The ART of RELATIONSHIP
The most essential relationship of our lifetime is the relationship with ourselves and our most important task is to discover who we are as best we can, our TRUE SELF. Ideally, we will learn from our experiences so that moving forward, our lives will be better, healthier, and more meaningful. Once we have a pretty good idea about who we are, we seem to be ready to start the journey of being ourselves in a relationship. In this endeavor we have to focus on the job of making sure we live our own life to its fullest capacity and potential, while incorporating the capacity and potential of another’s life into a relationship. The complexity and difficultly that evolves in the creation of an experience that is healthy, honest, respectful, inclusive, joyful, and loving, and that values and promotes individual expression and personal growth for both partners is massive. WOW!
The work with a partner is not intended simply to fulfill physical or emotional needs, but it’s aim is to accelerate the process of awakening. The power of relationship wakes us up in areas of life where we are asleep and where we avoid naked, direct contact with our existence. A loving relationship cannot evolve out of sheer romanticism, that initial rush of erotic attraction that is all most of us ever know of love. Love is not a product of attraction. It is a commitment. The relationship becomes a spiritual practice of partners laying down their lives for each other—facing their shadows, relinquishing old patterns and agendas, allowing all self-justification to be seen, brought to the light, and released. I have found this to be very difficult. I have failed on several occasions to awaken my shadow areas and get beyond romanticism.
Friendship, sexual attraction, intellectual compatibility, and love are also fundamental to relationship development. No doubt, love is the glue that keeps a relationship strong and solid. BUT, dreaming that love will save us, solve all our problems or provide a steady state of bliss or security keeps us stuck in a fantasyland, undermining the real power of love.
Consider a large oval mirror for a moment. This mirror is without ego and mind. Imagine you are standing in front of the mirror, as it reflects your face and shoulders. It reflects the table and crooked picture in the background. Everything is revealed as it really is, without self-consciousness on the part of the mirror. If you choose to move on, the mirror lets you. The mirror is always empty of itself and therefore able to receive the other. The mirror has no preconditions for entry, no preconditions for acceptance. It receives and reflects back what isthere, nothing more and nothing less. The mirror is the perfect lover. It sees as God sees.
I believe that true love lives and thrives in the heart space without conditions like the mirror. It keeps me from wanting to hurt people who have hurt me and prevents me every day from entertaining obsessive, repetitive, or compulsive head games. It can make the difference between being happy or being miserable and negative.
When we meet someone, love is not something we feel right away. That strong feeling of attraction, like a magnet pulling you towards that person you’ve just met is actually infatuation and sexual chemistry. Mother nature gives us a big dose of infatuation in order to get us together initially. Love does include sexual chemistry but it differs because it is an emotion that takes time to build. Lust can appear in an instant; love evolves over a period of time as you get to know the other person inside and out. If you don’t develop a base of loving feelings with your partner, once the sexual spark dies down, you will become bored. Humans are built with the capacity to love over and over again. My 8th grade crush was Melinda. Without my humanness, I would still have just a crush and wouldn’t know love.
A loving relationship is not built in a day. The threads of love take time to weave together to form a strong bond. It is only as you and your partner share your thoughts, fears, dreams and hopes that love takes root. This actually happened for me in a 27-year marriage to a woman that became a perfect partner for me, strong where I was weak, willing to do what it took to keep our love growing and our family unit intact. Alas, I became the Master of the Universe.
In a truly loving relationship, we give to another without condition or expectation. There is no account keeping. Giving pleasure to our partner gives us pleasure. When we see our partner happy, we feel a sense of joy. When we see that they are sad or depressed, we feel their mood.. With love comes empathy for the other person’s emotional state.
When we love someone, we are willing to compromise without sacrificing our own self in doing so, nor should our mate require us to sacrifice our own self for their personal gain. When we love, we are respectful of each other. We do not intentionally hurt our partner. When we talk about them in their absence, it is with such warmth that the listeners can hear the love in our words. Our love for the other person enables us to act morally and ethically, both with them and in our community. Their presence in our life makes us want to be a better person. If in love, we never feel lonely, even when alone. The very thought of the other person makes us feel as if we have a guardian angel with us at all times.
When our partner succeeds at something after a long effort, we beam with joy. There is no jealously or envy, just pure pleasure at seeing our beloved’s success. Even when separated for work, travel, or other commitments, our thoughts drift towards them and what they might be doing “right now.”
With love, sex becomes sacred. Different from the early days, our sex becomes lovemaking, a unity of body and mind. The presence of love in the relationship allows us to feel protected and safe. We feel a sense of security and stability.
Our partner sees us for who and what we are and still loves us,. We can show all our sides, positive and negative, and receive their love unconditionally. Love allows us to bare our souls and feel grace in return. Love allows us to disagree without developing a debilitating resentment.
Love in a relationship allows two people to grow exponentially and evolve as God intends for nature and man. God loves me and you love me. I love God and I love you. What else is necessary?