The Path of Personal Mastery: RELATIONSHIPS

 

Hello everyone!

 

This week’s class was a little different—it was combined with a public event I was offering called “The Spiritual Rules of Relationship—and How to Find Love No Matter What.” So the online materials this week will be different, too.

I created a slideshow for the presentation chock-full of wisdom from the Guides and organized around 6 “rules” or truths about human relationship. (NOTE: All direct quotes from the Guides are in italics.) I also led some exercises along the way.

Here’s a video version of that slideshow, so you can follow along and get a sense of what we did. It goes pretty fast, so you’ll want to have your finger near the pause button!

If you prefer to read things the usual way, just keep scrolling down below the video and you’ll find everything you need, in both online and printable versions.

 

 

If you prefer, here’s the text of the class.

NOTE: Everything in italics is from the Guides. Everything else is me. (:

 

As usual, here’s the printable version: PPM week 4 PDF

 

 

Week 4

THE SPIRITUAL RULES OF RELATIONSHIP

—and How to Find Love No Matter What

 

 

Introduction from the Guides:

 

Others are not here to make us “happy.” Nor are they here to make us feel loved. They are here to Be with us, to learn with us and from us, to love us but not to be the source of Love. The Source of Love is the Divine, which is accessed through the Self.

 

•••

 

 

Rule #1:

“Perfect” human love is myth.

Human love is by nature imperfect, and designed that way in order to help our souls along their journey of growth.

 

•••

 

The idea of “true love” on the human level is a bit of a trick. That is to say, the expression implies a condition that does not exist on the human plane, at least not for any length of time. And the idea of “true love” or “merging”—the “you complete me” school of romantic thinking—sets people up to fail, to feel disappointment within relationships that may in fact be lovely in every other way, perfect vehicles for them to become who they need to become at that time and at that stage in their evolution.

 

This is not the endpoint. This human relationship, this marriage, this love, however “true” or “perfect” or flawed or frustrating, is not the end goal but a means to an end, a mutual agreement between two souls who want nothing more than to support each other’s growth, regardless of what that may look like on the human plane.

 

The souls are not confused. The souls are not disappointed or frustrated or disillusioned. Not in the least. Not even if the relationship fails or falls apart. Our souls understand what we do not, at least not consciously: that our love for each other is not bounded by time or expectation or roles or obligation.

 

That our love for each other is part of a much bigger Love, a grander endeavor, of which our small human interactions are only a tiny part.

 

•••

 

Rule #2:

Conflict and hurt between loved ones is normal and inevitable on this plane of duality.

The closest we can get to “true love” in our human form is to accept that such messiness is OK, to forgive ourselves and each other (even in advance), and to practice repair and/or loving release.

 

•••

 

Human beings hurt each other. It is part of human love. There is no need for shame about that. Ask for forgiveness and try again. That is all you are expected to do. That is the highest form of human love.

 

You are each at your own individual levels of development, all of them different, all of them perfect for what they are, all of them ruled, by a little or a lot, by the human ego, with its grasping, injurious ways. And so, inevitably, there will be hurts and disappointments, betrayals and aggravations, all over the place. And that is OK.

 

To get to a point where you can allow the fact that you, your human self, incite feelings in others which cause them to suffer, and to forgive that fact, both in themselves and in you—is that not great love?

 

Is that not a beautiful gesture toward your own and the other’s humanness? Is that not a way of saying, I love and accept you despite your humanness, because of your humanness, just as I love and accept myself?

 

What then can destroy that love? If hate cannot destroy it, if violent feelings cannot destroy it, then what you have is truly eternal.

 

That is the power of accepting the presence of “hate” within yourself and another. The promise of True Love in human form.

 

•••

 

Exercise #1

Accepting the messiness of relationship

Think of an upset or conflict you have had with a loved one, now or in the past.

On a loose sheet of paper, list the difficult feelings it brings up.

