“Why bother?” you say. Why can’t we just stay to ourselves? That’s a thought born of struggle and conflict produced when relationships are too much work or pain. While there are a few individuals who are truly at home by themselves, most of us are addicted to the touch, the sound, and the warmth of other human beings. Why is that? Why are we drawn so strongly into interactions with others that ultimately prove hurtful and frustrating?
Think on this question awhile. It is important in coming to know lasting peace. What is the reason for relationships? Why do they exist?
Most of us enter a relationship because we think we will get something out of it. Isn’t that so? Depending on the kind of relationship, we may look to realize friendship, protection, money, excitement or danger, intellectual stimulation or physical pleasure. The list is a very long one indeed. The dynamics of the meeting of any two people are unique, never the same. Then, is the purpose of relating with another solely for gain?
Yes! The answer to the question “Why do relationships exist?” is that they do so solely for gain. But, and this is a very important “but”, they do not exist solely for our selfish gain, quite the contrary. Relationships are not strengthened by more money, control or time. They are not even justified by increasing the intensity of love between two people. Tolle hit it right on the button when he said, “A relationship is to make you aware—not happy.” Relationships exist for the sole purpose of waking us up, a chance for “me” to become aware of “I”. They force us to become aware of Eufeeling.
If you are looking for a relationship to make you happy or safe or experience love more deeply, forget it. While you may experience these things intermittently and for brief interludes, you will never be able to own them. At the end of a relationship you can look back and see the times you were happy or feeling love. But if you are honest with yourself you will realize that most of your time in the relationship was spent in your mind. Solely from the vantage point of your mind, you massaged and manipulated your partner to get what you felt you needed. They were doing the same. Because neither “me” was aware of the universality of their own inner essence they could not recognize universality of their partner.
Asking “why” you behave in a certain way will only lead to more “whys.” Answering “why” will have you chasing your tail. You will think you are getting somewhere but in the end you will have only exhausted yourself, or at the very least become quite dizzy. Even if you catch your tail, what have you caught? The tail is attached to the dog, which is attached to the tail…Neither chasing nor catching your problems will end them. Nor will you find the ultimate solution. Finding out why you behave a certain way only encourages you to delve more deeply into your difficulties. Remember, your problems are not the problem. Your suffering will not end by changing your behavior. Your behavior will change by ending your suffering.
When something goes wrong it shakes us awake. As soon as we wake up to the fact that something is wrong we try to fix it. The waking-up part is good. The fixing part is misguided. It is misguided because one-and-a-half thoughts after we wake up our memory kicks in and we slip back into common consciousness. That’s right we wake up, fluff our pillow a couple of times, roll over and fall back asleep. Warm and cozy, we dream a wonderful dream, that the two “railway lines” will one day meet not on the horizon, but at our very feet.
[Continued next week – How Does Perception Affect Your Relationship? (Part VI)]