sensitive condition. No matter how gently I tried to enter the house (and her space), to her it would feel like the proverbial bull in a china shop. She would often feel hurt by my energy and then pull back. I would feel rejected by her withdrawal. Sometimes we would argue.

We finally understood the need for a re-entry ritual. I needed to clear my psychic space before coming home. I did that by stopping for a walk in nature, listening to more gentle, meditative music while driving and, finally, sitting in the car for a few minutes before entering the house. During those minutes I tried to hold a cleansing white light around me and visualized the assorted energies of the day washing off of me. Perhaps most important of all, our inner work on our relationship was to see past each other’s outer condition and hold firm to the real self, our true beloved. This is our spiritual relationship work, to periodically throughout the day see each other (and ourselves) in our highest selves. Joyce also needed to prepare herself for our reunion. Her main work was this last part, seeing her beautiful beloved inside the sometimes busy and fatigued package that arrived home from a hectic day at work.

This combination of our work helped immensely. Re-entry became a conscious process. Joy returned to our reunion.

Painful re-entry is not limited to couples. It includes parent-child reunions, friends getting together at the end of the day, and even first dates. Bathing, grooming and makeup are fine, but we also need to prepare ourselves in a deeper way. Meditation, breathing exercises, working with light and seeing one another’s inner beauty can allow for a more graceful and loving connection. It helps to know the time (as near as possible) that a loved one will be arriving. It makes a difference when a working partner calls his or her partner at home and gives an updated arrival time.

When both partners cooperate in the re-entry process, there will be much more richness in the relationship. This is another reminder of the importance of the inner work in relationship, especially the importance of seeing past the outer appearance of another person. When we take the time to remember who we are and who this other person is, that we are much greater than we appear, all of life takes on this greatness.

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