I am angry because…
I am sad that…

I am hurt because…

I feel guilty/ashamed about…

I wish that…

Now hold that piece of paper in your hand, letting it represent the entirety of that conflict, with all its complications, hurts, confusion, or uncomfortable feelings, both yours and the other person’s. The goal here is not to “fix” the problem, but just to accept it as part of your human experience.

Bless the piece of paper and everything it represents. Send it love.

Repeat the following, silently or aloud:

I offer myself love.

I free myself of shame and guilt.

I accept my human imperfection.

I accept your human imperfection.

I forgive myself.

I forgive you.

I offer you love as a fellow soul.

I send you light.

Now, rip up the paper, and as you do, ask to let go of any judgment, guilt, or blame you may be holding onto.

 

“All is well, and all is well, and all manner of things shall be well.”

—Julian of Norwich, 1342-1416

 

•••

 

Rule #3:

We don’t owe one another anything, and we’re each on our own separate soul paths.

Letting our loved ones go—freeing them from expectation and respecting their distinct paths even if we don’t understand them—actually yields greater closeness.

 

•••

 

As relates to adult relationships, to consensual bonds, the rules are clear from a soul perspective. No one owes another anything. Let there be no sense of obligation. Not because you may not choose to make a commitment to another person. But because obligation tends to snuff the light out of Love.

 

The freedom to let others walk their paths and the freedom to walk one’s own is what the heart longs for. This does not mean separating from a person physically or even emotionally. It just means realigning one’s expectations or assumptions about the level of ownership or control one has over another, and turning the attention to God and the Self.

 

The Love that then rushes in to fill that empty space, and the gratitude that emerges once we realize that another person does not “belong” to us but is nonetheless in our life as a Divine gift, is truly remarkable and worth all the effort and courage it takes to let go.

 

Relationship is not an exchange. It is not, you give me this, and I give you that. It is, this is Who I Am, and this is Who You Are, and we are free.

 

•••

 

Rule #4:

We can’t “save” or “rescue” anyone, and when we try, we actually impede their growth as well as our own.

Instead, we can practice healthy boundaries or “energy hygiene,” staying in our own energy and neither giving away what is ours nor taking on what is someone else’s.

 

•••

 

If you take on another’s challenges, you deprive him of his own. You deprive him of the opportunity to learn.

 

Do not try to rescue another. Do not try and fix him. Do not even try to steer him in what you perceive as the “right” direction.

 

The compassionate soul wants to help, wants to intercede and save and bless and do anything it can to lessen the suffering of another. This is a beautiful thing. But it is also a dangerous thing, in that it can prevent growth on the part of both individuals.

 

The “savior” gets drawn into his or her role just as much as the “saved,” and both are hamstrung, one by the help, and the other by the helping.

 

There is no fault here. The heart wants to help, and the other wants to be helped. And yet, at a certain level of consciousness, there is a need to move on, a need to detach oneself from the (apparent) needs of others, a need to set limits, a need to learn to love in a new way entirely.

 

To help others, bless them. Pray for them. Love them. But love without attachment, without expectation. You do not need to heal them.

 

They are perfect as they are. They are where they need to be, as are you. Bow to them, and to yourself.

 

•••

 

Exercise #2: Creating energetic space

 

Think of a relationship that needs some healing, some boundaries, some energetic separation or space. A relationship that feels “messy” or entangled.

Picture that person in front of you. Bow to them internally as a soul.

Now visualize a figure eight of energy traveling between your heart centers.

Use the color gold if you want to stay connected to that person, silver if you want to separate (releasing the person to their own path with love).

 

•••

 

Rule #5:

Even the toughest relationships deserve our gratitude.

On a soul level, no relationship is worthless or failed, and every one is full of gifts. The most difficult ones can break our hearts open and turn us inward and toward the Divine.

 

•••

 

The appropriate attitude [toward any relationship] is gratitude.

 

As in, thank you for sharing this time with me. Thank you for loving me.

 

Or, thank you for not loving me, as much as that hurt—and the grief involved here may be enormous and a huge task in itself— because of what that taught me and who that made me be.

 

Thank you for being the you that you are or were in my life, even if I didn’t like it, or even if it didn’t last, or even if it didn’t turn out exactly like I planned.

