Relationships As Spiritual Practice
As the egoic mode of consciousness and all the social, political, and economic structures that it created enter the final stage of collapse, the relationship between man and women reflect the deep state of crisis in which humanity now finds itself.
As humans have become increasingly identified with their mind, most relationships are not rooted in Being and so turn into a source of pain and become dominated by problems and conflict. Many live alone or are single parents, unable to establish an intimate relationship or unwilling to repeat the insane drama of past relationships.
Others go from one relationship to another, from one pleasure-and-pain cycle to another, in search of the elusive goal of fulfillment through union with the appositive energy polarity.
Still others compromise and continue to be together in a dysfunctional relationship in which negativity prevails, for the sake of the children or security, through force of habit, fear of being alone, or some mutually “beneficial” arrangement, or even through the unconscious addiction to the excitement of emotional drama and pain.
However, every crisis represents not only danger but also opportunity. If relationships energize and magnify egoic mind patterns and activate the pain-body, as they at this time, why not accept this fact rather than to try to escape from it? Why not cooperate with it instead avoiding relationships or continuing to pursue the phantom of an ideal partner as an answer to your problems or a means of feeling fulfilled?
The opportunity that is concealed within every crisis does not manifest until all the facts of any given situation are acknowledged and fully accepted. As long you deny them, as long as you try to escape from them or wish that things were different, the window of opportunity does not open up, and you remain trapped inside that situation, which will remain the same or deteriorate further. With the acknowledgment and acceptance of the facts also comes a degree of freedom from them.
For example, when you know there is disharmony and you hold that “knowing” through your knowing a new factor has come in, and the disharmony cannot remain unchanged. When you know you are not at peace, your knowing creates a still space that surrounds your nonpeace in a loving and tender embrace and then transmutes your nonpeace into peace. As far as inner transformation is concerned, there is nothing you can do about it. You cannot transform yourself and you certainly cannot transform your partner or anybody else. All you can do is create a space for transformation to happen, for grace and love to enter.
So whenever your relationship is not working, whenever it brings out the madness in you and in your partner, be glad. What unconscious is being brought up to the light. It is an opportunity for salvation. Every moment, hold the knowing of that moment, particularly of your inner state. If there is anger, know that there is anger. If there is jealousy, defensiveness, the urge to argue, the need to be right, an inner child demanding love and attention, or emotional pain of any kind – whatever it is, know the reality of that moment, and hold the knowing.
The relationship then becomes sadhana, your spiritual practice. If you observe unconscious behavior in your partner, hold it in the loving embrace of your knowing so that you won’t react. Unconsciousness and knowing cannot coexist for long – even if the knowing is only in the other person and not in the one who is acting out the unconsciousness. The energy form that lies behind hostility and attack finds the presence of love absolutely intolerable. If you react to all your partner’s unconsciousness, you become unconscious yourself. But if you then remember to know your reaction, nothing is lost.
Humanity is under great pressure to evolve because it is our only chance of survival as a race. This will affect every aspect of your life and close relationships in particular. Never before have relationships been as problematic and conflict ridden as they are now. As you may have noticed, they are NOT here to make you happy or fulfilled.
If you continue to pursue the goal of salvation through a relationship, you will be disillusioned again and again. But if you accept that the relationship is here to make you conscious instead of happy, then the relationship will offer salvation, and you will be aligning yourself with the higher conscious that wants to be born into this world.
For those who hold on to the old patterns, there will be increasing pain, violence, confusion, and madness. If you both agree that the relationship will be your spiritual practice, so much better. You can then express your thoughts and feeling to each other as soon as they occur, or as soon as a reaction comes up, so that you do not create time gap in which an unexpressed or unacknowledged emotion or grievance can fester and grow.
Learn to give expression to what you feel without blaming. Lean to listen to your partner in an open, nondefensive way. Give your partner space for expressing himself or herself. Be present.
~ Eckhart Tolle | The Power of Now