Friday, March 18, 2016

How to be in a relationship (without getting crushed under other people’s emotional baggage)

Courage to love the self - painting in progress - by HD AndersonSometimes we become so attached to the idea of being in a relationship, that we begin to lose ourselves.  This is dangerous territory.

It’s so human to want to cling to passion: the idyllic memory of that fiery first spark at the beginning of the relationship.  In this state of mind, you may start to put up with all kinds of poor treatment because the idea of ever being apart from that person is so far away from that beautiful idyllic bliss. Personal boundaries of acceptable treatment and typical actions of respect (or a lack thereof) become blurred.  One day you may suddenly realize that you are constantly torn between that which provides an illusion of safety within the relationship and that which drains your energy and your soul. 

One of my favorite authors on the topic of the human spirit, Osho, says that this is not love. Clinginess is not love. (One of my favorite videos of Osho can be viewed here.)

To truly love a person, you must be willing to put aside your ego and your desire to receive from them.  Instead, you simply offer your love and support and let them live within their own dreams and visions.  Just love, without expectations.

When I first learned of this concept, I came from a mindset of always feeling like I was not good enough to be loved fully.  And so, I held on tight whenever I felt the security of a relationship that felt real.  It hit me like a ton of bricks that all this time, my expectations of other people (to fill the void within me) was completely unreasonable and actually, impossible!

It wasn’t until I let go and decided to just be a loving person, without any expectations of getting anything in return that I began to feel free.  In this state of mind, my boundaries are clear.  Since I no longer feel the need to cling, I know that I would be absolutely fine whether I am in or out of a romantic relationship.

I now choose all of my human relationships because they serve me and bring positive experiences to my life.  I get a lot of enjoyment out of being a loving person and seeing the effects of my love for the people who receive it. I no longer stay in bad situations out of fear. It’s not worth it…because I am worth it.

The key to detachment is to fall in love with yourself.  You can begin to replace any feelings of lack with mantras such as: “I am worthy of respect and real love,” or “I am so loveable and delicious,” or whatever personally activates that self-worthy, self-loving, core of awesomeness within your being.

Even if you feel like a liar the first time you say it, and tears gush out of your eyes (aka, your heart reacting to the truth of those words!) know that if you keep at it, over time, your mind will allow that belief to sink in and become real!

Being able to be detached in a relationship because you love yourself so much that nothing – NOTHING! – will stop you from taking your time and attention away from hurtful people. THAT is freedom.

When you stop expecting certain behaviors from others, and instead become a solid pillar of love and kindness which inspires everyone around you, you no longer fear being alone.

You can’t control the actions of others, but you can control how you feel about yourself, and how you relate to the world.

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1 comment:

  1. Yes. The moment you start giving love out instead of receiving it from other people, a shift occurs.

    As you said, you are no longer afraid of being alone, and you are happy because you no longer live in the fear of losing that "external" source of love. Once you start loving yourself, you open up to experiencing Love, as opposed to attachment..

    Thanks for sharing!