When it comes to a relationship, what is love? Is it simple? Is it complicated? Does it carry more light energy than dark? What constitutes a healthy relationship? These are a few questions I ask myself every now and then. After many years in the same intimate relationship, I have had many opportunities to reflect on all of the “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts”.
A neat thing I’ve learned about relationships is that absolutely everything I connect with along my journey is a relationship. A relationship can be with myself, a partner, a child, a thought process, a routine, my work, my car, and so on. The common denominator is me. So, when I remember to take a moment and pause each time I feel stress, or discomfort with someone, or something else, I ask myself ‘How am I participating in this exchange?’
This is an exciting place to be, to know that I get to accept the truth of my moment, or reject it. What is the truth, one may ask? Well this is for me to discover in each and every moment. My truth may be ego based and attached to the need to control and judge, or my truth may be grace and acceptance of what is, rather than what I think it should be. The secret is, that what I believe to be me in that moment, will influence my experience, and to know that “my” truth does not always equal “the truth”.
If I believe I am my ego, then I will participate accordingly. Feelings will get hurt, the need to tell others how to behave will either come out of my mouth, or be implied by my intentional silence and body language. My thoughts will be of judgement, resistance, and the need for control. Not all ego experiences cause discomfort either. It can be pretty tricky when it comes to distracting us from the truth. In a place of ego I may feel like I am doing everything in the best interest for all involved. I may fall under the illusion that I’m trying to help others, or improve a situation, not realizing that it is my own egoistic needs that are truly being met in that moment.
Why is it so important to understand the difference between ones ego and the truth when it comes to relationships? When there are exchanges in a relationship, there is always an opportunity to expose the truth. Since I am here to consciously evolve, I take advantage of life’s daily chances to do so.
Although it is much easier to point the finger and blame others, or outside circumstances for how I feel, I try to choose courage and honesty of my part in that moment. The realization doesn’t always happen immediately, and my ego sometimes puts up a great battle to resist the truth of the moment, but I stay strong and wait to be hit by the overwhelming embrace of the purity of truth. Of course this only happens once I get out of my own way.
We seem to get lost in looking around us at what everyone else is doing wrong. I hear a lot of people saying to those they are close to “Do this”, “Don’t do that”, “Speak this way”, “Don’t say those words”. It makes sense, since we are domesticated from a very early age. We have collectively decided long ago what is acceptable, and what isn’t when it comes to the common way of behaving. When someone steps out of this format, people become very uncomfortable, and feel the urge to implement domestication. How dare someone behave wild and free to the beat of their own drum. We become comfortable being comfortable and resist the challenge of taking on our own desire to control others instead of just accepting someone for where they are.
It takes courage to apply every feeling to your own responsibility for your state of peace, or lack of it. It takes honesty to know that you decide what your daily experience looks and feels like. If everyone decided that the only one they needed to change or control was themselves, then what a loving and accepting place this would be. If we knew that what anyone ever said to us had nothing at all to do with us, and that it was just them expressing their words through their life’s filter, then no one could ever steal our peace, or take away our freedom.
So yes, Love in a relationship is simple, because we only ever have one relationship in this lifetime, and that is with our self. If we choose to remain pure, without care or worry and allow others to do the same, we will find life a lot more harmonious.