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.
The universe is set up to help us grow into our higher selves, and relationships are the “vessel” of that journey. Difficult relationships show us both the need to grow beyond our present level of understanding, and deliver the vital self-revelations that make growth possible.
Of course, we love to be shown qualities within us that are positive. But Love often shows us what is un-loving within us, such as anger, impatience, and selfishness. To understand this is to realize that even in the darkest moment of some unwanted revelation, we are never without Love; it is always there, even if it is momentarily obscured by our negative reaction to what we’ve been shown about ourselves. These revelations are a gift from Love to help us become the truly loving individuals we want, and are meant, to be.
Love’s Power of Revelation
Relationships serve a great single end: the on going revelation of the truth of ourselves. Our willingness to honestly examine what we presently love (e.g., a selfish desire, a harmful habit) – and what we are becoming because of our relationship with it – is the beginning of not only learning to love what is truly gracious, forever good, and kind, but also of loving to realize these truths about ourselves, whatever their nature.
Relationships reveal us to ourselves because they are “mirrors,” reflecting back to us qualities light and dark, high and low. Some qualities are delightful and others self-compromising, such as when we come face to face with a familiar anger or resentment in ourselves that we’ve always justified.
Our relationships become “magical” as we realize that whatever remains concealed within us cannot be healed, and that our partner – our “mirror” in each moment – is actually the agent of these revelations that alone can release us from our limitation. This not only liberates us, but also liberates our relationship from its former boundary, allowing both of us to grow into better, more loving people.
Why Relationships Fail – and the Magic in Applying Love’s Higher Purpose
The main reason many relationships fail is the single – almost inescapable – false belief that our partner is responsible for our happiness. When they inevitably fail to live up to this impossible expectation, any fault in the relationship is easily blamed on them.
The "magic" returns to our relationship as we realize the real culprit in our conflict with others is the demand we’ve placed upon them. As we see this and assume responsibility for our own negative reactions, resentment and misunderstanding move out while new self-understanding moves in.
Blaming is common in relationships, but it undermines love’s true purpose. The real root of our sorrow is not over what others have or have not done to us; our continuing stress over the "shortcomings" of others is simply what we have yet to understand about ourselves (such as our hidden insistence that they be what we want).
Refusing to blame another turns us into an objective witness of our own super heated emotions. If we can be aware of our actual inner condition, and take a conscious pause – neither expressing nor suppressing any irritated thought or feeling – then that lifts us above the level of self that’s the real cause of our combustibility.
This is taking full responsibility for our relationships, and itbegins with recognizing that judgment, fear, and regret choke the life out of our chance to unconditionally love one another. Realizing that running through these old patterns – while holding others accountable for the pain in them – has utterly failed, initiates the birth of being fully responsible for our relationships. We see that to have true harmonious relationships with others, then it is we who must change.
Ultimately, we must realize it is not in our power to change the nature of our partners in life. However, as their nature reveals in us what it inevitably does, those revelations empower us to change ourselves.
How Love’s Higher Purpose Comes Alive in Us
It is in conscious relationships that we gradually grow – individually – into all that is self-sufficient and good, because through them we become stronger and wiser. Wherever our relationship unfolds (marriage, family, on the job, etc.), it is always here and now that we need to work. Nothing speeds up our inner work better than being with someone who helps us realize the need for change! The closer the relationship, the more likely this dynamic exists.On the other hand, our wish to work inwardly does not depend upon the compliance of anyone else, nor can anyone else impede it.
In a way, we are each both a “jewel in the rough” and the jewelers wheel, all at once. One moment, we are being acted upon, asked to see facets of ourselves that need to be polished; a heartbeat later, roles are reversed, and we are the wheel that reveals what needs to be healed in our partner.
That is what love has always intended for us to do and to be with each other: to work as polishing stones so that each of us exits the moment of relationship more perfected than we entered into it. The more we understand and agree to embrace these roles and their revelations, the more magical all our relationships become.
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