 

Thank you for being my teacher. Thank you for being my guide—the guide to my own heart, even to its emptiness, even to its pain and what we call heartbreak, which always has the potential to break the heart open, making way for more Love.

 

Thank you for not being perfect, so that I may see where I am not perfect, or I may see where I am misled, in expecting you to be so. Thank you for being fully human with me, for that is the greatest gift.

 

Thank you for not filling up my every need, or even for abandoning me, for that turned me toward my Self, which was the goal all along.

 

For the Self is reached, in some respects, through the imperfections of human love. Or the Self is reached for, more eloquently put, once the imperfections of human love have become apparent and yet the inchoate longing for something more remains.

 

It is that feeling—the need for “more”—that leads us to God.

 

 

•••

 

Exercise #3: Looking through the eyes of the soul

 

Think of someone in your life with whom you have or have had a relationship.

Now imagine that you are given a pair of magical glasses that allows you to see them as a soul, and to understand your work together in this life.

See if you can complete the following statements, just letting the answers come to you intuitively. (It’s OK to use your logical mind here, too.)

This person taught me…

If it weren’t for this person, I wouldn’t…

Because of this person, I am…

I am grateful for…

•••

 

Rule #6: The one true and reliable source of Love is the Divine.

Ultimately, as we grow and develop on a soul level, we turn inward and find an inexhaustible source of love within, the Divine as accessed through the Self.

 

•••

 

With the release of the other from the “bonds” of love in the form of expectation—and the free flow of Love that results—comes also the freedom of the soul to seek the Divine within the Self. Because at last the location of the search has then become clear. It is not in the other but in the self/Self.

 

Eventually we find in ourselves, among the ruins and the pain and the disappointments of many lifetimes spent looking in the wrong places, what was Here all along—

 

The Fullness of the Self, the Fullness of God, the Oneness that obliterates all “need” for the other but leaves in its place a boundless acceptance and love for all Beings, near and far, distant and close.

 

This takes many lifetimes.

 

And then the role of the person in the world becomes not just the Beloved but the Lover.

 

The Source of Love—the conduit of Divine Love to all. The focus changes from “getting” love, from seeking it, to giving it out as a way of Being. Not with effort. Not by trying. Just by Being.

So turn your attention away from what you believe you “need” from other people. Grieve what you have lost or what you’re missing if you must.

 

And then turn inward to the Source of all love, the thing you have been looking for all along. And rejoice in the turning, the seeking, the finding, and finally the radiating of what you have found out into the world.

 

This is truly the completion of a great cycle and something to celebrate. The transformation of love, which is seeking and grasping, to Love, which is full and radiating—within the soul and at long last.

 

 

•••

 

Exercise #4: Receiving Divine love

 

Imagine a warm waterfall of love flowing down through the top of your head and filling your heart. Or you can imagine it as a powerful ray of warm light flowing directly into your heart.

If you want, you can picture the benevolent source of that love: the Earth, the Divine Mother, God, your ancestors, the angels, or even a real person who loved you best—whatever works for you.

Allow that love to completely fill your heart and then to flow through your whole body and fill your entire energy field.

Now just take a moment to really Be in that energy, to fully receive it and sit with it.

If you like, once you feel full of that Divine warmth, allow it to grow so it fills up the room you’re in, then the building, the neighborhood, the town, the state, the country, and finally it embraces the whole planet. Imagine your heart as a great blazing sun of Divine love, warming you and extending outward into the world.

 

•••

 

In closing, we return to where we started:

 

Others are not here to make us “happy.” Nor are they here to make us feel loved. They are here to Be with us, to learn with us and from us, to love us but not to be the source of Love. The Source of Love is the Divine, which is accessed through the Self.

 

AT HOME:

  1. Try to practice perceiving others in your life as fellow souls on their own distinct paths, as not owing you anything, and as being your teachers. Notice how this feels.
  2. Do the at-home reading—it’s an expanded discussion by the Guides of the role of relationships in our lives.