If you want a relationship to succeed, you must be willing to let it completely fall apart.
For a deeply satisfying relationship, we need to abandon all investment in our codependent ways. We limit our innate freedom by trying to be more appealing to others, so they will like/love us. We engage in "strategies" so we don't have to feel our fear of rejection.
The closer we are to people, the more pain-filled our relationships tend to be. While in reality, what we want most for these people is their happiness. Just what we want for ourselves. Ironic, ain't it?!
Usually, the closer we are to people the more emotionally invested in what they think and say about us.
Where are your "emotional hooks"?
Do any of the following statements apply to you?
"S/he'll never leave me because I pay the bills".
"If I reveal how much money I make, s/he'll want more".
"The kids need us to be together".
"I know his/her secrets. S/he'll stay with me because s/he can't bear the thought that I would reveal them".
"If I tell him/her the truth about (fill in the blank) she'll leave me".
"If I told him/her what I do with my free time, I'd lose my freedom".
"Without me, s/he couldn't function".
If so, in which area of their life do you believe this to be the case?
Which statement do you identify with most? Write about recent times when you have had this thought; what you felt, thought, said and did. This may reveal to you how you limit your freedom in relationship.
Ironically, the strategies we believe will lead to a greater sense of security are the very ones that limit our freedom!!!
"Security is mostly a superstition.
It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."
We invest sooo much in what others think and say about us! I love the quote "What you think of me is none of my business". To not take personally how others perceive us is one of the biggest steps we take in being free. Ultimately, we need to take this a step further to "What I think of myself is none of my business". Many of the thoughts that we have about ourselves drive us to be small, to let others determine our choices, to be on guard; to strategize just to survive.
Yet, all thoughts can be seen as clouds in the sky. You see the clouds floating by and recognize that they may be all kinds of shapes. They may be dark and filled with storms. They may be beautiful; heavenly in fact. Although, they are just floating by. They are not you.
Before we were aware of thoughts in this way, they were subjective. We never questioned their validity or whether we could choose differently. Our thoughts dictated our words and actions. Yet, the more aware of them we become, the more objective they are, and the less control they have. Eventually they become "Like farts in a distant galaxy". A teacher of mine said this. He also said; "As you become aware of thoughts, don't try to change them, don't even try to minimize them. Just let them be."
We constantly resist our thoughts. We create all kinds of programs and religions to change our thoughts. Remember that what you resist, has power over you. Just let your thoughts be. Become aware of them and their motivation. As you do this you'll free yourself from their sway.
I think of this practice of developing an awareness of our thoughts as one of the two wings that allow the "bird of relationship" to fly. Have an open, relaxed awareness of your thoughts, while placing your focus on what you truly want; your bliss, what you love. This is the other wing
Creating a bridge
I think of Love as a bridge that can be built, extending from you to other people. Whatever you want from them, as long as you offer it, you'll experience it.
All the reasons that we enter relationship (ie getting certain needs met, being understood, being accepted, receiving compassion, friendship,), can be boiled down to one one easy to remember reflection; "Have I built a bridge to this person"? Have I walked in their "shoes"? Do I have compassion for them? Have I offered them compassion and empathy? In other words, "Have I applied the Golden Rule?" Give unto others what you want to receive from them.
These two wings (having awareness of how I am motivated by fear and leaning into what I want (love)) define the basic choice in relationship; to live from Love or fear. As we develop our "loving muscles" we choose fear less and less. Eventually we no longer choose fear.
My teacher Swami Muktananda said; "we recognize that there is only one choice, to love or fear. So we choose love because it feels better. We choose love enough that we no longer choose fear. We no longer consider fear as an option. At this point, we experience the 'choiceless choice' of choosing only Love."
"Through intense, deep meditation, you should get into that state which is beyond thought, beyond change, beyond imagination, beyond differences and duality. Once you have begun to get into that state and can stay there…you will see your own Self in everyone around you. Then the flow of love from within you will be constant and unbroken." –Swami Muktananda"