Episode 34: Daphne Rose Kingma: The Future of Love
Why do more than half of US marriages end in divorce? Why are there now more single heads of households than married heads of households? What is “The Future of Love”? Meet “the Einstein of Emotions.” My guest, Daphne Rose Kingma is an expert on transformation and matters of the heart. In her book, “The Future of Love” she writes “…our greatest desire is to have our relationships return us…to the transforming and beautiful experience of love that first inspired them…” Join Daphne and Chip as we explore love and the power of bringing soul into our relationships. Listen in as we talk about the 10 qualities of a soulful relationship: self-awareness, aliveness, realism, honesty, generosity, empathy, forgiveness, thanksgiving, consecration and joy. And don’t miss Daphne’s deep, soulful exercise that you can do at home.
Disclaimer: This program is intended for mature audiences only.
Chip August: Welcome to Sex, Love and Intimacy. I’m your host, Chip August. Today on the show we’re going to be talking about love – bringing our soul into our relationships. We are talking with Daphne Rose Kingma, who’s an expert on matters of the heart. She’s written ten books on love and relationships, including one of the ones we’re going to talk about today: the future of love, the power of soul and intimate relationships. Daphne is a relationship expert who writes some really thought-provoking and interesting things about where a relationship is heading.
Daphne Kingma: We are embodied beings. We’re not just energetic beings. We’re spirit beings that are incarnate in bodies with human histories and family dramas and psychological issues, and that’s one of the things that we’re working out here in this human experience. When we’re operating at that soulful, you know, love energy level, we’re much more concerned with a deeper experience of love than just simply having our needs met or simply negotiating the tasks of daily life. Well, I think the future of love is about more love and I think all these changes that we’re going through which are actually very uncomfortable – it’s kind of a birthing, transformational process, and that always has some growing pains involved in it – but overall I see that we are moving very strongly to embody more love in our relationships, whatever the form of them are.
Chip August: Welcome to Sex, Love and Intimacy. I’m your host, Chip August. Today on the show we’re going to be talking about love, and we’re going to be talking about bringing our soul into our relationships. We are talking with Daphne Rose Kingma, and Daphne has once been described as the “Einstein of emotions” – I love that – the Einstein of emotions. Daphne Rose Kingma is an expert on matters of the heart. She’s written over ten – she’s written ten books. Ten books on love and relationships, including one of the ones we’re going to talk about today - the Future of Love: The Power of Soul in Intimate Relationships. Also, she’s written True Love, Finding True Love, The Men We Never Knew, and the classic on the psychological journey of ending a relationship, Coming Apart. Daphne is a relationship expert. She works with couples and individuals in person and by phone. She’s located in Santa Barbara. She just is a wonderfully eloquent writer who writes some really thought-provoking and interesting things about where a relationship is heading. So, I am just pleased as punch to have you here. Welcome to the show, Daphne.
Daphne Kingma: Thank you, Chip. You put a big smile on my face. It’s a joy to be with you.
Chip August: Oh, good. You know, I actually first heard of you reading your book about random acts of kindness, which, I don’t know, it’s a while ago, you know. Somebody sent it to me, I lead workshops in love, intimacy and sexuality and I teach people a lot about – I, personally, just think that kindness is an amazingly powerful thing. And so somebody sent me your book. And I just love your take on the human condition, and the human heart, and just, sort of, what’s possible. And I think you’re a really eloquent writer and so I’m wondering if you’d be willing, if we could start this interview. Your latest book, The Future of Love has some particularly beautiful passages about love, and what it is and what relationships can be. And I’m wondering if you’d be willing to read that section we talked about, before the interview begins.
Daphne Kingma: Oh, that’s beautiful, Chip. I’d love to. This is from the introduction to the book The Future of Love, and I shall just begin. Love is a mighty power. It is light. It is the energy of life. It brings us into life, and sustains us while we live and breathe. Love is an energy, not a substance. It is essence, not matter. You can’t contain it. You can’t put it in a box. But you can feel it, taste it and know it. It’s presence is unmistakable. It is exquisite and profound, and when you are in love nobody – not your best friend, your parents or even your own mind – can talk you out of it. Our greatest desire is to have our relationships return us again and again to the transforming and beautiful experience of the love that first inspired them and brought them into being. We live to love. If this is true about love (and I believe it is), then why are we so often disappointed in the love in our lives? Why does it so often seem to fail us? And why is it so often a pitched battle?
