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I’d like to run away from you
But if I were to leave you I would die
I’d like to break the chains you put around me
And yet I’ll never try

No matter what you do you drive me crazy
I’d rather be alone
But then I know my life would be so empty
As soon as you were gone

Impossible to live with you
But I could never live without you

For whatever you do / For whatever you do
I never, never, never
Want to be in love with anyone but you

You make me sad, you make me strong
You make me mad, you make me long for you / You make me long for you
You make me live, you make me die
You make me laugh, you make me cry / You make me cry for you

I hate you, then I love you, then I love you, then I hate you
Then I love you more

For whatever you do
I never, never, never
Want to be in love with anyone but you

You treat me wrong, you treat me right
You let me be, you make me fight with you / I could never live without you
You make me high, you bring me down
You set me free, you hold me bound to you

I hate you, then I love you, then I love you, then I hate you
Then I love you more

For whatever you do
I never, never, never
Want to be in love with anyone but you

I never, never, never
I never, never, never
Want to be in love with anyone but you …
But you


The Stages of Committed Relationships

When attempting to create a loving, healthy intimate relationship, it is important to have an accurate roadmap for the journey…. What follows is a reality-based roadmap which comes from research into couples’ actual experiences of being in long-term relationships.

While theorists disagree on the exact name and number of the stages couples progress through, there is a general consensus that couples go through some version of the following stages.


Romantic love is wonderful, easy, and effortless. It is very spontaneous and alive. The feelings and perceptions that go through both people are that we are one; we are the same. You are perfect. I can give and receive love with little or no effort required. There is a tremendous emphasis on maximizing similarities and minimizing differences. There is a belief and expectation that you will provide most or all of my wants, needs, desires. There is generally a high degree of passion and feelings and expressions of romance come easily and often. The partners think about each other constantly, and make much eye contact and are very affectionate when they are together.   In this stage, love is blind


Differences which were previously obscured suddenly become visible. Conflicts, anxieties, disappointment and hurt replace the effortless flow of the Romantic stage. There is a sense that this person is not living up your hopes and dreams, and there is an accompanying loss of closeness. Gradually each person is forced to relinquish some of their most cherished romantic fantasies, or to cling to them desperately in a state of denial.

There is a desire to be close again but confusion as how to create that. It is the first time that fears of intimacy begin to arise. Suddenly the couple must learn how to deal with very real differences, how to deal with conflict, and how to integrate being an independent person as well as someone in an intimate relationship.

In short, Adjusting to Reality is the stage where the Real Relationship begins.


As the disillusionment of the Adjusting to Reality stage deepens, the couple tends to have more disagreements. Minor issues blow up into larger arguments. Yelling appears for the first time, if it ever will. Both partners dig in their heels and defend their positions on issues fiercely. Each person digs in their heels and protects their turf. This once-tender effortless loving relationship has become a battleground and evolved into a daily Power Struggle. This is a typical stage in the development of a long-term committed relationship.

For the first time in the relationship, there are occasional or frequent thoughts of leaving the relationship. This person who only recently appeared to be the embodiment of pure love and joy in your eyes suddenly seems self-centered and not to be trusted. Doubts arise as to whether the other person really loves you. There are consistent feelings of ambivalence and anger. Blaming and accusing becomes the most common form of interaction. Each partner is afraid of giving in, and wants the other to change. This is where deep resentments begin to form, which if left unchecked, become the cancer that eventually eats away at all the love and tenderness that has come before. Sarcasm and hostility enter into daily conversations.

This does not have to be the end of the relationship. The tasks for the couple here are to develop problem-solving, conflict resolution and negotiating skills. The conflicts will clearly not go away on their own. Each person much learn to listen respectfully to their partner’s position, even if they don’t agree with it. They must learn to support their partner’s own growth, even if they feel it compromises their own. They may see the origins of the patterns of their conflicts (and their dysfunctional ways of resolving them) in their family of origin.


The Power Struggle is physically and emotionally draining, and if the couple can survive, they move into the next stage, of a conscious Re-Evaluation of the relationship. Whereas the original commitment one makes is typically based on projections of fantasy, this Re-Evaluation takes into account the reality and fears and defenses of each person. Do I really want to stay with this person? You know who this person is now, you know their limitations, and you know the range of which they are capable of improving or getting better. Knowing all that, do you still want to stay? That is the question that gets answered during this stage.

