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|Subject: The Relationship Dilemma Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:54 pm|| |
Unlike popular belief, marriage should almost certainly never be considered as being one’s most important relationship! In fact, marriage merely acts as the end-product or proving grounds, if you will, of the relationship one has developed, nurtured, and encouraged with oneself all along - now brought center-stage and, believe it or not, often finding necessary condemnation, not typically in oneself or concerning oneself; but rather, in one’s spouse or partner. In other words, the issue or issues one disapproves of about oneself on a subconscious level, often becomes the very same issue or issues one sees and disapproves of in and about one’s spouse or partner – while being by and large ignorant of the true source of or reason for the apparent discontentment. This common practice sheds light on the fact that, clearly, an individual’s most important relationship is and should always be viewed as the one he or she conducts “at home” with him or herself, as will be further examined in the following paragraphs.
Unfortunately, most of us are cultured to believe that one of our main objectives, or the main objective to life, should be marriage; and then, through some act of God, we are to miraculously “grow” as “One” with our mate, since this marks the point when it should suddenly become okay to begin to figure ourselves out through our so-called “Better Half.” “We are to act as a sounding board or as a mirror for each other” as some would say - more often than not characteristically regurgitating what was said by someone else, some time in their past. Please let me know exactly when the “act” should be over, so that “real life” can commence!
I am of the estimation that such an approach to life has created, encouraged, and continues to fuel mass disharmony in relationships - especially apparent in marriages. The truth to this is unmistakably reflected in the skyrocketing divorce rate presently evident in our society.
Some may choose to blame this obvious breakdown on the destruction of so-called wholesome, traditional family values. Some may blame it on the “New Age” sexual revolution - fueled by our ever-present advancement in technology and communication. Some may even blame it on the seeming widespread lack of self-respect, coupled with an equally seemingly widespread defiance to the Will of God, among other things. Have you yet come to the realization that Blame is the extreme opposite of taking personal responsibility, and that Blame has never-ever solved a single problem since the word and its meaning were first defined?
Rooted in what we refer to as our "Culture" which is fathered by our religious beliefs and practices, and handed down from generation to generation under the name of Tradition, The Relationship Dilemma present in our society stands out as one of the rapidly emerging debilitating by-products of it all. How is this so?
For our purposes here, please try to understand that your husband or wife cannot “fix” your insecurities, or relinquish your fears - or you theirs. In addition, your husband or wife cannot make you Love yourself, or make you Love him or her, or vise versa. Further, your husband or wife is powerless in changing you and you in changing them. Finally (and this is only a partial list), your husband or wife cannot make you respect yourself, much-less make you respect him or her!
It is paramount that such personal realizations or milestones be reached, or at least clearly understood from the perspective of the need to take complete ownership and accepting full responsibility within oneself for them. This, I believe, is the necessary prerequisite which will make for, or at least partially clear the way for, the likelihood of experiencing more fulfilling, sustainable romantic Love relationships and marriages.
For example, all the Love you can possibly feel only comes from you! A spouse or partner, parent or child, may often bring this Love to the forefront of your awareness; but you are to never, as most have a tendency to, allow yourself to become dependent on this reaction within you (in response to others) to determine the true nature of who you really are, or to be confused about where such feelings originate. You already have all the Love you could possibly feel and want within you; it comes from nowhere else; no Love voids can exist within you; you can never be deficient in Love – it’s only an illusion, a misguided self-view! The healthy act of Love towards another is only to be Loving; and one can never honestly “be Loving,” until one realizes that he or she is already complete in Love. It is impossible to give what you don’t believe you have!
When one finally grasps this truth, one instantly sees the necessary personal obligation in endeavoring to appreciate and nurture this Love within oneself. Then, from this very important vantage point, one would now readily relinquish the entire idea or misconception of “looking” for Love out-there somewhere, or “from” someone else. This truth leads to true freedom; and it is only from this perspective of feeling “free” - not vulnerable - can one honestly appreciate (or feel Love for) another through voluntarily being Loving to them, rather than feeling the guilt-ridden obligation or force to “show” or to “prove” Love, which literally Kills all intimacy by inhibiting the natural flow of Loving energy.
Every true success in life begins with taking full responsibility for one’s own thoughts, for one’s own beliefs, for one’s own actions, etc. In marriages, for example, your inculcated thoughts and beliefs (which have created your prevailing self-view) lead to the actions and feelings you have and experience with respect to your relationship, with respect to your mate. However, these feelings - whether considered to be good or bad - are not the responsibility of your partner! In order for your relationship to work in a healthy way, you must take full responsibility for what you think, for how you feel, and for what you do - always! Again, Blame has never solved anything! To cast Blame is to effectively give up one’s own power and replacing it with weakness and confusion - adding even more negative dimension to the perceived problem.
I know my discussion thus far has probably left many readers derailed, since most are convinced that a husband or a wife’s main duty or reason for being in a marriage is to relinquish each other’s fears, to make each other feel more secure, to make each other feel loved, to make each other feel respected, etc. This, to most, is what marriage life is all about.
“What’s wrong with expecting those things?” you may ask. Just stop for a minute and think real hard about it: first off, no one can honestly make anyone else do, be, or feel anything! Secondly, this view puts a whole lot of potential Blame pressure on both sides of the relationship; the inevitable eruption of which represents precisely what the underlying culprit that rips marriages apart at the seams often looks like. If I am responsible for the way he or she feels - whether it concerns me or they - when exactly would I get the time to feel my own feelings, to think my own thoughts, to grow and to understand myself as I grow; to accept myself as myself, or to Love myself in and for the ultimate betterment of the relationship? This consideration is commonly removed, overlooked, or completely obliterated from the equation; more often than not, being replaced with the culprit: Blame! “Am I to no longer be myself; am I to completely give up on who I am because I am now married?” is the usual little voice, which soon becomes the BIG VOICE just prior to the typically bitter divorce proceedings.
This often overlooked distinction is precisely the reason why making a concerted effort to understand oneself in every possible dimension, and endeavoring to develop a healthy relationship with Self is so very important and so very essential prior to considering marriage. Understanding you is a much better channel to use in understanding or putting and keeping your partner or spouse in healthy perspective - not the opposite; and definitely not through the typical, teeth-grinding, futile effort most think should work!
I am convinced that the answer exists, by default, through getting to know your own true nature. Marriage should never, never, never be viewed as the place where you are to find and attempt to understand you, to learn to Love you, to respect you, and/or to begin to appreciate you through that other person; the cost of such ignorance is much too high! Of course, this advice may be falling on deaf ears, since none of this is generally considered as being important in our society and culture…..instead, “Marriage should make everything right!” is the usual motto.
Above and beyond the - what I deem to be - necessary and important prerequisite, mentioned above, there are two other major advantages for taking my suggested approach to life - especially so if marriage is your desired path. They are: 1.The ability to make better, more harmonious choices for partners; and 2.The fostering of more deliberate personal control or Personal Power in one’s life, which, in my mind, bears the complete answer or solution or antidote to this on-going Relationship Dilemma that seems to be so very rampant in our society and World.