Some people tell me that they are afraid to enter into a relationship because they have realised how a relationship is, in fact, a form of bondage. That level of wisdom allows them to discern that they have a choice to enter or not enter into a relationship because they are aware of the potential stickiness of relating to another in a relationship. And that is what it means by being in a relationship – to relate to another – and it does not limit to couples only, but also amongst family members, friends and also things. If you are entering into a relationship to relate to another, which is usually the initial stage of how two people meet and decide to get together, perhaps to turn it to one that is empowering for both instead of one that is of bondage is to realise that the relationship can be perceived from the viewpoint of clarity of how you relate to yourself. Any person or situation tells you something about you, and usually the person that you are most attracted to have a relationship with will be the closest person that you’d have to work with to have that radar turned in. Having said that of course, all matters related is to turn the radar in except that the relationship is usually the closest point of trigger. Now, I know this sounds as if we are ‘using’ the relationship but all I can share from where I come from is when you allow yourself that space in a relationship to reclaim yourself – as in to get to know yourself and what other areas you have to clean up – the relationship can potentially turn out to be one that is beyond a relationship. In fact, the meaning of relationship ceases and all that is left is intimacy.
Whether you choose to jump into the relationship or choose to stay away from it, it really has nothing to do with the other person, but yourself. Someone was telling me that we have a choice with whom we ‘fall’ in love with. In my experience, it is not. You are just drawn by its intensity and it will be soon when you find yourself pulling tricks just to be with that person, speak to that person, or even just to have a sneak peep at that person. The only choice you have is whether to pursue it to another level, and that too, is somewhat untrue. Depending on motivation, the action will exactly follow suit. My friend told me that she could choose to avoid the person or to run away and I reminded her that that itself is an act of – as she rightfully puts it – running away. I remember when I was much younger, I once wanted to move to another country because of a relationship problem; my friend whom I consulted highlighted that it will be impossible not to have any relationship with anyone in the first place. She reminded that if I was to run away to another country this time, it is likely that I will do the same each time I get hurt, and I might have travelled the whole world just running away from one relationship to another when I could not face each of them until I have nowhere else to run. She was right.
People write articles about how to sustain a long term relationship and how to maintain romance and passion and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. It is because as long as you have that ‘running’ away problem or any other problem that propels the hurt or bondage situation, you have it in your system wherever you go.
Being in a relationship is a way to meet yourself. When you run away from it, you run away from yourself. When you are in it, it is inevitable that at times you lose yourself in it while also meeting yourself at a very intimate level. There are many scriptures that share the potential attachment occurring from relationships and marriages, and I am not denying it at all. It is indeed one of the dangerous routes to take but I can say it is also one of the fastest in terms of a spiritual journey. In fact, it is something very practical that we can all begin to work with since relationships are occurring in our lives every moment.
Some people ask me since all relationships or marriages are illusionary, why get into one in the first place? Well, there is much wisdom in it actually. Being in an exclusive relationship or marriage is where you make a committed stand to yourself not to run away from your mirror. When you hurt, you know that it is time to put that up for inquiry with integrity by taking full responsibility with it, and that ‘commitment’, though very much outward, disallow you to walk away until you have finally come to peace with yourself for whatever the other shows you to your face. So it seems as if you are going into a relationship with ‘someone’ but they are in truth only you, of what you have projected onto them. And until you are clear and clean of yourself, then you’d realise that being in love with that someone you are in the relationship with is a natural state where there does not even arise a necessity to possess, to be attached to or even do anything in fact, for the relationship to ‘improve’ or blossom. Every moment just becomes perfect bliss within itself. The relationship ceases so to speak and something more beautiful beyond the ‘norm’ emerges naturally.
There is wisdom in choosing not to enter into a relationship, but there is also wisdom in being in a relationship. Ultimately, it is not about being in a relationship or not, it is about being true to yourself – whether you are courageously seeing yourself in another, or running away from yourself.