Short Reflections (1): RelationshipsPosted: August 21, 2012
I would like to be a bit provocative this time and share an observation that I have made. I am convinced that most people do not fall in love with another person but with being loved by that person. Most relationships are, thus, driven by rather selfish motives, are not really romantic but serve a specific egoistic purpose.
Before you refute my little provocation, let me quickly explain.
If we walk through streets, bars, recreational places, offices, or other spots where we usually spend our societal time, we can’t help but noticing that how we behave, act or speak is mainly driven by the urge to improve or validate ourselves in some way or another. Companies, fitness studios, educational institutions, surgeons, bars, dance clubs and spiritual outlets thrive because of our seeking to impress by our looks, character traits, deeds, associations, wealth or status. What does that tell us? It simply shows that most of us unconsciously think that there is something wrong with us, that we are somehow ‘broken’ and need fixing (“original sin”). Think about it: if we really knew we were totally ok the way we are, we would see no reason to try to improve ourselves or seek external validation.
One of the most powerful validations of our innate ‘ok-ness’ is when somebody ‘loves’ us, because it proves the fact that we are acceptable (at least when performing the particular social role we are being accepted in). As we all know, the ‘falling in love’-feeling that comes along with it, is one of the most ‘juicy’ experiences a human being can have. It provides comfort, reduces fear, unlocks mental blockages, releases energy. Because it is highly addictive, like any drug, it creates a strong bond to the partner. This attachment endures even after the ‘high’ has completely subsided.
To make the long story short: when we say “I love you”, I would posit that what we really mean is “I love how your affection proves to me that I am lovable and how this makes me ‘high'”.
So far so good. Nothing wrong with falling in love, don’t get me wrong! What I would like to point out, though, is that because most of our relationships are egoistic and conditional rather than romantic and unconditional, relationship ‘problems’ necessarily need to arise.
The ‘deal’ in a egoistic relationship is that each partner provides the other partner with a feeling of wholeness by accepting him or her through their affection. By virtue of this ‘deal’ two ‘half circles’ become one ‘whole circle’. Whenever one partner challenges this ‘deal’, e.g. by withdrawing affection (leading to frustration) or spreading affection (leading to jealousy), the wholeness is considered by the other partner to be in jeopardy. Since the ‘deal’ is struck between two separate ego’s with different fears to avert, desires to fulfill and weak spots to defend, constant tension ensues. Usually this tension is unconsciously dealt with by each partner through exertion of subtle games of control and manipulation in an attempt to avoid a break-up of the ‘whole circle’ by the other. When these games become to restrictive to one (or both) of the partners, though, relationship ‘problems’ arise.
As a contrast, let’s consider a relationship between two people who know that they are a manifestation of the divine. They would know that they are perfectly ok and lovable even without receiving any external validation. Their wholeness would not be dependent on another person, some thing or circumstance. Each of them would be a ‘whole circle’ by him- or herself. They would enter the world and any form of relationship as fully independent human beings. They could live and love without the slightest expectation to receive anything back. Their love towards each other would be unconditional. Instead of getting intertwined and all entangled, these two independent ‘whole circles’ would be able to freely express themselves in a sacred dance of true romance.
“Love becomes divine when personality is not emphasized.”