Chip August: Yeah. Just so, just so. There’s a cosmologist/physicist named Brian Swimme who – I don’t think I do him justice - but he says that the unifying force in the universe is love. That that’s what all those positives chasing negatives are. That’s what all that – that’s what magnetism is. That’s what gravity is, and that what we humans do is that we make love conscious. And I love that thought.
Daphne Kingma: That’s beautiful.
Chip August: So, why does it become such a pitched battle? If love is what we’re after, and love is what we live for, what happens?
Daphne Kingma: [Laughs] Where do we go awry?
Chip August: Yeah!
Daphne Kingma: Well, it’s because, as I state in those early paragraphs, it’s an energy, and an essence and of course we are embodied beings; we’re not just energetic beings, we’re spirit beings that are incarnate in bodies with human histories and family dramas and psychological issues. And that’s one of the things that we’re working out here in this human experience. We’re living this story of our individual human life with all of the, you know, all of the difficulties, all of the agonizing disappointments that get laid down in childhood and then become the path that we’re working out as we move along through our life in human relationships, which are our chalice for this energy of love. And so on the one hand, we’re having an experience and embodying the energy of this profound spiritual all-seeing, you know, universe uniting energy that is love. And on the other hand, we’re just these little desperate human psychological beings which are saying, you know, “you disappoint me”, “you’re making me feel the way my mother felt,” “You’re doing just what my father did,” “when is this going to stop? Why don’t you treat me better?” et cetera, et cetera. In other words, we’re working out all the implications of these stories which are kind of like the gauntlet that’s laid down for us in this lifetime to break through to our larger spiritual capacity for love.
Chip August: And are we conscious that we’re trying to break through that larger capacity, or – I mean that seems kind of unconscious to me.
Daphne Kingma: [Laughs] I think you’re right, Chip. I don’t think we’re generally conscious. It’s like, it’s sort of, we tend to be living our relationships on the emotional level – the psychological level, which is about our history, and therefore our psychological needs. “This is what happened to me when I was a kid. It hurt, it was awful.” Actually a lot of people don’t even know that, you know, they don’t – many people are not aware of how powerful these childhood experiences are. But whether you’re aware of it or not, you’re trying to work that out. And so, getting to the place of this, you know, kind of pure love is something that we sort of get to, kind of kicking and screaming because our life experiences keep disappointing us and we have to keep saying, “well, what’s really important here? I guess it’s the love.” So, you’re absolutely right. We’re not conscious of it, but we become conscious of it, or we have an opportunity, I should say more accurately. We have an opportunity to become conscious of it through the things that things that happen in our life and relationship experiences in particular.
Chip August: In your book, you seem to suggest that – maybe I misunderstand, so...That there’s some way that we need to be able to actually move past our personality when we’re in love.
Daphne Kingma: Well, ultimately as souls we will move past our personality and let me kind of pause to kind of outline this a little bit at this juncture.
Chip August: That’d be great.
Daphne Kingma: It’s like whenever we’re – well, whenever we’re engaged in life experience, but particularly in relationship experience, which is where we feel and live love – we’re engaged on two different levels. We’re engaged on the level of personality, which is that part I just talked about – you know, that we have histories and we have disappointments and we have needs and issues. And then we’re also engaged on a soul level, which is, you know, we’re just this essence of love and we apprehend the other person – the beloved – you know, from the vantage point of this totally accepting and connecting energy. But, it’s like, as long as we’re – you ask are we supposed to get beyond our personality issues – as long as we’re in this life, unless we’re enlightened avatar spiritual light beings, you know, we’re still dealing with these personality issues. But there are moments when we break through and we get out of the personality level, and we see the beloved through the eyes of pure love. I think falling in love is such a moment. You know, we’re not saying, you know, when we’re dazzled and falling in love, we’re not saying, “listen, are you going to treat me like my mother did? Are you going to bring up all my life issues and drive me crazy?” We’re not saying that. We’re having this moment of pure connection with the essence of that other being, and we’re in a state of complete receptivity. Then we get into the relationship, and all the other things pop up their ugly heads. But still, in the course of that journey of relationship, we do have opportunities again to see one another in the, you know, in the consuming light of love.
