I wanted things to work between us, but they haven’t worked.
I didn’t want it to be this way. I foresaw great things for us. I expected us
to learn a lot from each other, enjoy each other’s presence, and grow together.
I thought that our paths could be closely intertwined with one another.
Instead, things have been much the opposite. There’s tension between us. We don’t communicate well. When we’re not actively fighting, we leave one another in the darkness of silence.
I didn’t want things to happen like this. But they did. Even if I couldn’t have prevented this, perhaps I can change our future. I can grow. I can change my ways. I can choose to be in a way that produces harmony, rather than cacophony, between us.
But why is that so hard to do? Why does it seem that life does not want me to do this? Why do I feel desire pulling me away from you? Why do you seem so repelled by me?
I wanted us to connect. We really could have shared a wonderful experience together. But that didn’t happen. I have tried over and over, so many times, to make this work. I have honestly shared my mistakes with you and from there attempted to adjust. I have genuinely desired our continued togetherness.
Yet, no matter what I try, I always feel the pressure of the bottom of your shoe pushing down on me… Sometimes a little bit, other times a lot. You feel like a cage. I do not know why. I never wanted to regard you as an adversary, but I cannot deny that being around you feels like a trap. I wanted us to create a greater experience of freedom for each other, but that simply hasn’t happened. Instead we’ve been doing the opposite.
It’s not always apparent why relationships don’t work out. Maybe pieces of the relationship can be retained, but the aspects that don’t work need to be done away with.
Sometimes it feels hard just to attempt to have that conversation. Of course, if you are courageous enough to make the proposal, and the other person isn’t interested, the relationship isn’t worth saving. It’ll fall away. You won’t forget each other, but your presence in each other’s lives will fade, and the space you occupy in each other’s minds will recede.
In general, when two people experience disharmony between themselves, it’s because at least one person in the relationship is infringing upon the freedom of the other. Not necessarily on purpose, but that’s what the other person is experiencing.
To change this, both people involved have to relate to one another differently. It has to be a conscious, collaborative effort. It’s not enough for only one person to be willing to change and to say little to the other person about it. The relationship has to be actively discussed between both parties. If this can’t happen, then the show can’t go on.
I have yet to do this successfully—to change my relationship with another person in a way that removes the experience of freedom-infringement. I don’t think such an experience is a “necessary evil” of relationships: it’s just common is all.
I know that for my part I would have to resolve to be completely transparent with the other person, continuously be clear about what I want, and say “no” whenever “no” is the right answer for me. Meta-conversations about the state of the relationship and what we want together could never be off-limits.
Again, if such conversations can’t be had, the relationship isn’t worth holding on to. When that’s the case, let go of your resistance to change. Let the relationship be what it wants to. And if it wants to go into low-power mode for a while, then so be it. Take a break. There’s no evil in it.
We constantly are re-relating to everything in reality. This is because we are in relationship to everything. Relating is the frame which holds our experiences: the way you relate to a thing determines the experience you have of it.
A relationship between two humans is so profound because those two people have the ability to choose how they relate to each other. Not only that, but they can discuss together their relationship, and they can change how they relate to each other.
There is an immense potential for power in relating in this way. Of course, we always are utilizing this incredible power—it’s the way we direct that power that creates our experience.
Our shared experience of reality lies in our hands. We can choose together how we are to relate to one another. The choices we make in regards to how we relate to the stuff of reality and to each other create the outline of our story.
This is hard work. It’s certainly outside of the boundaries of our collective comfort zone. But it’s worthwhile. It’s what is required to change our world.
We can make things work between us—not by forcing them to, but by consciously relating to each other in a manner that is functional. What is functional is unique to every relationship, though functionality in relationships always requires a respect of freedom. Without a respect of freedom, the relationship will detriment both parties more than it nurtures them.
The act of re-relating can be done at all levels of physical reality: one person to another, one person to an object, one group to one individual, one group to another, one country to another, and even all of humanity to the whole of reality. Imagine every person on Earth collectively contemplating our shared relationship to life. We already are doing this all the time—the result of this contemplating is collective consciousness. Over time, humanity steadily is doing this more consciously, which basically the means that we’re having conversations about it. We still have quite a ways to go. That’s a good thing: that means there’s plenty of fun ahead of us.
I’ve written elsewhere that intelligence is a process by which one thing relates to everything else—including itself. More broadly, it is reality continuously re-relating to itself.
This is what we’re doing all the time. This is why we’re here: to relate to all of the aspects of reality in any manner of our choosing, and to then experience the consequences of our choice. We can use our previous experiences to help us choose again, and to relate anew to one another.
It’s an immense task we’ve taken on here: there are 7 billion of us on this planet, and that’s just the people. There are also all of the animals, plants, objects, and other lifeforms and forces of nature that exist.
Of course, we are taking on this task together. Because we are all inextricably part of reality, we can do no other but be together. No matter how much we would like to declare our separateness, we still are part of the same reality. There is no escape from this: even after death, the relationship of one aspect of reality to another can continue. As long as you can think about, sense, and/or interact with another thing, you have a relationship with it.
So How Does this Apply to My Relationship-Dilemma?
All of this means that your dilemma is actually super interesting. It’s a worthy challenge to meet. At the very least, it certainly is intriguing to contemplate.
Perhaps you will find that the other person isn’t interested in consciously re-relating. Maybe they just want to be done. Maybe you even feel that the relationship isn’t worth sinking any more effort into—not for the time being, anyway. Perhaps this is the way that the two of you are to re-relate, for now: to go your apparently-separate ways.
It’s possible that you shall meet again. I always like to think that things will come together more harmoniously in the future. This definitely is true of life in general. Whether this applies to the relationship between two specific people, I don’t know. It’s very well possible that there will be nothing but silence between the two of you until the end of time. Well, apparent silence, anyway.
Just remember that the two of you are always choosing together. A single person does not carry a relationship alone: if she did, there would be no relationship to speak of. The very word relationship implies that there are two involved: it refers to the connection between two things. In a relationship, it is impossible to act independently of the connection between you and the other person. It is the connection itself, rather than either individual person, that ultimately makes the decisions in a relationship. This means that the two of you are deciding on the experience of your relationship in every moment, together—no matter how aware you are of your doing so.
In general, the more consciously you can enter into this decision-making process with another person, the more harmonious your relationship will be. On the other hand, if you feel like you can’t even bring up such an idea with another person, that relationship will be only so rewarding before it feels more like drudgery than play.
It’s tough to say whether the two of you will ever come together harmoniously again. I wish you could. The truth is, it’s up to the both of you.
In fact, it ultimately is up to all of us, because each individual relationship is contained within the collection of all individual relationships between people that we refer to as humanity. Therefore, your influence upon humanity in turn influences your individual relationships. So, if you want more conscious (and therefore loving and enjoyable) individual relationships, you would do well to relate to humanity more consciously.
All of your actions matter, because all of your actions are an expression of how you are currently relating to reality as well as the individual aspects of reality that you are now present to. Your state of being matters too, because it is your state of being that determines not only which particular actions you take, but also how consciously you act.
So, if you want loving relationships, it would serve you well to choose your state of being consciously. In the end, you may find that the way any particular relationship plays out doesn’t matter as much as the way you choose to relate to life itself. By the way, the way you choose to relate to life itself is the same thing as your state of being.
How are you relating to life right now? Who are you being, and what does that entail for the rest of us?
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