One of the reasons I’ve really come to see has got to be behind the still extraordinarily failure rate of relationships in our country is the fact that your average bear doesn’t have any real conception of why they’re even in a relationship. Oh sure, you know you “feel” a desire to be in one to whatever degree you do when you’re not currently partnered with someone. Your desire for companionship is also a motivator, most likely. If you were born between 1940 and, maybe 1991, odds are you had it drilled into you, one way or the other, that relationship was just something “You DO!” Or, maybe you’re just chronically lonely and can’t imagine any other way to knock that down. For that matter, you’d likely be surprised – even in this day and age – how many people still have it going on that there’s something wrong with them if they’re over 30 and never been in relationship.
Now, if you’ve heard of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, there are five basic categories of human needs (in order of ascending importance): physiological, safety, love/belonging, esteem, and self-actualization. The physiological level, which forms the bottom of Maslow’s pyramid, includes the human needs of food, water, sleep, and sex, among others. Friendship, family, and sexual intimacy (in other words, some of the staples that us humans usually seem to equate with what relationships are for) are up at level number three, below self-esteem and self-actualization.
What’s interesting is that ALL of the needs Maslow’s pointing out are ones we indeed would call “basic human needs;” yet, nowhere in the pyramid (that I can see) is there anything specifically citing Spirituality or Spiritual needs, belonging, or actualization. If you tend towards the agnostic or atheistic, then that would be no big deal to you. However, if you believe in ANY kind of Spiritual path, or even that you have a Soul or Spirit that has its own needs, then this omission is a pretty friggin’ big omission…and, it’s one that goes a long way to explain why we just have so many struggles with making relationships work (and not just our romantic ones)!
To my thinking (and intuition), if you were to “find,” start, and maintain any long-lasting relationships of any kind solely to meet those “human” needs, then our relationships are doomed to be only as healthy and expansive as our basic conscious and (gasp) sub-conscious ego state(s). And, lest you doubt that that might really be a problem, how often do you find yourself doing things that you KNOW aren’t good for you, or are going to create problems of some sort?
Now, because there are some healthy and critical parts of your ego, this isn’t about telling you your relationships “shouldn’t” have any ego in them; frankly, I think that’s impossible. However, because the part of your ego that believes it’s more powerful than the Universe and always knows best is NEVER satisfied, then there has to be some sort of system of checks and balances that allow you to navigate the trickier aspects of human relationship in a way that hopefully helps you and your Partner, for example, rise above the pettiest levels of what creates disconnection between us. In other words, what can you make bigger than the fact that you’re just royally pissed off that your Partner didn’t get you what you think they should’ve for Christmas this year?
Well, what if you were to relate to your relationship/Partner (and, again, this can apply to ANY relationship) as both the vehicle for, and the expression of, your highest Spiritual knowing, feelings, and awarenesses? Now, I’m not saying that this would be in any way about overlooking things that aren’t working…but, I AM saying, when things aren’t working, our egos usually react out of fear, shame, and insufficiency…states I believe your Spirit’s incapable of knowing. What if you dealt with issues as if they weren’t some kind of proof of how badly things, or you, suck; rather, they are indications that your Spirit’s are out of alignment, and to explore (together) what it would take to get them re-aligned – within yourselves, and with each other? What if you were to remember that that other person, be they your Spouse/Partner, or your work colleague, are Heaven-sent beings that, in turn, reflect who you are as a Divine Consciousness? To make it even simpler, what if you could never forget that that other person is someone you love?
What do you imagine that such an orientation would do to conflicts, disagreements, and misunderstandings? Would it take you from the ego’s obsession with being right (or, more often, to not being wrong) to looking to an intolerance of win-lose scenarios…since you’d likely never be inclined to tell the Divine Force (whatever that is to and for you), “Sorry, but you’re wrong, I’m not…and, you LOSE, you schmuck!”
There’s a lot to write about this, but I’m going to just invite you, for now, to ponder this philosophical possibility, how you may be living it now, how you’re not, and what kind of Heaven on Earth existence might you be able to have when every relationship you’re in is an expression of THAT possibility. When you look at the other person with whom you’re relating as an expression of Divine Consciousness, how petty can you really get (well, pretty petty if you’re PO’d enough, but it may help you get out of it a whole lot quicker). If you’re willing to share your thoughts about it on my new Facebook Page, Recovering Your Relationship, I invite you to do so here.
Otherwise, be sure you at least share your thoughts and feelings about this with your loved ones, particularly your romantic partner…it can definitely take your relationship from mundane to magnificent and more sacred.