Much of our life is determined by the stories and beliefs we have created. While we are responsible for our stories, the basis for them arises from the conditioning we receive from the society we live in. Possibly the most powerful story is that we are Cinderella and Prince Charming will come on his white steed, take us out of our misery and carry us off to his castle. We will fall madly in love and we will live happily ever after. We are conditioned to believe that the thing outside can make us happy inside.
We live in this story and believe that there is someone, somewhere who will end our pain, end our loneliness and end our unworthiness. There is someone, somewhere who will love us, end our fear and make us feel wanted and sufficient. Then we will have someone to share the beauty of life with. They will make us happy and complete us.
Never underestimate the power of this story. As children, we are read these books, we watch these movies and we dream of these stories coming true. Our infatuations are basically living for the first months of a relationship in this story, even as we barely know the other person. The story creates a fantasy filled with powerful emotions.
Every relationship exists to expand our awareness. Relationships are grace. Grace is the power of revelation and revelation is the expansion of consciousness. Sometimes that is accomplished through love, sometimes through trials and sometimes through hardships. Often the expansion of consciousness occurs when another person close to us triggers what is unresolved inside of us, thus making us aware of what is calling for resolution. Understanding this, we have a chance at creating a healthy relationship.
When we are requiring the other person to end our pain, our fear, our unworthiness and our loneliness we impose a significant burden upon the relationship. If our approach within the relationship is needy, and we grasp for another to resolve our issues and to make us happy, we become very attached to outcomes and expectations. This often leads to disappointment.
“Happily ever after” is available. But it is not bestowed upon us by someone else. It arises from the true Self, the pure awareness that is the divine within us. When we feel love, we are touching that place within us. It is never external to our true Self. That experience can be triggered by someone or something outside of us, but it is always Self-arising and originating within us. Only we are capable of realizing our worth, divinity and love. We are sufficient in our Godhood.
We learn about love and grow love by loving our true Self, by realizing our true Self, and then by practicing love. As love inside is revealed, our small, created, ego-self diminishes. To love, we are required to empty ourselves of ego and to lose that which measures and judges another. Real love is always true-Self arising and true Self recognizing that the other person is also That. Loving another is always recognizing true Self within us and in the other. True Self is universal, bliss consciousness and it is from this bliss that love emerges.
Through conditioning our society has taught us to seek pleasure from outside of us. This, they say, is where we will find fulfillment and happiness. But fleeting pleasure and lasting happiness are very different things and arise from very different sources. Pleasure is sensory and outside of us while love and happiness are the very nature of the True Self and revealed internally. God has created pleasure to enjoy responsibly but it is part of the pairs of opposites and the senses always are a mix of pleasure and pain. Love and happiness are the nature of God and stand as the essence of our true Self. If we understand this, we can enjoy relationships as a path for the expansion of bliss, love and happiness.
When two people are in love what is happening is that the lover is projecting the love that is in his own heart, the love that is inside him, onto his beloved and, as a result, experiences satisfaction and joy. Our mistaken belief and story are that the love and happiness are arising from outside, from the beloved. But that is not the reality. We believe our joy and happiness are coming from the other person when, in truth, it is Self-arising. When our realization of the love and bliss of our true Self expands, then that love flows out onto all whom we meet. And that love can focus on one individual.
True love exists fully when we no longer see the other as separate from us. When we try to love another and still see them as separate, we can not realize the truth of love. The truth is that the love that is our true Self is the same as the love that is the true Self of all. True love is the realization that the beloved is the same as our Self.