love, life, and the pursuit of liberation
A little over a week ago, I asked you all about dealing with relationships when things change. Since then, I’ve meditated a lot on my questions and I want to share with you what I realized. Please respond and reflect!
Your Self in Love
In the beginning it’s all daisies and meadows. You want to be around the person all the time. You can’t stop talking about her to your friends. You plot out the rest of your lives together and never imagine this connection and this intensity changing.
But it does.
The first hints might be less time, less sex, or “real” life creeping in. It may be that those butterflies that were explosive in the beginning are slowly fading. You may not even notice the intensity changing or be able to name just what is happening, but you do know that you are in a routine and everything is predictable. The honeymoon phase is a distant memory and you can’t even tell how you got there.
At this point the blame game may start. Why doesn’t she find me attractive? Why did I put on that weight? Would she put down the computer, the phone, the remote and look at me? Why do we only talk about the kids, bills, and our upcoming schedules?
Many of us are content to stay here. Maybe content is the wrong word. Maybe it’s really fear of the unknown (or inevitable) that keeps you from rocking the boat and pushing for more. The truth is that you’ve lost your Self in love.
Losing your Self in love can mean two very different things. One way describes the need to check the ego in order to truly be love. Another way refers to how we abandon our knowledge and relationship to Self when we get into love relationships, be they romantic or otherwise. This is what we’re going to focus on in this article. First, we need to understand what the Self is in relation to love.
In A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle explains that there is the Self and the self, and that both are us. The lowercase self is the ego—pride and self-absorption whose primary role is to feed itself. It sees itself as separate from the world and other beings, and it is constantly looking for validation, to feel wanted, superior, special. The uppercase Self is our higher spirit. It’s the one that knows we are all connected and share one soul. It knows we are expressions of divine creativity and doesn’t need to compete. It doesn’t need validation because it already knows that it simply is. It gives and takes with no other motivation than to help others know their true Selves and connection, their own liberation.
Most of the time, this Self isn’t the one that’s present in the beginning of relationships. Truthfully, many relationships don’t even get to the point where Self is able to enter. Some of us may have had the fortune to see examples of other relationships where both partners operate with their true Selves. I don’t mean those relationships that linger on year after year out of familiarity or a perceived need to stay, but instead those relationships are ones in which both partners encourage each others’ growth, even at the risk of being “left behind” if one partner should outgrow the need for the relationship. They know that their mate’s spirit deserves to thrive as much as their own. They know love cannot exist without it. They are cheerleaders, not coaches or directors in their partners’ life. They are not trying to fill the mommy or daddy void, instead honoring and accepting the process of growth.
Now this provision of space for growth isn’t one-sided. Truly Self-ish or Self-attuned people recognize that they need to give their own spirits room to thrive. They aren’t codependent on someone else’s growth (or dysfunction) to edify them. They recognize that though their soul is shared with everyone else’s on the planet, their particular incarnation is on its own journey, a journey that’s equally important and needs conscious focus in order to meet its divine potential.
The last feature of a relationship when Self is present is an ability for the couple to come together and connect. There is a conscious action towards being fully present with that person. This doesn’t simply mean inhabiting the same space at the same time, like watching television together or going out to dinner. It is an authentic Being- that zone in which you are soaking in the other’s essence without interruptions or ulterior motive. It’s singular appreciation of the Self in other. It’s returning to a beginner’s mind when things are fresh and new, and you are attuned to the other because you are learning them without judgment. It’s often that place you are at when you are making love, when you are allowing yourself to be truly free instead of being conscious about your body or if you’re touching the right way or wondering about how/when the orgasm will be reached. This type of Being together is connection.
This article is long enough as is, and I want to give you a moment to respond and reflect. The next part will be about how to get this kind of relationship where:
Always in liberation,