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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One Response to Drama in Relationships is a Feature, Not a Bug

  1. Serpentessa says:

    Hi Carl~

    I really enjoyed this blog post. First time I truly slithered my way over here. Will check out more sooner than later.

    I’d like to suggest that one can share lots of laughter which is an open emotional loop circuit in the Key of Me, not the Key of E, which however may preface the Key of We. I’ve experienced this with Mikio many times over our 36 years together and laughter is definitely a way to transition from either Key of E or Me into Key of We. But indeed it does take active intention to shift the Keys.

    “Our brain “includes open-loop circuits designed specifically for detecting smiles and laughter that make us laugh in response” ”
    “…couples are able to trigger surges of oxytocin in each other’s brains, creating a pleasant, affectionate feeling. But in all aspects of social life, our physiologies intermingle. Our limbic system’s open-loop design lets other people change our very physiology and hence, our emotions”. – Primal Leadership by Daniel Goleman

    Been outta town, but realize I gotta hustle over, buy some books & get me some autographs. Fun & laughter in the Key of E for Me! And
    to give a rub to the Bodhicattva, All Love All the Time.

    Love to Sexy Sheri & to you as well. May each of you be enjoying some time in the Key of We.

    Your friendly neighborhood Snake priestess ~~<

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