“Almost all of our sorrows spring out of our relationships with other people.” — Arthur Schopenhauer
What a dilemma for mankind! Since our very first breath, we are constantly seeking and experiencing relationships with other people on many levels — with different expectations. Each experience will be either pleasurable or painful, and that is said to be determined by our own attitude and response to each relationship that we have. Ouch! That can be very hard to admit and come face to face with as we strive to find the ultimate “one” whom we think will be our soul mate “forever.”
One of the greatest problems within any relationship is the fact that the human mind is very subjective and, therefore, we tend to see the other person as we “think they are” or “want them to be.” That means that we never really see the person as they are and they become a sort of “shadow person” that our inner mind has created. Like the sisters trying the shoe on in Cinderella to win the Prince, we very often try to force fit the person into our lives because of what we want subconsciously. The bottom line is that we don’t even really want the Prince or Princess. We want to unite with an energy field that is resonant deeply within us that wants to “live again” and seek an expression as a close relationship.
The question is: What is deeply resonant within us that we want to unite with — and is it harmonious or inharmonious?
Think of your most favorite, gorgeous film star and ask some friends what they think. Not everyone will have the same view of this person. This stems largely from the subjective viewpoint that we each have. Where are we in relationship to that person? In a room full of people all looking at the same person, each person will have their own unique vantage point, along with their inner symbol references from past experiences that resonate with them and causes them to either be attracted to, or repulsed by the person. Not only is their unique place relevant in time and space, but so too is the timing in terms of where they are emotionally.
The inner mind is a great place to start as we rewire how we see people, seeing them as they really are and not as we would like them to be. This, in turn, requires discernment to know what or whom it is wise to “want.” Breathwork and meditation are key techniques to help with this.
Expectation of what we want out of any relationship is so distorted these days by what the media portrays as the “perfect relationship.” On one hand, the film industry churns out unreal, shallow characters for people to hold up as the perfect example on how to relate, whilst on the other hand the tabloid press makes millions by reporting on the emotionally explosive side of the “dream couple.” Is it that we want to see other people fail in relationships, or that we know for ourselves through personal experience that nothing ever lasts?
The reality is that we want all things to stay the same if they are great and to change them or create something better if they are not. The problem is that it’s not just about us anymore. If we want to create and sustain something meaningful, we need to learn about the vantage point of the other person involved. As my guru would say, “Healthy relationships are about learning to put your Self in second place.”