Relationship Without Self Deception

Up until about 6 weeks ago, I had been in a relationship with a very wonderful man for 3 1/2 years. He was loving and giving in many ways, but he did not want to get married, which at the time seemed important to me. He left me saying that he could not make me happy. I really believe we had something very special and I still love this man. I don’t know how he is feeling, because we haven’t talked since he left. I want the opportunity to love him unconditionally, but at this point I am uncertain what to do. I have been listening to your tapes and reading your website and, in all honesty, I still don’t get it! Is loving him unconditionally letting the relationship go or “letting my heart be torn open” and letting him know how I feel. I guess you would say that I am still ‘struggling’ to be, to live life. I am one those who can’t let go of the image of me. I want to live in the present, but it just is so foreign. How does it feel? Right now confusion has taken over.

We always live in the present. There’s no other time or place to be. You can resist it or relax into it, you can fixate or let go – it’s up to you.

Love that hurts, that is hesitant and confused, love that is divided against itself, is not love – it is suffering. There are two different kinds of suffering, as the Buddhist teaching goes, suffering that leads to more suffering, and suffering that leads to an end of suffering. If you are interested in truth, in clarity, in freedom, the fact of this suffering must be faced with a gentle, open fearlessness, abandoning all habitual tendencies to resort to old defenses and rationalizations. Only in the still silence of unconditional curiosity and patience can the whole truth reveal itself. It all comes down to this: “Do I truly want to know how it is, or not? Do I truly want to bring an end to all of this pain and self deception, or not?” Only you can answer that.

The rarely questioned assumptions of our culture, our conditioning about “love” is that it has something to do with holding on, with having things turn out a certain way with someone we desire. When we don’t get what we want, we feel abandoned, rejected, betrayed, hurt, and confused. At the core of all of this clinging and suffering is the story, the fantasy, the endless commentary about “me”, which creates the impression of “the other.” That the whole thing is anchored by muscular contractions and manipulations of the endocrine system further confuses it, because it feels so “real”. But actually, it’s not so much different from becoming emotionally involved with a movie, only the difference is that the movie is created internally, out of memory and fantasy, and someone who looks, sounds, and feels somewhat like “me” is the romantic or tragic star. But when the story ends or doesn’t work out the way we had hoped, the lights come back on, and we blink. We can’t believe a story that beautiful and that innocent could possibly have just been a movie. But it’s over, and that is that.

The invitation of truth, of awareness, of love, of freedom, is to come to terms with the fact that no human being can rescue us from the loneliness and isolation of our obsessive memories, fantasies, criticisms, and commentaries about our lives. To maintain the hope that someone we want can, and will do that, and to call it a “relationship,” does little more than guarantee us varying degrees of worry, frustration, disappointment, and sorrow, depending on how tightly we cling. Inevitable cause and effect. In light of all that, does continuing in this way really make any sense? How do you let go of a hot coal, or a poisonous snake?

Human beings, all human beings, are simply reflections of our own consciousness, and as such, are wonderful mirrors for understanding, compassion, and wisdom. In the absence of all vested interest, you will begin to notice a tender sensitivity, affection, and generosity towards everyone. This is the gift of true relationship. Abandon all cheap imitations of love based on the conflictive desires of subject and object, and a peace and a joy so subtle, so sensitive, and so tender will permeate the entire universe.

-Your own Self-

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