Both people tend to turn outward to resolve their issues, instead of toward each other. As a result, fears of abandonment come up strongly here. Can I make by myself? Am I really okay the way I am? Will anyone else find me attractive or appealing?

Both people emotionally (and sometimes physically) disengage and withdraw during this stage, which makes it the stage in which separation, divorce and/or an affair are most likely to occur. Feelings of resentment are less intense in this stage, as the affect in the relationship is likely to be very flat and empty. The sexual relationship sporadic at best and more likely non-existent. Things are ripe for an affair to burst on the scene, and often a person in this stage will begin to confide in someone of the opposite sex. This confidante will take on more and more importance in the person’s life, due to their neediness and vulnerability, and they will often get emotionally very involved without consciously realizing it. At this point even the slightest affection is like throwing a match in the forest on a hot summer day, and a passionate, intense affair will begin.

The danger is that when an affair begins at this stage, it is almost impossible for the relationship to recover. The primary relationship has too little going for it in the way of gratification on either side, and the inevitable comparisons between the affair and the relationship seem like night and day.

A separation can be useful here to help each person gain perspective, due that too can lead to the demise of the relationship if outside gratifications seem to dwarf the emptiness of the relationship.

The task for each person here is to stay present and honor their commitment, develop individually and be able to see their partner as a separate person. This is the only way the relationship can survive and move into the next stage.


In this stage, after the distance of the Re-evaluation, if the relationship has survived, there is a re-awakening of interest in getting closer and connecting again. Knowing all that they know, coming from reality and not fantasy, there is a decision to have the willingness to try once again. There is an open acceptance of the conflicts and differences in the relationship, but they are approached with a different attitude: they are used as opportunities for learning about oneself and the other person. They are catalysts for growth and change. There is a recognition that the differences are real and won’t go away, and that neither person can really change the other. Thus begins a process of struggling to create an honest, genuine intimate relationship. The people connect again and the relationship again begins to produce ongoing satisfaction for both partners.

In this stage there is also a deeper sense of taking responsibility for one’s part in conflict and in lack of satisfaction. Each person may recognize the link between what they learned as children in their families of origin and how they approach intimate relationships. They own their distortions and projections onto their partners. They begin to see their partner as they see themselves, as a somewhat flawed yet decent person who is making a sincere effort to love and be close and still take care of their own needs.

There is a deeper acceptance in this stage that any relationship cannot and will not save you in any sense. You still have your own individual needs and issues and they does not go away just because you are in a relationship. But the part of your life that can be nurtured and shared in a loving, accepting relationship is also real and in this stage each person looks to the other for that connection. The war is over, the conflicts are accepted, and there is a sincere desire to learn how to work through the issues to a satisfying resolution.


The final stage in a committed relationship, which researchers estimate less than 5% of couples ever reach, is one of complete Acceptance. There is an integration of the need of the self and the needs of the relationship. Each person takes responsibility for their own needs, for their own individual lives, and also for providing support for their partner. A high level of warmth is present. The couple is able to maintain a balance between autonomy and union. Conflicts still arise on occasion, but as a result of the struggles of the previous stage, the couple has figured out how to resolve most conflicts relatively quickly. Resentments are few. There are few surprises: these are people who know one another and know what to expect. They accept what they are getting, with no denial or fantasy involved. They work together as a team to stay connected and also maintain their own identities.

These are the six stages that most couples go through during a long-term committed relationship. While not every couple goes through every stage or in that exact sequence, nonetheless this roadmap, based on the research on actual couples’ experiences of intimate relationship, still provides the best roadmap we have available for charting the most likely path of an long-term committed relationship. And if we have a roadmap, we can chart the healthiest and least disruptive path to the goal of a fulfilling, intimate relationship.

(Didacted by blogger)  From:

Relationship Institute
27172 Woodward Avenue
Suite 200
Royal Oak, Michigan 48067
(248) 546-0407


Weeping: Cover-art from 9th version

with Vusi Mahlasela

Written by Dan Heymann
(Copyright Bright Blue)

I knew a man who lived in fear
It was huge, it was angry, it was drawing near
Behind his house, a secret place
Was the shadow of the demon he could never face
He built a wall of steel and flame
And men with guns, to keep it tame
Then standing back, he made it plain
That the nightmare would never ever rise again
But the fear and the fire and the guns remain

It doesn’t matter now
It’s over anyhow
He tells the world that it’s sleeping
But as the night came round
I heard its lonely sound
It wasn’t roaring, it was weeping

