A brief outline of some basic points necessary to tend to in order to create a harmonious and loving relationship.
Internal preparation is prerequisite for developing the maturity necessary to succeed in creating a conscious loving union with our love partner. (Although we are discussing here specifically romantic love relationships, most of what is being said is also useful for other relationships.)
a. Clarify Values, Needs, Life Style:
The more mature we are when we enter a relationship, the more likely we are to succeed in finding the harmony we desire. In general, we attract persons who correspond to our present stage of interests, motives, values, goals, etc. This occurs through the attraction of similars and also opposites. As we ourselves mature and become more aligned to our true selves, we will attract people who are aligned to our true needs and goals.
We would do best to begin a process of self-knowledge and determine what we really want out of life. We need to clarify our values, needs and preferred life style. Having done so, we will then attract a partner with whom we can share whatever is important to us.
b. Learn to love yourself:
If we do not believe we are lovable, it is unlikely we will attract a mate who will abundantly express love to us. We attract those who will reflect to us the very same feelings we harbor for ourselves. Even if the other does not reject us, we will frequently project or imagine that he or she is doing so.
We exhaust our partners with our need for continuous reaffirmation of their love. When we doubt our self-worth, we easily fear losing the other?s respect, admiration and love. We fear losing the other to someone else. We then become negative, possessive, jealous and often so overbearing that we suffocate the other until he or she does actually leave or develops various protective mechanisms, such as aloofness or aggressiveness.
When we doubt our self-worth, our need to be accepted and affirmed by our partner often causes us to deny our own feelings, needs, beliefs and values. We try to become who we believe the other wants us to be. We cannot bear for the other to be dissatisfied or angry with us. We are afraid we are at fault or that the other will leave us.
c. Develop Inner security.
If we believe that we are not safe alone in the world without our partner, we are denying our real selves, our real power, and our spiritual nature.
I have heard a number of women confess that they have stayed with their husbands, who were cheating on them for years, not because they loved them, or believed they would ever change, but because they feared being alone, especially economically. These women are bartering their self-respect and happiness for a false sense of security.
It is essential that we build our feelings of self-worth and inner security so we can love the other without becoming dependent upon him or her. In this way, we will be more alive and truer to ourselves in the relationship. Only in this way can we be with the other because we love him or her and not because we fear being alone.
CLARIFYING RESPONSIBILITY FOR REALITY
a. The other is to blame.
We are each responsible for the reality we create within and around us. If we are not happy, it is because we are allowing our attachments, aversions, expectations and to obstruct our happiness. A main problem in our relationships is that we often blame the other when we are not happy or secure. When something goes wrong, we seek to pass the blame because we find it difficult to accept our own mistakes and weaknesses.
We also expect the other to fill our emptiness in ways that he or she cannot. The other cannot create our happiness, security or feelings of self-worth. When we do not get what we need from the other, we feel hurt and angry, and usually resort to blaming the other.
Because of this, we can get locked into power games, in which each tries to control, change and correct the other, neither wanting to be corrected. A bitter battle of wills ensues which defies real, sincere communication, as each blames without listening to what the other is saying.
If we expect that the other is going to supply what we are missing in ourselves, we are in for an unpleasant surprise. We must take responsibility for our health, happiness, harmony, fulfillment and the general state of affairs in our lives. The key to finding the happiness and harmony we seek is to stop trying to change others and change ourselves from within.
b. I am to blame...
The opposite side to this belief system is that we are responsible for the others. If they are not happy, healthy, successful, and most of all, not satisfied with us, we feel we are to blame. We feel we have failed in the role of love partner, child, parent or sibling, and are susceptible to feelings of self-rejection, guilt and shame.
When we feel this way, we often turn on the others and blame them for not doing what they should have done to be healthy, happy, successful, so that we can feel okay in our role of "being responsible for their reality."
The responsibility problem has two sides: "They are responsible for my reality" and "I am responsible for their reality." Both are illusions that lead to conflicts and unhappiness. We will dedicate another article to this matter.
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