As far as the materialization of relationships, sometimes we just find ourselves in one. It can feel so unplanned—so natural—because falling in love isn’t something we do; it’s something that happens. With an unexpected spark, something stirs within our core. This can happen with someone we just met or with someone who has always been in our lives but with whom we suddenly see in a new light. However, the exact details of the lead-up to this new miraculous feeling are mysterious, unknown, and indescribable.
When the feeling takes hold, a powerful pull seems to exist that draws us to that one person, and we want to be in their presence and to be filled with their enchantment. It’s almost as if we are under their spell and life becomes more magical; we smile more, we sing in the shower, and we enjoy a dance when no one is looking. There’s an oomph that boosts our stride—some type of explicit energy that we gladly follow. If the unseen matchmaker sees fit, and if it aligns with the cards in our hand, we find ourselves connecting to and relating with one another—with one another, because we are both sovereign beings at this state. At this beginning stage, we haven’t yet fallen into codependency and we maintain our sense of self, our hobbies, our friends, and our unique focus.
What attracted us to each other in the first place is our separateness, our polarity, and our charming sense of individuality. But even more so, attraction is steeped in an intriguing sense of mystery. Early on, we know so little about the other person. We haven’t yet deciphered their likes and dislikes, the sensation of their body with ours, or their ways of expression and style. All we know is that we are excited to go on a joint journey of discovery as we unveil the answers to our hearts’ greatest delight. We happily choose to spend as much time together as we can and go on a treasure hunt of positive feelings, feeding our love and exploring our pleasure.
A month passes, maybe two or three, and more and more of those revealing questions are slowly answered. We discover the intersections of our compatibilities and become very aware of our points of disagreement. Even still, we find great peace and rest in the knowledge of our connection. We feel seen and loved, but more than anything—and perhaps most importantly— we feel safe. Here at this mile marker on the relationship road, an unseen timer begins to tick and the strength of the relationship is put to the test. If we entered the relationship from a place of need and loneliness, it is likely that codependency is about to rear its ugly head.
In any relationship, the illusion of safety can guide us toward a status quo of taking each other for granted. It is also capable of allowing our personal form of attachment to influence the relationship. (It might seem a bit gloomy to look at relating in this way, but in doing so, we are analyzing the bond from a place of sincerity and the inner workings of our heart. As humans, we share the commonality of the natural currents of life and the foundational fundamentals of the mind.) At this juncture in the relationship, our sense of sovereignty fades away like early morning fog in the sun, and begins to mesh into an illusory sense of “we”.
The joint unity is illusory not because our connection isn’t real, but because it is based on a loss of our individual center and because of our various and unique wounds. At some point in every relationship we get triggered, hurt, and disappointed and subsequently have the choice to either leave the relationship or do the work and fight for it. (This can be accomplished with a relationship coach or another form of external support.)
Whether it’s the same relationship or a new one, we rinse and repeat the process.
If we do come to a new relationship, we do so with the hope that the one we just left was just not right. Our hearts may be a bit more closed off as we cautiously turn to a new love, but the unrelenting urge to connect will overpower us and lead us further. If we haven’t done anything to change our inner world and our sense of center, this cyclical relationship pattern will repeat. As Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results.”
But, within this madness lies a method; within this maze of emotion, a way out. To find the way out, you need only to look back at the journey in. We all must realize that our relationships are nothing but a reflection of our inner landscape. Instead of fruitlessly trying to change external elements, observe and study the inner world of thought and feeling. Ask yourself what caused you, within your core, to choose the partner before you. Why did you call them in? What light did they shed on your own process of evolution? In doing this, we begin to understand both the shallow and profound aspects of attraction, and we can better identify our desires and needs as we study our past and contemplate our present. It has been said many times that you can only love others if you first you love yourself. This ubiquitous saying is typically seen as nothing more than a cliché, but it holds immense power to this day; it is the doorway to relating with sovereignty. Positioning all relationships with this in mind helps you to remain centered in who you are and allows you to offer your positive overflow and not your wounds and needs.
In his wonderful book Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse shares how Siddhartha has only three skills: he knows how to think, how to wait, and how to fast. These three skills are vital for our own journeys of relating! When we fall in love, we often don’t think very much and instead follow our hearts. Thinking in relation to relating is about having the sincerity and choice to evaluate.
For example, “Yes, I am attracted. Yes, I desire this person. Yes, it seems that we match.” Even so, let me contemplate the following: First and foremost, where am I? Am I in a place to start a relationship? Where am I in relation to my own inner journey? Am I in overflow? Do I have the time and space to bring another in?
After this, wait; wait and don’t rush.
Let life open its doors to you in its own graceful and organic way. Trust that if this relationship is meant to happen, so it shall, and so it will. But you must be willing to patiently wait. Allow the grass to grow by itself and let the flames of love consume you out of choice and consciousness. Be aware of who you are and who you are choosing to become as a result of opening yourself up to someone else. When we don’t wait, we add fuel to the fire of our triggers.
When you rush, you allow your stale and unproductive patterns to play out, and they will play out in the exact same way they did the last time you hastily jumped in.
Fasting requires discipline, but in our context, it means choosing not to compromise. You must choose not to follow a fleeting gust of wind and fall into a relationship simply because no other choices were before you. We must not choose to be in a relationship because we feel lonely or because there are no better partners on the horizon. The perception that there is a dearth of choice will influence your emotional maturity and ability to attract the person with whom your soul will genuinely resonate.
And so, when choosing a relationship, our first step must be to shift our perspective. We must see our relationships as opportunities for inner work and spiritual development, and not as battlegrounds or places to slip into comfort and complacency. Relationships are opportunities to expand, to share more of yourself, and to join someone else in your connected purpose while letting the world bask in the warmth of your bond. However, this choice is a direct reflection of a dedicated inner journey. You must determinedly choose to heal, to evolve, to mature, and to understand that you truly—above all else—are the love of your life.
The journey of relating starts when we choose to fall in love with ourselves, and this means nothing more than fully accepting who we are. We must embrace our vices and our virtues, our shallow shoals and our deep trenches. We must do so with a profound sense of sincerity and the willingness to face all that we are while loving all of our pieces. When this journey inward takes centerstage, you will find that the perfect actors will come along and assist you in the production of what you call your life.