“I love you,
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.“
Roy Croft’s incredibly beautiful and profound poem goes on to describe one of the most loving and honest ways of relating that one can imagine.
Love in itself requires no particular guidelines or conditions to exist. But relationships are a different matter. They involve a mutual give and take that honours both person’s needs and boundaries while encouraging each one to blossom in the shelter of togetherness. No easy feat this. No wonder we often find ourselves struggling in our closest relationships.
We tend to make a handful of relationships ‘special’, with the mistaken belief that this particular person is responsible for our happiness. Ironically, however, as long as we believe this, undoubtedly, when they fail to co-operate and give us what we ask of them, these very same person/persons become the focus of our maximal anger and blame.
Mistaking another as the source of our happiness results in us prioritising the survival of the relationship, over anything and anyone else. Investing in any fixed outcome, results in tremendous stress, fear, anxiety and insecurity. This can drive us into weak, needy, sacrificial, pretentious, insincere, dishonest, dominating, suspicious, violent and other such behaviours.
Thus, instead of being authentic, and or evolving ourselves, we find ourselves becoming someone that we neither approve of nor accept.
When the going is smooth sailing, we tend not to worry about these things. But when we run into rough weather, all our energies seem to drain away. Our attention being captured by the other person, their behaviour, our own perspective and emotional reactions, this underlying reason for our discomfort usually goes unnoticed: We do not like who we have become.
Roy Croft’s poem can serve as a pointer to approaching matters in a wholly different way, right from the outset. They can be used to transform our understanding and experience of relationships.
Make no mistake about it, all relationships require work. As individuals, we are changing all the time. Neither of the two is the same person they were from before, say a few months or years back. Continual, co-operative adjustments are usually essential to discover comfortable meeting points. The trouble happens when these changes are made from a fear of losing the relationship.
Love, acceptance, and forgiveness cannot be found in a space where fear rules. Neither inspiration nor flow can be allowed, as we are fixated on a particular idea of relating.
If instead, both people start out committed to embodying a higher consciousness – then everything that unfolds can be used to facilitate one’s evolution. Such an intent helps build trust and faith in each other. For here, we know that we share a common goal that is larger than the betterment or validation of individual personas. We allow a higher intelligence to be present and guide us to a greater good. The ‘other’ becomes a conscious partner, with both aware that we are all manifestations of the same Source – and from this remembrance – help us mirror, uncover and address aspects of ourselves that we may be blind to otherwise. The inner and outer worlds are both dealt with honesty and transparency.
When we get caught up in the illusions, our personas and favourite stories, as we often do – a trusted connection like this is invaluable in helping us wake up. For authenticity, vulnerability, and difficult conversations – the very crucibles of our evolution, can now not only be risked but embraced.
Such clearly shared intent tends to nurture deeper, truer, lighter and more joyful relating, than happens in our otherwise habitual, fear-based interactions.
Society, conditioning, our great expectations and erroneous interpretations have had us confusing love and drama for long enough. Antoine de Saint-Exupery offers an appealing alternative to the more common, unconscious notions of love:
“Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.”
Perhaps it is time to reflect on what kind of relationships we would like to co-create now?
Image Source: Lotr.Wikia.com