What I’ve arrived at recently is the basic understanding that I’m just not really interested in processing other people’s emotions or living in suspended animation for their benefit.
I’m done being a psychic dildo.
It’s clear to me that many people don’t base their approach to life and relationships in reality and, as such, run into a great deal of suffering when reality doesn’t match their ideals or demands.
Although, maybe I’m being unrealistic expecting people to have an awareness based in reality—ha!
Living under a false pretense of romance and entitlement creates the problem that, most of the time, people are unaware of what they are really asking for and the actual dynamic they are creating. Ideals, images and fantasies by their nature are ephemeral, poorly understood and rarely based in anything pragmatic.
Things which are poorly defined are usually poorly achieved.
Oh, but what about love and romance? Am I suggesting some bland, mechanistic and monotonous love?
Hell mother-f*cking no.
What I am saying is simply, like a tree, the deeper your roots, the higher you can grow. No roots, no foundation, no growth.
My suspicion is that this entitlement and false programming has its roots in a childhood pattern of idealizing the parent figure and seeing them as only revolving around and serving that child’s emotional needs.
What I am saying is that the child expects and assumes that the parent is and should be responsible for their emotional state and interpretation of reality, thus when an imagined need isn’t met, the child throws a tantrum and waits in exile for the parent to come save the day and kiss their boo boo.
In other words, we learn to see the people we love not as people or equals, but as mental images in terms of our own sliding scale of needs.
This pattern was fine as a child when we lacked abilities and self-identity, but as adults it’s more useful to realize that we are responsible for our emotional state and for our interpretation of reality. It’s more empowering to begin to make the unconscious, conscious.
Even deeper, we are responsible for realizing and accepting the subjectivity of both of these things, and that the degree of disempowerment or empowerment we feel is largely a personal choice, or perhaps the repetition of some old pattern.
The other problem here is that the vision or ideal often becomes the top priority in that person’s mind, at the expense of both parties sovereignty, rights and spiritual growth.
Let me explain a bit further.
Here are a few basic tenets that I see so many people ignoring when it comes to relationships:
1. We are each individuals, on an individual spiritual path.
2. If we accept the former as true, then our commitment to growing spiritually and nurturing the discovery and expression of our deepest authentic self should be top priority. Likewise, it can be a beautiful thing to be supported and to support another in this.
3. Both one and two are contingent upon the feminine-esque principles of openness, willingness and awareness and the masculine-esque principles of commitment, responsibility and reflection.
4. Acceptance, love and compassion for being an actual “human being” and removing bullsh*t ideals and entitlements where we find them. That is to say keeping our personal psychic, emotional and psychological space clean.
5. There’s no such thing as a “relationship.” There are two individuals who can choose to love and be open, or not. Love is synonymous with freedom and empowerment, expectation and entitlement are synonymous with bondage.
6. We are committed to all of the above, with or with out a relationship or lover and regardless of what anyone else does. That is to say, it’s our path, our awareness and our responsibility.
7. We understand that who we are is bigger than our idea of ourselves (i.e., ego) and there is a larger force or dynamic process at play, of which we are just one small part. Thus our ideas of control, contrivance and entitlement fall in stark contrast with the greater mystery that is the unfolding of our lives—maybe we don’t really know and we are approximating at best.
If any of these are missing, odds are our relationships and spiritual growth will be stagnant and its doubtful our authentic self will manifest itself.
As Carl Jung said:
“What you resist, persists.”
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
Let me clarify some terms since many of these words as they can seem lofty as first.
Openneness, willingness and awareness:
I am open and willing to observe myself, as I actually am, as I would observe any other natural phenomena in nature. I am willing to be awake and present through all good and stupid sh*t I might do.
Commitment, responsibility and reflection:
I am committed to being responsible for what I do and for reflecting upon the roots of my thoughts, feelings and actions. I am committed to established and maintaining healthy psychic, emotional and physical boundaries.
It’s important to point out that all of the above process are not entirely feminine nor entirely masculine; that is to say, we should allow it to be as easy and natural as possible.
This shouldn’t be yet another neurotically driven self improvement self help campaign, as most of the time this is just further reinforcing the problem.
Perhaps a healthy balance of “F*ck it” and “This could be fun, let’s explore,” is closer to the mark.
It’s my belief that having these things in place allows us as humans to play, grow, and love together in a much more realistic, healthy and sustainable way, as everything we are saying here is based in pragmatic, tangible and easily observable facts of life.
The more love, freedom, and acceptance we can allow ourselves, the more we can allow for another. The healthier and more whole we are as individuals deepens our ability to share, love, support and go deep with another.
If we want to a solid house, we need a sold foundation. If we want to grow fertile crops, we need fertile soil.
Miss these things and it’s highly likely that the results will be less than rewarding. Or perhaps the less than rewarding is rewarding in the long term, as it could provide fuel for growth down the road.
It’s important to point out how vast and deep each one of these concepts is and how we could speak at great length on each one. However, for the sake of context and brevity I’ve kept it short and as to the point as possible.
Hopefully this has sparked some food for thought and will inspire you moving forward in an authentic direction in your life.
Author: Brandon Gilbert
Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: Bobi Bobi/Flickr