Periodically evaluating our relationships is an important part of understanding whether we are happy where we are or not. It’s an effective way of gaining clarity and understand about where you are, what you want and whether your current situation is allowing for these desires to flow easily and naturally.
I have been a bit reluctant to write about this subject. But I thought it would defeat the object of having a blog focused on being honest about what’s going on for me if I wasn’t going to be honest about what was going on for me… So here goes…
Heather and I often re-evaluate our relationship. Of late it has seemed that we are increasingly dissatisfied with where we are in our current relationship. We have been working on the idea of Enlightened Relationships and putting that into practice. What is a big factor in the dissatisfaction, for me, is lack of freedom and lack of knowledge of who I am, as a person. Heather and I are both 20, we have been together for 4 years and known each other for 5.
I think it’s safe to say that up until the age of 25 we are still getting to know who we are as people and even after then we are still learning. If we get into a long term monogamous relationship which is based on the modern relationship paradigm – love/hate and addiction – then it’s very easy to lose oneself in the comfort and security of the relationship. When I say “lose oneself”, I mean to genuinely lose elements of ourselves in favour of being “one half” of a whole.
The truth is that in this universe, oneness is the underlying energy of everything. While it is impossible to be separate from anyone – and therefore it is impossible to be truly independent – it is also impossible to be less that who we are, which is this oneness. We are whole and complete who ever and what ever we are. So why do we feel like we are less than what we are when we are in these sorts of relationships? If it was any other issue we would look at it and say, “Well that’s due to a limiting belief!” So why is it so different for relationships?
The truth is, it’s not different. Many people “put up” with addictive love/hate relationships because everybody else has them and it’s the societal and cultural norm. Terence McKenna once said, “culture is not your friend,” I’m beginning to understand what we meant. When we manifest situations which feel like repeats, over and over again, eventually we become stagnant. We do things in such a ritualistic way that we are very rarely in the present moment. Our actions are predefined most of the time because it’s so familiar we naturally switch off to where we are.
The answer, then, seems to be “Get present. Be in the now.” My question is, is it really that simple? Of course, we move into present moment awareness and we begin to enjoy the positive aspects more. The choice comes when we ask ourselves, “Is it more self-loving to stay here and focus positively, or to create a new experience for myself?” And, if we truly love ourselves, we will always choose what makes our heart sing. To ‘stick it out’ based on some idea or promise for the future is to live in the future, this will create primarily anxiety for us within our current circumstance. If we remain where we are out of fear of what we have experienced before repeating itself, whatever it is, then we are living in the past. If we are living in the past, then we will experience primarily depression.
If we can live where we are, right now, then we will begin to see what it truly is. If we begin to live in the moment, we move into being. To truly be is to trust in our emotions and follow our bliss. If we move into presence then and feel unhappy, it would be most self-loving to create a new present moment in which we do feel happy. Whether that is being present at work, realising you hate the job and handing in your resignation… Or realising you are not happy in a relationship and taking measures to improve it – or if it is beyond improvement start to set in motion the change of moving on.
This is where I am at the moment, I have become present to realise there are some things that I am unhappy with in my relationship. And when Heather and I really talk about it, she feels the same way, however I can only speak for myself here. For me, this life is about freedom. The current relationship dynamic with Heather doesn’t allow enough freedom for me. My bliss is meeting new people, making new friends, seeing new places and all-in-all, living a life of adventure. And while I do feel grateful for, and appreciate the life I have now, it just doesn’t allow for that adventure. So, I’ve had to ask myself what is more self-loving for me to do. Stay here? Or move on?
From inside the relationship it is incredibly difficult to clearly see the answer to that question. It’s for this reason I can see the benefit of withdrawing from relationship for a short time. There are many benefits of doing this… To see the relationship with new eyes, to access the freedom I desire to see if it’s really that I want, to get to know who I am without the conditions of my current life and the relationship, so forth and so on. I am not interested in completely withdrawing from the relationship until I have clarity on these things. On the basis that we may find we would much prefer to be together after having spent some time apart it would be best for us to not just in the deep end and throw in the towel.
Synchronisation came into play, quite nicely when I did an I Ching reading today…
“Development means going step by step: Things must follow their proper course. Gentleness is adaptable, yet penetrating, for it proceeds from inner calm.” – Development, Gradual Progress (53), I Ching
If I am collected and deliberate in my choices – instead of moving on a whim – I will see results which I am happy with in the long run. This is advice that not only the I Ching has provided me with. Both my Mum and Dad, at separate times from separate places in the country with no communication with each other what so ever, gave me the same advice. “You have a good thing,” they said, “make sure you don’t ruin it by not thinking things through.” I understand what they mean completely. I do have a good thing with Heather, but still there remains the fact that neither of us are really 100% satisfied with it. We do not want to uphold the old paradigm of settling for less.
The above ideas have been circling my consciousness for a week or so now. It’s no wonder, then, that an opportunity to do exactly what I wanted to do arose for me this past few days. I was speaking to a new, now very close friend from Norway. She had mentioned she was visiting the UK in the new year and expressed an interest in the South West of England, which happens to be where I spent almost a quarter of my life. I know the area well and have developed a deep fondness for the area.
My friend and I have arranged to spend a week together in the new year. I will be showing her around Somerset and having as much fun as is humanly possible. While I am doing this, I will be getting to know myself as a person as opposed to half of a unit and I will also be writing a list of things I desire from a relationship which I will not compromise on – in other words, I’ll be writing a list of things which I desire to have from a relationship in order for that relationship to be something I’m happy with maintaining and caring for.
While I am in Somerset, Heather will be visiting some friends in Brighton and doing the same: having a good time, getting to know herself as a person, writing a list of indecomposable values a relationship must possess for her to be happy with it.
This time apart will provide us with perspective. Neither of us are doing this with the hope of any particular outcome. We understand that it is more self-loving to let go of something which is comfortable but destructive that it would be to perpetuate it based on purely the comfort aspect. We also understand that upon returning from our respective trips that we might have lists which correlate and we might appreciate each other and what we have more, in which case will be more satisfied with it. All that would be left to do then would be to integrate the desires we have realised and listed into our life. Likewise, we are prepared that this may not be the case. I would be happy with either life, and I am prepared to fully throw myself into either experience.
“A mountain tree can be seen from afar: thus a wise man abides, in dignity and virtue, in order to improve the moral order.” – Development, Gradual Progress (53), I Ching
Over the coming months, the plan is to fully experience each moment as it is given birth as new. To be truly *in love*, as I put it before – to be in the feeling space of love in what ever I do, instead of being in an act of giving or receiving love. Come the new year all of us will see many changes in our lives as a result of this past year (the year of change with energy flowing through decision) and as we move into 2014 (the year of the change with energy flowing through mystery school) we will see all of our new lessons in action and we will begin to truly understand where we want to be, and what our life will look like.
It is my hope that many of you will flow through similar changes with me as I move through mine. It is a big time for me, and I wish such or similar growth for all of you also!
“In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” – Buddhist Saying
Life is change. Be like water, friends.
Namaste, live, love and play!