Relationships do not cause pain and unhappiness. They bring out the pain and unhappiness that is already in you. ..
On Sunday, 14th February it is Saint Valentines day where couples all round the world will spend time and money on their beloved. Merchandisers and establishments take full advantage of the compulsory celebration of love, making it difficult to avoid getting drawn into the hype of doing something special to show our love.
There is no doubt that this can be a special time where couples can rekindle their love and enjoy each other’s company. It can also be a source of distress both for those in a couple and those who are alone.
There is the pressure of buying the right present, booking ‘the’ restaurant, or activity. Also there is constant reminder to those who are not in a relationship, that they are alone and have no one to share this special day.
Relationships are an important part of life. Romantic relationships are in part driven by our biological urges and by societal expectation. We are conditioned from an early age by examples of relationships in our environment. Whether they are good role models or not, something inside each of us desires to find ‘The One’ who will complete us.
Yet many people’s experiences are not full of examples where they have found fulfillment with that special other. There may be moments of joy, laughter and togetherness, but they seem to be outweighed by disagreements, miscommunication and frustrations.
This can range from minor disagreements to unhealthy relationships where there is violence and fear. Yet the desire or the dream for ‘The One’ still remains. Some hold on to this belief within an unhealthy relationship, believing that with enough love they will change. Some venture off to pastures new, searching for ‘The One’ in another one.
What seems to happen is that most people fall into the same kind of ‘romantic’ relationships, over and over.
What at first may seem to be different with a new partner ends up being similar in many respects to all those other failed relationships.
The quote by Tolle implies, the reason for relationships may not be what we have been conditioned to believe – to find our other half, to make complete.
What if that yearning to find ‘The One’ is not just a romantic notion nor a biological urge to procreate but a ‘tool’ to find and heal our pain?
What if relationships are meant to initially be our mirrors that reflect all the pain and unhappiness that we have inside?
Looking at one of my favorite metaphors in story telling- fairytale- it is apparent that to find ‘The One’ our protagonist has to endure an amount of pain and suffering and in some instances ‘kiss a few too many frogs’ before finding true love.
This ‘story’ of waiting for someone to save us from the world has contributed to the false belief that we, by ourselves are unable to save ourselves from pain. So when we meet someone, the old ingrained patterns and beliefs start to be played out .
Men may be overwhelmed by what they think is their role – bread winner; protector; hero; gentleman; rogue. Whilst the modern woman is just as perplexed in her role as – homemaker; nurturer; independent high flyer; subservient; assertive lover…
However many new descriptions there are for men and women such a metrosexual -‘a heterosexual man who enjoys shopping, fashion. There is an internal struggle being played out within relationships. The gender roles are firmly etched in our psyche, despite what words we use to describe ourselves or others.
To be able to attract and sustain a healthy relationship there needs to be the realisation that the challenge or conflict is not with the other but the self; those old beliefs and patterns that keep repeating over and over.Also to be aware of the all the subliminal distractions and interactions being played out through the media and society.
If we look at each relationship both past and present as a messenger, we may find that most of the upsets in our lives with our partner are our upsets with ourselves…
When and if you can accept this, you may be able to challenge these behaviors that keep you locked in unhappiness and pain.
Write yourself a letter this Valentines whether you are in a relationship or not. Write from a place of love, of compassion, of longing. Forgive yourself for what you think you may have done…forgive others for what you think they have done…Rejoice at the wonderful person you are…
You are ‘The One’ you have been waiting for… Happy Valentines ❤