Chip August: And is this what you mean by “soul love”?
Daphne Kingma: Yes, it is, because soul love is just, you know, unconditional basking acceptance in the way this other person is. In the way all things are. We don’t get to that very often in our lives, but, you know, as spiritual beings, this is ultimately our destination. I love that thing you said from Brian Swimme. It’s like, hey, you know, everything’s going there. This is where we’re all headed. This is what we’re all about. This is our essence, this is the, you know, the outcome of the journey, and obviously, you know, I mean, obviously we’re not there because we’re still down here on the planet having our – you know, enjoying our issues. I mean, I think in a way it is a little bit like a roadside trip, you know, you say, “ok, you know, I’m going to drive to Paris.” But on the way, you know, you may have a flat tire, and you may see some beautiful fields full of vegetables and you may, you know, have some incomprehensible conversations with people who don’t speak your language. All of those things are part of the journey, but the place you get to is this place of beauty and, you know, just kind of basking and melting down. And we’re all moving toward that, you know, with a lot of very challenging, homely stops along the way.
Chip August: I want to talk about, sort of the relationship part of that journey, but I want to take a break for a moment and give a chance for our sponsors to support us and for us to support our sponsors. You’re listening to Sex, Love and Intimacy. I’m talking to Daphne Rose Kingma. We’re going to take a short break and we’ll be right back.
Chip August: We’re back. You’re listening to Sex, Love and Intimacy. My guest is Daphne Rose Kingma. She is a bestselling author and relationship expert. And we’ve been talking about love, and relationship, and soul love. And you talked a little bit before the break about relationship as kind of a journey, and in your book you talk about some of the qualities of what you think make that journey very soulful, and I was wondering if we could talk a little bit about these qualities of a soulful relationship.
Daphne Kingma: Yes. When we’re operating at that soulful, you know, love energy level, we’re much more concerned with a deeper experience of love than just simply having our needs met, or just simply negotiating the tasks of daily life. And so they’re energetic qualities that allow us to experience this soul level, and they are, I’ll just kind of list them off: one is self-awareness. One is aliveness. One is realism. One is honesty. Another is generosity. Empathy. Forgiveness, and Thanksgiving. And Joy and Consecration. And these qualities as you see, they’re not about, you know, kind of getting what you want, they’re qualities that we bask in and offer. And I think the very first one that I like to talk about is self-awareness, because it’s like if we’re psychologically unaware, everything we do in relationship is going to be to try on an unconscious level to get our needs met. But the more self-aware we can be, ok, I’m this kind of person, I’m a – you know – I’m an anxious, emotion-denying person because I had two parents who were alcoholics, the more we have that self awareness the more we can step out of the container that was built by those circumstances and say, “ok, I am that person and I pause and take note of that, and I look across at you, and I move myself to the place of apprehending you with love.” And so, basically if you’re not self-aware – to put it very simply – your emotional issues drive your life. They drive it nonstop. And so the very first quality that I list here as a soulful quality is self-awareness, because that opens the door for a deeper level of connection and experience of the other.
Chip August: As I read about your – talking about self-awareness, I noticed it had me thinking about an earlier book that you wrote, called Loving Yourself: Four Steps to a Happier You–
Daphne Kingma: Oh yes. Yes -
Chip August: - And I really was sort of tying what you were saying about self-awareness to what you’ve also said about self-acceptance.
