“Why is it,” he said, one time, at the subway entrance, “I feel I’ve known you so many years?”
“Because I like you,” she said, “and I don’t want anything from you.”
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
The primary mistake we make with regard to relationships is that we see them as a place for us to find happiness and fulfillment. But this can never be the case.
The Veda teaches us that a relationship, is a showcase for the fulfillment that we are rather than a place for us to find fulfillment. If I am happy, any relationship I find myself in will showcase my happiness. If I am miserable, the relationship will showcase my misery.
If I believe that you, my partner, are supposed to be making me happy, I will blame you for the unhappiness I am feeling. And if I am looking for you to make me happy, it is a guarantee that you are looking for me to make you happy as well. When this is the case, we’re both looking to accomplish the impossible.
I cannot make another person happy. It will never be enough, never be exactly right, never last. It’s a false construct. If I am living my life to make you happy, it means I have to pay attention to you to see how I’m doing. Of course we are meant to connect with each other; but we’re never meant to be guided by each other. We are meant to be guided by our own experience of the truth as it feels to us and occurs to us deep within our being. From that place, from the place of deep fulfillment and deep connection with my true Self, chances are I will approach you, my partner, with compassion and a desire to see you happy; probably with a desire to do nice things for you as a way to play in the realm of love. But the things I do will be based in my own fine level of feeling and my instincts and the clarity with which I am in union with myself, rather than on how well I do in terms of reading your mind.
As well, it’s not possible to find fulfillment outside the self. Never in the history of the world has anyone found lasting fulfillment outside himself or herself. Alexander the Great conquered the entire known world. Not fulfilled. Bernie Madoff stole 60 billion dollars. It wasn’t enough. Actors who shall remain nameless, making millions of dollars a picture, yet by all observation not happy.
Not power, not money, not fame. So maybe with love?
Many years ago I saw a psychologist on a weekly basis. I remember once complaining about lack of fulfillment in my relationship. The good doctor said this: “Jeff, I have some of the biggest names in Hollywood come in here, who are married to the dream women of our era. Icons. Women in film and entertainment who represent to the world our modern version of the Goddess. And every one of these men, after six months with one of these goddess women, is coming in here saying the same things you’re saying. What you’re looking for doesn’t exist. There is no ‘happily ever after.'”
Our job is to know the fulfillment that lives deep inside the Self, and then to find someone who is also doing the work to find that place for themselves. When we two find each other, then there is an opportunity for the building of something greater than the two of us as individuals ever could do alone.
With meditation we find the fulfillment that we are. And when my fulfillment meets your fulfillment, that is a relationship worth staying around for.
Today I will remember that it is my job to learn how to love, and to allow myself to be loved. For this, the universe has provided me with potentially 7 billion opportunities at every conceivable level of difficulty, from the easy as falling off a log kind of love we might have for our children, to the are you kidding me kind of challenge of the ex-partner, ex-spouse, ex-best friend who is telling lies about us. I will remember that there is no situation that cannot be healed by enough love.
Two Roses, Studio City, CA