And then one day the neighbors came
They were curious to know about the smoke and flame
They stood around outside the wall
But of course there was nothing to be heard at all
“My friends,” he said, “We’ve reached our goal
The threat is under firm control
As long as peace and order reign
I’ll be damned if I can see a reason to explain
Why the fear and the fire and the guns remain”

Original Recording by Lyricist, Dan Heymann:



Rumi: The Big Red Book collects all the work that I have done on The Shams (Rumi’s Divani Shamsi Tabriz, The Works of Shams Tabriz) over the last 34 years. As I put this book together, I felt drawn to revise slightly almost every poem, to relineate and reword. So I hope this is a refreshed collection.

I sent a copy to my friend, Robert Bly.  He describes in a letter what I have done with these poems: “You have given them pats on the shirt, set them on some local horse, and given the horse a clap on the rear, and the poems are gone, well almost gone.” He should know. He got me started on this path, when in June of 1976, he handed me a copy of Arberry’s translation of Rumi and said, “These poems need to be released from their cages,” by which he meant they needed to be translated out of their scholarly idiom into the lively American free verse tradition of Whitman. Hence this book. It is not all that I have done the last three decades, but I did spend some time, almost every day, with Rumi’s poetry. I do not regret it. Something about the practice keeps unfolding.

The organization of this book is unique. The odes (ghazals) are divided into 27 sections, each a Name for the Mystery. I avoid, wherever I can, using the word God. It feels so freighted, to me, with doctrine and division and violence. I don’t necessarily recommend this avoidance to anyone else. Eighteen of the Names are taken from my teacher, Bawa Muhaiyaddeen‘s The 99 Beautiful Names of Allah (The Opener, The Gatherer, The Patient, The Kind, The Intricate, Majesty, Light, Peace, The Grateful, The Living, etc).  Two of the Names for Mystery are people I have been fortunate enough to meet, Bawa Muhaiyaddeen and Osho. Two other Names are also human beings, the Indian saint, Ramana Maharshi, and Shams Tabriz. Three other Names are borrowed.  Dissolving the Concept of “God” (I have heard this somewhere, but I don’t remember where), Playing (Plotinus), Tenderness Toward Existence (Galway Kinnell’s phrase) and then there’s the next to last, Everything and Everyone Else.  The last Name is one that is implied in every Sufi list of the 99 Names, The Name That Cannot Be Spoken or Written.

The quatrains are more playfully, less thematically, divided. As I say in the Organizational Note (p. 364), the expanse of Emily Dickinson’s 1789 short, title-less poems in the Harvard edition is dismaying to the eye.  So in order to give some pattern to this array of Rumi’s short poems, and some spaciousness too, I set them in 27 sections, 25 under the aegis of a constellation (Taurus, Leo, Pegasus, Orion, Pisces, etc.), and two under the name of another celestial body: the Milky Way (our home galaxy seen from the side) and the Black Hole at the center of it, which I have presumptuously named.  Somebody had to.  Bijou. It is that maelstrom that gives our galaxy its spiraling, dervishly outflung arms.

The strange devices above the headnotes for each section are 10th Century drawings of the constellations from al-Sufi’s (903-986) The Book of Fixed Stars. That is the fairly esoteric layout of the book. The wildly ecstatic, and wise, poems themselves are of more interest.

In other volumes I have buried some surprises in the Notes. The four recipes at the end of The Essential Rumi, for example, the last two meant to serve 60 and 100 people! There are buried items here, too. On p. 487 I explain how I came to sign a book for President Obama, and on p. 484 I lay out the circumstances, as well as I can determine them, of Osho’s death, which was very possibly a CIA assassination, a slow one by thallium poisoning.

****In October, I gave a reading in Toronto with a Sufi group. Several were of Pakistani descent. They asked me about the intense Islamophobia loose in this country, that is particularly pointed against Pakistan. I acknowledged the truth of their question, but I begged for more time before answering. I’ll attempt a piece of an answer here.

During the 1979 hostage-taking in the US Embassy in Tehran, Bawa Muhaiyaddeen (my teacher) called a news conference in Philadelphia with the world media, something he had never done.   He denounced the hostage-taking, saying, this is not Islam.  Did this happen after the destruction of the World Trade Center towers? If it did, I am not aware of it.  Did the great Sufi Masters of Pakistan, and there are many, come forward in Karachi to say al Qaeda is not Islam?  Have they in the 10 years since? I need to be educated in these matters.  Have the Ayatollahs in Iran spoken out in this way?  Has my friend Ayatollah Zanjani?  I hope so.  I hear there is a strong movement in Iran now among the young people toward Sufism.

