Crisis in Camelot
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
Crisis in CamelotChoosing between love and duty.
When I think of Camelot, I’m reminded of the marvelous musical starring Richard Harris and Vanessa Redgrave. The story is much more than one of a fair kingdom setting matters right by using might—“not might makes right—but might for right.” It’s also the story of love: Arthur loves Guenevere and Lancelot, Lancelot and Guenevere have an affair, and this forces Arthur to apply the laws of the kingdom and pursue those he loves in battle.
Let’s try a thought experiment to clarify your thoughts about love and duty. Imagine that you’re married to a wonderful person whom you’ve grown fonder and fonder of over time. You’ve been married for more than 20 years, and your spouse is your best friend. You’ve raised three children, and they’re all gone, either married or in college. Recently you’ve been having some differences of opinion as you adjust to being empty nesters—alone with each other and without some run-fetch-and-carry schedule driven by your children. Additionally, both of you are dealing with significant life changes that are affecting your relationship; but you know it, and you’re loyal and faithful to your mate even in the bad times.
One day you happen to quite innocently meet a friend of a friend. You’re instantly convinced you’ve just met your soul mate. Until this point you hadn’t believed in soul mates—but here before you is the person you know is meant to be your lover across all time and eternity, your perfect mate, the throb that makes your heart beat. You’re stricken with what seems to be a nearly uncontrollable obsession. You close your eyes at night and see the object of your desire in your mind and in your dreams. You attempt to counter the influence, but this person is in your every thought. What do you do?
Is it possible to love more than one individual? Can you care at different levels? Can you feel affection for one person—on scale of 1 to 10—at a level of 8 and another person at 10? Can you love two individuals at a level of 10, for that matter?
Assume that your spouse meets the other person as well and takes a liking to him or her. Thus, your soul mate is frequently near you, in your home and going places with you. You look each other in the eye, and without a word, you both recognize the bond across forever. The more you see each other, the more difficult it is to stay true to your mate. Do you tell your spouse and keep the other person at arm’s length, or do you let happen whatever will happen?
Under the criteria we think of as unconditional love, if you were the other half of the couple, you want the very best for both your spouse and their soul mate, independent of what you gain. So what if they take up with each other, leaving you behind—will that make all of it easier or more difficult?
Much of modern science would have us believe that love is only a chemical reaction. Indeed, according to some, it might even be a chemical addiction between people. In the words of Swiss psychologist Carl Jung: “The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there’s any reaction, both are transformed.” Of course, Jung was saying this long before modern science demonstrated the chemical reaction and bonding to be a fact.
We must also remember a truth articulated by many people in many ways, and put into these words by author Henry Bromel: “Sometimes when you look back on a situation, you realize it wasn’t all you thought it was. A beautiful girl walked into your life. You fell in love. Or did you? Maybe it was only a childish infatuation, or maybe just a brief moment of vanity.” So what is love?
Is it possible that it’s both chemical and a bridge across forever, as author Richard Bach describes it? Perhaps the chemistry is a sort of “prewiring” that aids us in finding the right person. But what if you married too soon and for the wrong reasons and then found that special person—what then?
Is loyalty a form of devotion? Is honesty a form of integrity? Is there any virtue in leaving a spouse of 20-plus years? Is there less integrity in denying the passion that exists between you and your soul mate?
What if you had been thinking about feeling lonely or disconnected from your spouse when you met your would-be soul mate? Would it be easier or more difficult to dismiss the thoughts and feelings?
Here’s your real What if? What if you were one of the married couple’s children and it was your parent dealing with this struggle. What would you advise, and why? What if you could look into the hearts of all parties—what would you recommend?
Love moves mountains, it’s said. It’s also said that this is the strongest force in the universe. Do the proverbs mean caring for another above oneself, or is it passion—how that person makes you feel?
I submit that what conquers all is the love that knows the bond of loyalty, the honor of integrity, the compassion of true friendship, and the unconditional devotion that puts the needs of another above oneself.
What if this is true? What if it’s false? What does it mean to you?