Daphne Kingma: Yes. Because when you accept yourself, and when you love yourself, it’s compassionately loving yourself – not just for all the great things you are, we all have great things – but loving yourself in a complete awareness of your limitations, and of the things that battered and bashed and crumbled you and that you’re struggling with. And so, when you can bring all that to the table of your relationships, then, you know, there’s an openness there that allows the deeper love to flow through because you’re not continually trying to cover those things up, or escape them or deny them or whatever. So it’s a – you know, I think, as you know, Chip, I’ve spent many years of professional life working with people about these emotional issues, and the reason is that if we don’t have awareness about what makes us tick psychologically, we are going to continually drag other people into our dramas and our life is going to be lived on the level of these dramas. You know, “you’re like my father,” “you’re like my mother,” “why are you doing this?” But the more self-aware we can be we can say, “ok, to me this feels like you’re like my mother or father, but I’m going to clear a space and allow myself to really look at you, and who you are, and this moment of majesty and miracle that is two human beings connecting to get acquainted with one another, to experience the beauty of one another. So, self awareness comes at the very top of the pile because it’s just so essential to this possibility being able to happen at all. And, of course, the book that I wrote called Loving Yourself is really, it’s actually kind of a workbook about how people can see where their own capacity to be self-aware and self-loving got kind of bollixed up because of, you know, things that happened when they were kids, and how to move through that in various ways. It’s a very simple, but very complicated book –
Chip August: Yeah. We like to say simple, but not easy.
Daphne Kingma: Very well said.
Chip August: Yeah. So, in your book, there’s things you talk about that have me wonder, like, how you feel about traditional marriage. Are you, you know, are you advocating that the future of love implies that, you know, that marriage the way we do it today just doesn’t work, or are you opposed to traditional marriages?
Daphne Kingma: Just what do you think about marriage?
Chip August: Yeah. Just what do you think about marriage. Exactly correct.
Daphne Kingma: Well, I think that marriage has, for a vast number of people, become simply a format rather than, you know, a deep crucible of relationship and love. And by the way, I think it’s really interesting that for the first time in the history of the United States there are more single-person households than there are married households.
Chip August: Yeah.
Daphne Kingma: It’s saying – this statistic, I think, is saying to us that people are unhappy in some way. They’re wanting either – you know, they’re sick of trying to love one another because it doesn’t work out very well, or they’re trying to love themselves, or they want the deeper experience of love. And my position on marriage is this: that it has been the traditional container in which we have wanted to have our experience of love. It has failed to be supportive and inspiring in many instances of a deep experience of love, therefore people have, in vast numbers, sort of stepped out of it and looked for another experience, because I think we’re all moving toward more and more experience of love. And at the same time, paradoxically, because it has been our traditional container and metaphor and place in which to experience love, we have an incredible opportunity to make it just a powerful and gorgeous experience of love. So I’m challenging it to be something more than it has sort of dwindled into for a great many people.
Chip August: Yeah.
Daphne Kingma: For a great many people it’s just like, “well, I’m married. Married, period, end of sentence,” you know, nothing very meaningful is going on here, or, you know, or some meaningful things are going on here but not enough to suit me. I’m saying we have an opportunity to elevate this particular relationship to a really, you know, soul-singing place. And certainly many people are doing that. Many people are saying, “hey, I’ve discovered that that wasn’t my container in which to experience love, and so I’m having a different relationship configuration,” I mean I talk about those in the book. How, you know, many people are letting friendship be there primary relationship. Many people are, you know, changing their sexual orientation somewhere in their relationship life and saying, “listen for me to experience love I need to do it in a different way,” Or people are living in community, or people are, you know, many people are choosing to have a relationship life with their own life of service, as opposed to with an individual person. So there are all these new formats that are showing up because I think people are, you know, we’ve moved into the heart-space of a collective community, and our heart and soul are saying we want more love. We want to experience more love. How can we do that? Can we do it more in marriage? Can we do it by living in intentional community? Can we do it by, you know, really owning our sexual preferences which don’t fall along traditional lines? What is the way that we can break through to this greater experience of love? And so, that’s shifted to some significant degree, it’s shifted the way, the form, that our relationships are taking in favor of allowing, you know, a greater experience of love as people are exploring that.
Chip August: Yeah, I think what I’m hearing you say is you’re neither for nor against traditional marriage – you’re against soulless-couplings that just descend into boredom and perhaps anger. And what you’re in favor of is making choices which really bring your heart back into those choices and bring your soul back into those choices and have your life be meaningful.
Daphne Kingma: Beautifully said, Chip, beautifully said. Yes, exactly.
Chip August: We’re going to take a short break again, give another chance for our sponsors to pipe in here, listeners, please do listen to these sponsor messages because there are lots of special offers where you can get some really cool discounts. When we come back, Daphne Rose Kingma’s going to offer an exercise – something you can do at home to enhance the soul qualities in your relationship. But, for now, let’s take a break.