(We could at this point, in all fairness, call upon our own leaders to acknowledge our very American violence. Two and a half million is one estimate of those killed in Vietnam.  We exploded more ordnance in that war than was exploded by all sides in World War II.  How many were killed in the First Gulf War?  205,000.  In the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, which continues, and in Afghanistan? 919,967.  Do we keep such records? Where?  I googled these numbers.  Nobody knows the true body count.  If we could weep for much of what we have done, I feel the old Sufis would weep with us.)

Islamophobia is real and deep and widespread in this country. This much we can know for sure.  I sat recently watching a baseball playoff game with a very well-educated man, who seriously recommended that we “Nuke Tehran.  Hit them hard.  That’s all they understand. Like Dresden.”  Sheer Idiocy.  I visited Tehran in May of 2006. I tried to describe that beautiful, gentle, European culture to him.  Not much help.  There is a lot we do not see.  The lines of Islamic men bowing down, touching their foreheads to the ground, sitting back, standing up, bowing again.  They are doing a form of prayer that acknowledges unity, not political or religious solidarity with each other, but in praise of the mystery of oneness within all living beings, all things, all molecules even.

That is the essence of Islam that I meet in Sufis today, that I saw in Bawa’s eyes.  There is a sweetness and a coolness, a profound courtesy, and a peace in Islam that we are mostly blind to in the West, and in the media particularly.  The Islam that Rumi speaks from within is not one that separates us into different religions. Amazingly, it is one that celebrates how we can meet in Friendship and sing One Song.  Here is one of his most famous poems.

One Song

Every war and every conflict between human beings
has happened because of some disagreement about names.

It is such an unnecessary foolishness,
because just beyond the arguing
there is a long table of companionship
set and waiting for us to sit down.

What is praised is one, so the praise is one too,
many jugs being poured into a huge basin.
All religions, all this singing, one song.
The differences are just illusion and vanity.
Sunlight looks a little different on this wall
than it does on that wall
and a lot different on this other one,
but it is still one light.

We have borrowed these clothes,
these time-and-space personalities,
from a light, and when we praise,
we are pouring them back in.

He said that in the 13th Century. Rumi very consciously made himself and his poetry a bridge between cultures and between religions.  There is nothing exclusivist about him.  He includes everyone in his embrace. He was, and is, a healer of whatever might separate us.  Shams Tabriz adds another, more incandescent, element to his gift. Pure freedom, pure internal wildness, beyond any category we know.  The West has no one comparable.  Thoreau to the 100th power.  Dostoyevsky to the 10th.  Cervantes times 40. Mark Twain spun into seven new dimensions.  It is the whirlwind of his presence that we feel as the power within Rumi’s poetry.  Shams is what draws us.

I am often asked why Rumi is currently so popular.  I give my lame reasons.  The real cause is Shams Tabriz, the one so startlingly alive and awake, his face is “what all religions long for.”  That is the feel of the depth of their friendship. Such friendship is another quality we are missing about Islam.  Rumi called his red book The Works of Shams Tabriz.  He did that because these poems flow from their seamless friendship.  And I would make the mystical claim that that is a way of being, of loving, that we can experience eight centuries later, a little taste of, by reading.

“I Am A Child”

I am a child, I’ll last a while.
You can’t conceive
of the pleasure in my smile.
You hold my hand,
rough up my hair,
It’s lots of fun
to have you there.

God gave to you,
now, you give to me,
I’d like to know
what you learned.
The sky is blue
and so is the sea.
What is the color,
when black is burned?
What is the color?

You are a man, you understand.
You pick me up
and you lay me down again.
You make the rules,
you say what’s fair,
It’s lots of fun
to have you there.

God gave to you,
now, you give to me,
I’d like to know
what you learned.
The sky is blue
and so is the sea.
What is the color,
when black is burned?
What is the color?

I am a child, I’ll last a while.
You can’t conceive
of the pleasure in my smile.


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Joan of Arc

I know this now. Every man gives his life for what he believes. Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing yet they give their lives to that little or nothing. One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. And then it is gone. But to sacrifice what you are and live without belief, that's more terrible than dying.--

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August 2011



On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

John O'Donohue, Echoes of Memory