Many of us want the perfect person to share a deeply connected, passionate and satisfying life with but don’t know how to take our relationships to the next level. We are unaware of or consumed by our fragmented and conflicting life experiences and often feel trapped in that same confusion when it concerns our intimate life. We dissect our significant other (or every potential candidate we meet), painting them black and white, all the while distancing ourselves from the transcendent love and unity we long for in our hearts and crave in our souls; a love unbridled by our limited conditioning and far more expansive and luminous than our dualistic minds can ever conjure up.
To truly enter enlightening relationship, in which we cultivate unconditional love, joy, beauty and peace, we must be willing to see clearly and be completely honest with ourselves (ironically that also happens to be the precursor for being honest with our partner). This is often easier said than done because as human beings we consciously and unconsciously create stories about our lover in our minds and mistake these illusions for truth. To complicate matters further, we then play out dramatizations based on our own projections which are often one-sided, negative or critical in nature (he always, she never, he has to, she shouldn’t, he makes me, she is so, etc.,). Inadvertently, we fall into constricted roles like bully and victim, saboteur and hero, controlling or withdrawn; smothering the ecstasy that comes from truth and sacrificing the authentic experiences of harmony, acceptance and trust we can manifest together.
Amazingly, the more we reflect on the habitual stories, beliefs and feelings we have about romantic relationships we realize that they are not only fueled by underlying misconceptions of how we perceive our lover but are fundamentally rooted in what we think about ourselves! What do we believe to be true about who we are? Do we come as a cookie cutter version – good or bad, greedy or giving, talented or not – or are we incredibly complex multifaceted beings, a symphony of many selves woven together as a unique expression of consciousness? Likewise, is our partner a one dimensional robot that we interpret solely through biased assumptions and generalizations or are they layered with intricacies we can spend a lifetime deciphering and enjoying?
There is incredible freedom and lightness to recognizing that our perceptions dictate the quality of partner we draw to ourselves and the type of dynamics we will create together. When our core is programmed by untruths that say we are unworthy of love or that we are not good enough and contain false limiting beliefs like “men are superior to women”, “women just want your money” or “this one will hurt me just like the last one” we not only develop destructive patterns that are reflected in our present romantic relationships but often generate resistance to meeting the partner we want. We start fights with our lover, attempting to control their choices at every turn, or convince them what a horrible person they are so we can temporarily feel better about ourselves. Not only can this never transform our deep wounding and buries our own feelings of inadequacy, insecurity and judgment but it can also damage the vitality of our sacred communion beyond repair.
Just as easily the pendulum can swing the other way if we begin to perceive the person we are with through rose coloured glasses. By putting our partner on a pedestal – instead of seeing them as equals – we become blind-sighted to the truth of their multi-layered nature (which may involve a violent temper or condescending manipulative behaviours). When we are too afraid to look at and accept certain aspects of the other, our relationships can become stifled by shallow superficial tones to cover up our denial. On the surface this may not seem like a destructive pattern, but if we begin to use the relationship as a safety blanket to mask repressed loneliness, abandonment and self-loathing we sacrifice our full creative potential and may even feel powerless to leave an abusive spouse.
Unless we are aware of our deepest desires, shadow sides and particular nuances we may forever be stuck in recurring cycles, bouncing from one miserable relationship to another, flabbergasted every time “Mr. Perfect” turns out to be exactly the same as the last guy, feeling trapped in seemingly unbearable or damaging situations. We will play out dynamics in which we repeatedly blame our partners for our own insecurities, never truly accepting them for who they are, all the while wishing our Fairy Godmother would come to our rescue. If on the other hand we courageously continue to dive into the messy tangles of our interior – excavating the deeper pearls that we hide from ourselves – that painful, confusing or stifling relationship will either transform and blossom once again or inevitably fall by the wayside as we outgrow our destructive roles and step into the fuller truth of who we are.
How can we enlighten our loving relationships and instill transparency in ourselves and with our partner?
Continually practicing to expand our awareness beyond the confines of our mind, regularly shedding light on the perceptions that shape us and embracing contradictory parts of ourselves are essential. There are many powerful ways to help us shatter illusions and connect to a broader clearer vision of the people we care for deeply. Meditation, immersing ourselves in Ancient Wisdom traditions (Tantra for example), creative outlets like writing, music, dance and photography and spending time in nature are just a handful of the gems available to enrich the way we see the world; allowing us to craft lasting meaningful relationships rooted in truth, love and gratitude. Each of us is unique so experiment with these practices to find what resonates with you most!
As we realize that the dramas we propagate in our intimate life are actually reflections of the truths we conceal from ourselves, we start to recognize that our external relationships present us with the perfect opportunity to heal those seemingly fragmented parts. What’s more exciting is when we see our partners and ourselves clearly our relationships transform from ordinary to extraordinary because we honour that we are here to learn from each other and evolve together as co-creators on a magnificent journey.