Chip August: Cool. Is there anything in particular you want me to ask you in this last segment that I haven’t?
Daphne Kingma: That was a great summary, by the way. I wish I’d said that.
Chip August: [Laughs] Well, you’re welcome to have it. You’ll have it digitally; you’re welcome to just say it.
Daphne Kingma: [Laughs] That was just fabulous. I go off on the long, meandering path and you hit the target.
Chip August: Yeah, well. That’s kind of my job. You know, my job is to make sure people get what you said, you know?
Daphne Kingma: I guess that’s the male and female deal, isn’t it?
Chip August: Some of it’s that. Some of it’s that. There’s certainly some gatherer in you, where you’re kind of going around, looking at all the different bushes and terrain, and there’s certainly some hunter in me that’s just looking for the trail, you know, “that’s the trail!”. So, yes.
Daphne Kingma: I love that. So, anything else to ask?
Chip August: Anything in particular you wanted me to ask, because this will be the last segment.
Daphne Kingma: Well, maybe just, “how are we doing on this path?”.
Chip August: Cool.
Daphne Kingma: - I think that’s a good question.
Chip August: Great, that’s what we’ll come back to then. Thanks.
Daphne Kingma: Great.
Chip August: We’re back. You’re listening to Sex, Love and Intimacy. I’m your host Chip August. We’ve been talking to Daphne Rose Kingma, and we’ve been talking about love, and we’ve been talking about our soul, and finding our path and it’s just been really great stuff. I really do encourage you to get Daphne’s books and read them So tell me, where are we headed here what is the future of relationship. The name of your book is The Future of Love. What is the future of love?
Daphne Kingma: Well, I think the future of love is about more love and I think all these changes that we’re going through which are actually very uncomfortable – it’s kind of a birthing, transformational process, and that always has some growing pains involved in it – but overall I see that we are moving very strongly to embody more love in our relationships, whatever the form of them are. And that the soul in each of us individually and all of us collectively is saying, “hey this what we’re really after, and we’re going to do whatever it takes to get there,” and sometimes it’s going to be really uncomfortable and confusing, and there’s going to be a lot of judgment about it from ourselves and from people outside ourselves, but in general, I see us moving more and more toward, you know, embracing this capacity to love in ourselves, and bringing it more and more to all of our relationships. I mean, you know, twenty years ago you would not have heard of a couple who’d been married, had a couple of kids, got divorced and had thanksgiving and Christmas with all their ex- and new people. That wouldn’t have happened, you know. The person you split up from was the pariah you were never going to speak to again. And yet, I think probably, just about everyone listening knows somebody who’s doing that, knows somebody who’s saying, “yes, but you know, this is the person I loved once and these are our children, and this is the person, you know, my former husband is loving now, and let’s all be together and share these moments.” You know, so I see us moving more and more toward this embrace of love and toward letting love be how we’re living and engaging with one another rather than fear or judgment or anger or, you know, regret, or negativity. I think we’re moving very positively on this path.
Chip August. What a hopeful vision. What a hopeful vision. I am an optimist by choice. You know, I’ve looked at pessimism, I’ve looked at optimism. It’s a much happier path to be optimistic. And I think you just had a really optimistic vision here, and I support that vision. I also think what we focus on is what grows, so if we focus on that vision of moving toward love what we’ll see is more movement towards love.
Daphne Kingma: Yeah. Yes, and I think it’s happening, and I think, you know, the choice is to say, “ok well our traditional relationships aren’t happening,” and “what’s the matter with us?” and let’s beat ourselves up. Or to just say, “wow, look at what’s really happening,” There’s this burgeoning awareness and sharing and comfortableness and generosity and aliveness and all of those soulful qualities that I mentioned, and this is – we are more and more inhabiting this as the place that we engage with one another. And I think it’s really beautiful, and I think we’re all feeling the effects of it – that there’s a softening and a welcoming and a generosity and comfortableness that there didn’t used to be.
Chip August: What a lovely vision. What a lovely vision. We are running out of time, and a couple of things. One is: if people wanted to just know more about you, or just know more about your work, or know more about your books, how would they – how would they find out about you?
