Romantic Failure to Spiritual Partnership
Falling in Love is a wonderful accident. All of a sudden your ego vanishes, your old defenses have disappeared, and you are alive with the bliss of the heart. And all you can think of is how to make your beloved happy.
Imagine a world where our first order of business is to make each other happy! No really—picture that. Doesn’t it seem completely utopian? If you want to have a chance at real love, you will have to make this utopia real. Come on; show the rest of us how it’s done.
But why has it been so difficult? Because what we all have learned about relationships makes true happiness impossible. “Some day you will find that special one who will make you happy.” You know, the prince charming fiction. He will come and swipe you off your feet and you will be one.
The whole world tells you some version of this. You are raised to believe it, it sells everything from trashy novels to sports cars, and we just love to believe it. It’s drilled into our unconscious—and it’s completely and utterly impossible.
It’s impossible because if you want to be happy for more than a short honeymoon, then this love has to come from inside you. It has to be the way you are: this openness of heart, this self-love, this inner glow of your own fulfillment. Solid, unshakable, a breath of eternity. You deserve no less. You are no less.
Another person can never give you that. It’s an inside, do-it-yourself job. Only you can do it, and when you’ve decided that you will do whatever it takes to realize this great potential, then you’ll find out that the whole world is here to help you.
But first you’re stuck in this Neanderthal paradigm of relationships. Let’s get you out of there!
1. You will get two things from your beloved: The first thing is love and support. Yes we all go for that.
And what is the second thing? No one wants to look at it. Everyone wants to deny it. But here it is: It’s challenge.
Do you think there is a single relationship in the world that isn’t challenging? As a matter of fact, in the long run, challenge is what you can count on. Love and support are optional. The question is, how can you deal with the challenge?
2. But at first your beloved makes you happy, you’re in love, everything is wonderful just like you’ve been told to expect.
So here is proof—the mind says—it IS possible, it IS true. The fairytales were right after all! And the trap door snaps shut.
This romantic hallucination infuses you with another illusion. It’s the unconscious expectation that now it’s your partner’s job to make you happy. Well, of course, you’ve been raised to believe that’s what a partner is for!
So now what do you do when the inevitable happens and he or she aggravates you? Where can you take that? With that expectation, that demand, you cannot take it anywhere but into blame, silent frustration, or out-and-out ‘war.’ After all s/he is breaking the unspoken contract. S/he is not living up to what you have been taught to expect.
This is where love can quickly turn into hate.
It’s so innocent, this romantic nightmare. You don’t realize that no one outside you can fulfill you—simply because they’re not inside you. You are. Your happiness and your heart are your business. And you’re closing down because your partner doesn’t do what they cannot do: fulfill you.
3. And there is more. If you depend on someone else to make you happy, then there is fear. They might leave you, betray you, abandon you. And then what would happen to you, with your source of happiness gone and your life all in shambles?
You’d be like an addict without the next hit. And so, to avoid that danger, you do small or large things that don’t feel right to you, just to keep him/her, just to keep the peace.
You betray your truth, you prostitute yourself, and that feels terrible, but you see no other way. And the resentment grows.
These 3 problems are universal. They are present in almost all intimate partnerships and they are as destructive as they are common.
Here are 3 important things to remember, 3 solutions for you:
- The Source of happiness is in you. It hides in your innermost heart, in your already existing wholeness, in the completeness of the true Self. You have tasted it in moments before, but most of the time it is obstructed by fear, anger, stress, distractions, sadness, running after meaningless pleasures, and so on.
Now you can change your paradigm of relationship by:
1. Moving your expectation for happiness from the “perfect” partner to your inner Source.
2. Freeing yourself from the inner obstructions by practicing high-level skills with the help and support of a spiritual guide and community.
3. Healing and nurturing yourself deeply from the inner Source of love, until you are clear and unshakable in your own happiness.
2. Once you know you are responsible for your own happiness, you can react constructively to the inevitable challenges of the relationship. You can live in the awareness that your suffering is not created by your partner but that it comes from your own reactions to him/her. You are never a victim of anything other than your own reactiveness, your own confusion, your own blindness.
To change this, to become free of these inner obstacles to your happiness, you need to have someone to bring your hot buttons to your attention. And there is no one better able to show them to you than your partner!
Suddenly the challenges make sense and you can solve them by changing you—not your partner.
3. As you replace impossible expectations with awareness and gratitude, you will find yourself in a relationship with the perfect mate. Your lover supports you in two ways: with love and by showing you where you are not yet enlightened. Isn’t that amazing! And whenever you react, you can do something constructive with that: you can free yourself of your way of reacting.
This conscious process of spiritual partnership can lead to incredible intimacy. Your love can blossom as it is freed from the old Neanderthal expectations and your relationship can become a sacred dance. There is only one possible outcome now to any conflict: it will bring you closer to your Self. Being closer to your Self, being more whole, you have more love to give, freely, without expectation. And who better to share it with than your beloved?
It takes a while to become established in spiritual partnership. The best of intentions can be upset when you’re triggered in a particularly painful spot. Then you may feel that you’ve lost it, that you’re back where you started, that you’ll never learn. Aren’t we good at torturing ourselves?
But the point is just that—it is these trigger events that help us become free. So when you’re reactive, know that you’re on the right track. Try not to express it, slow down, look inside. Here is the Holy Grail, the place of freedom.
Question your thoughts. Encounter your emotions with profound kindness. This is how you dissolve what imprisons you. This is how you become the exquisite partner you always wanted to have. Then, as you’re completely happy within yourself, your beloved is just a pure gift.
Edited by Hayley Samuelson.
Ram Giri is an accomplished yogi, meditator, spiritual teacher and psychologist with 40 years of international experience. He is also a cancer survivor. Ram Giri was born and raised in Germany after World War II and the Holocaust. Beginning in his teens, a series of powerful spiritual experiences opened his inner awareness. The deep yearning for Love, for freedom, for the realization of his true nature arose. It guided him to India in the early 70′s where he became a direct student of the legendary Neem Karoli Baba-Maharajji, perhaps the greatest teacher of pure divine love in living memory. Ram Giri also studied with the Tibetan master H.H. the 16th Karmapa, Byron Katie, Ma Jaya and others. He is founding member of Kashi Ashram in Florida, where he continued his spiritual practice for 25 years. He holds an MA and a Ph. D. in Psychology. For many years he operated a successful private practice, specializing in mind-body medicine and Transpersonal Psychology. Ram Giri offers unique personal guidance for anyone trying to learn the high art of relationship. Find out more. We invite you to visit our website SkillsforAwakening.com and to check our CD “Living with an Open Heart”, guided HeartSourcing by Ram Giri and music by Krishna Das!! The CD is also available on iTunes and YogiTunes.