It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us.
Inside all of us is a confusion of ideas and expectations that have been built up over the years through our experiences, books we’ve read, movies we’ve seen, opinions of people who seemed to be “in the know,” and endless other sources.
Much of this “information” is distorted, irrelevant, or just plain wrong. Nevertheless, these are the ideas that precede us into any situation, coloring what we see, and making us compare and judge reality against the picture in our minds.
These false beliefs shape the world we experience so that old pains and problems are reseeded into every new moment; their unseen influence is one of the reasons why we find ourselves so often re-living certain unwanted experiences over and over again. We may blame some outside condition for our discontent, but the fact is most of what troubles us about life, does so because we “believe” it’s not supposed to be like that!
All of this is particularly true when it comes to our human relationships. Our relationships with others, especially with our partner in life, are fraught with expectations, need, and false beliefs.
And we’ve all seen how new relationships are haunted by the ghosts of the past. Old painful patterns are repeated when we enter the new relationship with the same false beliefs that shaped the old ones. To break away from old patterns and find freedom to love with an unchained heart, we must be willing to see our own false beliefs that are the secret source of our unhappiness with others.
Here is a list of three false beliefs that betray our hearts and poison our relationships. The more aware we can become of these long-conditioned false beliefs and how they compromise our ability to have fulfilling relationships, the more freedom we will win from them:
False belief # 1: Our value as a person is determined by how others see us.
If we believe our individual worth depends on how others see us, we live with the fear of being judged by them, where trying to win their approval causes us to compromise ourselves again and again. People sense this kind of weakness in us, causing them to resist us, which in turn, makes us feel even “needier.” The cycle deepens, things get worse. Here’s the solution. Seeing its truth sets us free: we are not in this world to “win” what we believe we must to feel “good” about ourselves, but rather to realize that who we are – our True Self – is already whole, happy, and complete.
False belief #2: We are responsible for the happiness of others.
Each of us experiences disappointment and heartache in life. It’s part of the process through which we learn to let go of unnecessary demands and false dependence on others. There’s nothing any of us can do to determine the level of happiness of another. We may temporarily please them, but ultimately we are all responsible for ourselves. Even in the most loving relationship, each person is self-responsible. Don’t let anyone else coerce you into believing their happiness depends on you. And don’t you try to coerce anyone else.
False belief #3: We have to put up with and tolerate people who have made the choice to live with negativity and spread it to others.
If our partner is always spewing negativity on us, we should not act as though it’s okay. We’re not doing them, or ourselves, any favors by placating them or bowing to their negativity. If we don’t learn "how to use” their negativity to strengthen ourselves, our own negative reaction to them will use us up. Instead, we can make up our mind that when we see our partner in that negative state, our attention will remain on our own reactions to them and not on the other person. This shift in attention helps us realize what it is we really need to be free of... “ourselves”! This helps keep us from getting dragged into their state. As a bonus, our new way of acting toward them may actually help them see themselves and give them a chance to come out of their negative state on their own.
When you work with these ideas you may make some discoveries that are difficult to bear. Welcome them instead of resisting your own reaction to them. As you do this you’ll come to realize that your most important relationship in life is with the Truth that sets you free. Work on building that, and all your other relationships will benefit.
Finally, consider this last thought: The real source of our resentment toward others is not due to the power we think they have and hold over us; rather it arises from a secret weakness within us that keeps us falsely believing that someone else holds the key to our well being.
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