Daphne Kingma: My books and my work, and my vision are all communicated on my website, which is www.daphnekingma.com [spells URL]. People always want to put an ‘n’ on my last name, but it’s Kingma [emphasizes last syllable], and www.daphnekingma.com, and there’s the whole scoop. So I’m always happy to hear from people and about their journeys, and join them on it in whatever way I can be of service.
Chip August: And, listeners, there’ll be a link when you go to the personallifemedia.com website, and find this interview there. There’ll be a link to Daphne’s website also. I like to ask my guests to provide an exercise – something that people can do at home, that enhances the love, intimacy or sexuality in their relationship, and you and I, off the record, talked about one that sounded really beautiful, so can you suggest that, please?
Daphne Kingma: Yes, and this is one that you can do, either individually, and I’m saying that for people who aren’t at this moment in a relationship but want to really receive the gifts of relationships in the past, or for you in a relationship and it’s just to pause quietly – I don’t know, I’m seeing a couple of people sitting together on a couch and kind of looking at each other and just kind of letting themselves get drifty and take a nice deep breath and entertain the question of what are the emotional gifts that I’ve received from this relationship? You know, a gift of healing, of growing, of claiming a part of yourself, of resolving some pain from your childhood, of being re-parented, of developing a skill, letting go of a self-judgment – these are all the emotional gifts that we can receive in a relationship. So just pausing and giving to yourself the awareness or expressing to your partner , “these are the emotional gifts that I’ve received from this relationship.” And just feeling the beauty of those gifts and articulating them to the person you’re with. And if you’re doing that in partnership, allow each of you to have a turn to express that. And when that exchange has been complete, to look at yourself inwardly and take another deep breath, perhaps. Just allow this feeling and awareness to pass through your body and ask yourself the question, “and what are the soul gifts – what are the spiritual gifts that I have received from this engagement with you?” And these are always gifts about love: “I’ve learned to be less judgmental,” “I’ve learned to be more generous,” “I’ve forgiven you,” “I’ve forgiven myself,” “I feel peaceful.” So, what are the spiritual gifts I’ve received? What are the gifts my soul has received – the expansion that I’ve arrived at through this connection with you – this connection in relationship. And once again, if you’re by yourself, to just articulate them internally, and maybe write them down, and if you’re doing this with a partner, to express them. Say, “wow, these are the spiritual gifts that I’ve received from our connection.” And then let the other person do it too, and then I always like to end with a “thank you.” “Thank you – this is the journey we’ve been on together.” So it’s a very powerful thing, because it’s an opportunity to see that, you know, in every relationship we are experiencing both emotional and spiritual gifts. And we don’t often realize that, because some of the spiritual gifts are kind of hard-won. It’s like, “wow, I did learn to love, I did learn to forgive. By golly I didn’t want to forgive, but I learned how to...” So just to allow yourself a moment to both feel and articulate those gifts.
Chip August: That just sounds lovely. It just – What a lovely way to bring to consciousness and awareness gratitude, empathy, kindness, sweetness, that just sounds very lovely. Thank you so much – you’ve been a terrific guest. I could talk to you forever. I just really enjoyed having you on the show. Thanks for being here.
Daphne Kingma: It was such a joy to be with you, chip, and my feelings are the same. Maybe we can talk a part of that forever again sometime. I’d like that.
Chip August: I think we will be talking again, for sure. Listeners, if you want to send some email to me, I’m pretty easy to reach. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. For texts and transcripts of this show or any of the Personal Life Media Network shows, just go to our website, personallifemedia.com, and you can find texts and transcripts. If you would like to leave a voicemail for me, there is a voicemail service. You can leave messages for Chip August by calling 206-350-5333. Leave your name, leave the name of my show (Sex, Love and Intimacy), and your question or comment. Please leave a phone number or an email, and just know that leaving a message on this system indicates your agreement for us to use your message on air if it seems appropriate to do so. And I do love hearing from you, and if you have suggestions or ideas for future shows or future guests please feel free to offer those suggestions. This brings us to the end of the show. I want to thank you for listening and look forward to us talking again real soon.
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