We begin with a Greek myth of the first human, which may begin to explain a deep longing in our hearts.
“Human beings once had two arms and two legs, one head, two faces and two sets of genitals. This male-female challenged the gods in strength and pride So Zeus, in order to keep them alive but weaken them, had them cut in two by Apollo. Their faces were turned toward the cut so they might become more orderly by contemplating the fact of their division. The halves of each whole were filled with longing for each other. When they found one another they embraced and were unwilling to do anything apart. So they died from hunger and inability to act. The race would have perished had Zeus not taken pity and turned their genitals to the front…Eros or love is in born in us and unites our ancient nature, making one from two and healing us.”
Plato, The Symposium
Thanks, Zeus. You Have A lot of Nerve/
Thanks a lot Zeus! That wasn’t fair Zeus, to rip us a part. According to the myth we are all left with a gaping wound. We long to fill it up to heal ourselves with love from a beloved. When we are born this “beloved” is our parents. In my case, my relationship with my twin sister set the mold for future relationships. I would compare all potential friends to my dear twin.
Nobody could measure up to her pedestal have my twin lounging on. I think my twin would have jumped down from the cloud I placed her. Later she did just that without my permission, the wench. I will speak about this later.
I have heard other twins say that being a twin is like being married at birth. In the womb twins get a head start on being in relationships. My twin and I were sharing hot dogs and negotiating space arrangements since the moment our Mom’s egg smiled on our Dad’s sperm. Until I was eighteen, I couldn’t imagine life without my twin. My twin sister Laura decided to go to a different college in a different state, too far away from me. This is when she removed herself from my pedestal without my permission. My world forever changed.
I felt as if Zeus ripped us apart. I tried to fill up my gaping hole with other people. But nobody understood me like Laura could. Nobody could know what I wanted and how I felt with out me uttering a word like my twin. Who did I think I was kidding; nobody could really fit the bill except maybe…me.
My life changed again when I just stopped looking for my twin replacement. I started spending more time with myself. I started healing up my gaping hole in my heart with dance and music and personal growth workshops, even my master’s degree. I learned that could spend five minutes alone without pulling my hair out. Take that Zeus! I have lightening bolts of my own!
All of you who dread being alone, I just want to say spend time with that friendly face that brushes your teeth every morning. Fill up your own gaping whole with what makes you feel joy, don’t wait for somebody else to make you feel whole or loved.
This book Born In Relationship describes my relationship with my twin, however more importantly this work honors the developing relationship I have with myself. These relationships with ourselves are really the first relationships we are born into. You don’t have to be a twin to know and love yourself. This book is a call to do just that.
Adoring and respecting myself allows me to be in healthier relationships with others, including my twin. Enjoy the journey!
What is the most significant relationship in your life?
excerpted from Born In Relationship
By Eve Brownstone, MA, LCPC
Twin and Relationship Therapist