We often enter relationships without knowing our own Self, hoping that another person will provide what we think we don’t already have.
We create an image of ourselves that reflects our incompleteness, and we hold out that image to another person. They, in turn, hold out their image to us. The relationship begins, but it is a relationship of two images, two objects, two sets of desires. This kind of relationship ends in disappointment because it is not authentic. We might blame some discrepancy of compatibility or life purpose, but, in reality, the disappointment is that neither has been touched. Only the images are touched. This collision of images creates the patterns in our relationships, and it is the reason we often feel that we come to the same end, only with different people.
What is our motive for pursuing relationships? Is it to provide security – financial, emotional, psychological? Is it to mitigate loneliness or boredom? Is it to dramatize our own need to dominate and control. Is it to animate deep-seated fantasies and imaginings? Is there a strong sexual urge that demands consummation without regard to the consequences?
When we look at another person, what do we see? Do we see only an object to satisfy our unexamined needs, desires, and fantasies? And if we say that we do see another person, are we seeing only the facade of their projected imagination and cravings?
We cannot pursue other people as prey. In doing so, there is always deception and sadness. The unexamined desires behind “pursuing” relationships are never fulfilled.
There are some people with whom we experience an instant magnetism that is overwhelming. We feel deep currents of attraction and love. We immediately channel this energy of attraction into the trap of our fantasies. Think how often our response to attraction is, This is the one! We are not meant to possess the object of our love, to imprison it in our wanting. Only in freedom is there love. When we experience love with someone, it is to deepen our capacity for love.
We must be honest about our motives for “pursuing” relationships. If we hope that another person will fill us with what we don’t already have, we are sowing the seeds of attachment and dependency. First, we have to know what we are missing; we have to know what it is that we want another person to fulfill for us. Once we see this clearly, we might also see that it is our responsibility to fulfill ourselves with our own inner resources of being and Self-knowing. Having done this, we can bring this fullness to every person we meet. We can meet others with openness, with patience, with discernment. This openness of being allows us to truly discover another person’s essence, to touch and be touched deeply, without desperation, without need.
If we are more restrained, initially, we can allow the proper unfolding of a relationship. We won’t be bothered by the hungry urgency of our projected images. We can enjoy being together with others in the spirit of freedom. We can let things develop. As we move in the world, without desperation, without hunger, we will meet many people. We will have many relationships, some of which might last for a day, others deep and enduring.
Let people enter your life freely, with ease and happiness and respect. Don’t treat them as objects, but discover them with openness and curiosity. Don’t become agitated and tense. Don’t grab, don’t hold on. Stay balanced in your own Self.
We don’t have to ruin each other over and over again, as we do when we try to lure another into the trap of our inner emptiness. Pursue your own Self, and then let everything else pursue you.