It’s funny (sort of) how we humans tend to move towards things we think will benefit us, individually. Nothing wrong with it, but it can be very stressful if you think that without it, your life won’t be as good, or isn’t as good already.
I need or want “x”….and I’m sure I’d be better off with it. So I go a-hunting for it. I try to acquire it. I try to earn it. I bend over backwards for it.
Maybe I sacrifice for it.
Money. Relationship. Happiness. Security. Adventure. Enlightenment.
I’ve seen other people with the thing I want. But not me.
Relationships can be presented in this way. The belief for some is that it’s better to have one. When you get a good, close, committed love relationship….then you’ll be happy. You’ll be secure. You’ll have companionship. You’ll get things, like a house or status, or cash, or attention, or fun, or someone to talk to.
It’s such a strong desire for many people that matchmaking businesses make a lot of money connecting people. People just feel so very certain if they find someone and call them their special companion, move in together, get married….
….they will get what they want. Then they’ll be happy.
An inquirer once came to me to work on his beliefs about couples.
He wasn’t in a relationship. But he thought he should be. He really thought he needed a girlfriend. He had enlisted in many services to help him find a mate.
And yet, so far, he was single basically his entire life.
I asked him what he thought couples had, that he didn’t?
And since we were doing The Work, which is all about your real thoughts on the subject without editing, I asked him also what was the worst that could happen if he was in a primary relationship with another person and it didn’t go the way he liked?
So he thought about what he believed he would have, if he had a girlfriend (and then a wife) and he said he’d have sex, and someone better at cooking than him….so, meals. A welcoming kitchen. A companion for trips overseas.
Another time, I was working with a woman who had been married for ages. She felt bored and tired of her husband of 30 years. Uninvolved in his life, disconnected, uninterested, uncaring.
What made her NOT leave or move to South America where she longed to go? She also answered honestly, since we were doing The Work.
Money. Security. She didn’t have to work at a job as long as she remained married and didn’t disrupt the status quo.
What I see in what people bring to relationships, is extreme amounts of stress when they expect something in return for being in the relationship, or expect they owe something for being in the relationship.
I give you “x”, you give me “y”, we have a deal.
Problem is….humans aren’t that reliable.
Life itself isn’t that reliable, or known, can’t be planned, can’t be controlled, isn’t a trade agreement. It’s also not All About Me. Making sure “I” at least get some, even if everyone else doesn’t.
But let’s do The Work, and see where this goes. Nothing like inquiry to open up the awareness and the gate of understanding.
What do you believe a love relationship will give you? If you’re already in a committed relationship, what do you believe your relationship ensures?
You need that relationship in order to be: wealthy, free to not work, adventure, expand emotionally, feel loved, grow, be seen as cool, feel safe.
Is this true?
If you say “yes” see if it’s absolutely true for all time that you need that relationship in order to be ______ (fill in the blank).
How do you react when you believe you need a relationship in order to feel or get or be loved, rich, safe, honored, comfortable, enlightened, seen in a good light?
The man who came to do The Work was looking at this pay-off for having a relationship: sex, companionship, meals.
How he reacted was he dated many, many women and broke up with them if they didn’t like to cook or want to keep house. He paid for elaborate adventures and bought gifts for the ones who did. He constantly wished for the ideal woman. He felt critical and angry when someone he thought might be the “one” didn’t do it the way he preferred.
He treated himself like his own company wasn’t that great–and being with another was better. He always felt restless and frustrated. He said he felt resentful if the sex wasn’t right.
Who would you be without your story?
We do place so much on relationships. It’s in the love songs, and our language. We project feeling supported, loved, valued because of that other person’s actions, or what they say.
But who would we be without our story of relationship?
Sometimes, I’ve had the thought I’d be alone. It doesn’t mean that at all.
Without the stressful story of relationship meaning we’re loved, safe, secure, wealthy, compensated (and the story that without one it means we aren’t or we’re not)….
….I find I’m free to love unconditionally.
Truly resting in love. No deal-making. No trades. No focus on myself and how this is all about me and “my” relationship. No expectations. No hardness. No risks. No scarcity.
Without my story of relationship being necessary in order for me to feel safe, for example, I notice the joy of how much safety I’ve experienced whether in relationship, or not. I survived, so far. Someday I won’t.
And it won’t be because I wasn’t in a relationship (LOL). It will be because it’s my time to go. I’m not in charge.
The sweet inquirer who did The Work noticed that without his thought of needing a relationship for sex, companionship or meals….
….he could see how much he loved going to restaurants all the time, and all the servers he knew like friends. He could enjoy the company of many kinds of people, in wide variety. He loved his alone time and the simplicity of life without focus on anyone else. He paid for pornography that had no attachment. The trade was money. This felt really easy for him.
Turning the thought around: I do NOT need a relationship in order to be _______ (wealthy, safe, loved, comfortable, grow, etc).
Can you find advantages of not being in relationship, if you aren’t?
Can you find advantage for being IN relationship, if you are?
How exciting, thrilling and fun to explore whatever is here, and to appreciate it without expectations, demands, control, or neediness.
“When you say or do anything to please, get, keep, influence, or control anyone or anything, fear is the cause and pain is the result.
If you act from fear, there’s no way you can receive love, because you’re trapped in a thought about what you have to do for love. Every stressful thought separates you from people. But once you question your thoughts, you discover that you don’t have to do anything for love. The fact is that when I have my own approval, I’m happy, and I don’t need anyone else’s.” ~ Byron Katie in I Need Your Love–Is That True?
Turning the thought around again: I need a relationship with myself in order to be ______ (fill in the words you’ve been looking at). I need a relationship with my own thinking.
I’ve often thought about how this doesn’t mean I live in a bubble and never ask for a thing. Not at all.
If I’m thirsty, I go get some water or ask for it or buy it. But I don’t believe I need a special relationship to quench my thirst. I’m an adult, with an open mind. I can move to care for myself and all connect with all life, with ease.
I find when I am accepting of myself entirely, why would I ever “need” to receive compliments, money, companionship, love, growth, praise, nurturing, safety through any relationship. I’d have all these things available to me already through the whole world.
If you want to really work on relating and relationship in your life, and clean up your stressful thinking when it comes to what you think you need from someone else….come to Breitenbush in December. Watch here for the short invite my husband Jon and I made for you: