In order to create a conscious love relationship, we need to understand the motives and needs which now cause us to form relationships.
We enter into relationships for the same reason we do everything else in our lives; because we are motivated by our needs. We seek out relationships with others in order to fulfill our unfulfilled needs. Alone we feel empty and lonely. We hope to complete ourselves in a relationship.
There are many levels of needs and desires which we seek to fulfill in our relationships, whether this is a spouse, parent, child or friend.
1. One of our most basic needs is to feel secure. We feel more secure and safe when we are with someone. I have heard people who fear being alone at night in a remote house, admit that they feel safer even if there is an infant or cat with them. Obviously this infant or cat will not protect them from any danger. We can see how important it is to us to feel that we are with someone else.
In primitive cultures, our safety was directly related to being in groups. Only in groups could we survive and be safe. If one was ostracized, he would quickly perish due to predators or lack of food. This association of safety with being with a person who pledges that he or she will be with us always, even when things are difficult, is basic to our feelings of security.
For most of us, however, it is not sufficient to know that person is with us now. We want to know that he will be with us forever, in order to feel secure. This is one of the reasons we give so much importance to exclusivity in our relationships. If the person on whom we are dependent for our feelings of security begins to show attention to others, then we begin to fear that we may lose him or her and thus our security. This begins as small children, when our parents begin to show attention to younger siblings, and continues as we mature when we fear losing friends and culminates in our fear of losing our spouse.
2. Another reason we fear our loved one’s giving attention to others, is that we lose our sense of self worth. The reasoning is that we believe that we are worthy of love because there is a person in this world who loves only us. We get our feelings of self worth, because this person sees us as very special and loves only us. If suddenly he also loves someone else, we lose our sense of self worth.
Another factor is that we associate being able to keep a mate, with our self worth as men or women. A man loses his manliness if a woman leaves him for another. A woman loses her self worth if her spouse shows interest in another woman.
3. Another powerful attractive force in the formation of relationships is the need for affection and physical and / or sexual contact. This need for contact, intimacy and union with another being exits on many levels, biological, emotional, mental, spiritual and for the balancing of each’s bioenergy. When we do not have this contact and are not able to create our own inner contact with the divine, we can easily come out of balance. Thus we seek someone with whom we can share our affection, intimacy and energy.
This giving and receiving affection and energy is basic to our physical and emotional harmony. Thus, we seek a partner with whom we can share this exchange.
4. Another reason we form relationships is to continue our familiar emotional exchanges which we experienced as children. We often are subconsciously attracted to someone who will sooner or later behave exactly like one of our parents. We complain that we escaped from this negative behavior in our parents and now we find the same behavior in our spouse. This has to do with our subconscious need to be able now as adults to learn the lesson which confronting such behavior, holds for us.
Thus it would be best not to complain about this situation, but rather to ask, “what is life trying to teach me here? What do I need to learn so that I can transform this vicious circle into a conscious love relationship?”
5. Although less frequent in our modern society, some still may also choose a spouse who is «socially superior» in order to gain prestige and power through this connection. Social pressure can sometimes be a motivating force in marriage. This is especially true in some countries of the world where women are submitted to great pressure to marry before they reach a certain age.
6. Two people may decide to form a relationship because of common interests. They may be studying the same subject or pursuing the same goals in life. They may give each other mental stimulation and satisfaction. They may have a similar professional goal and work together, helping and complimenting each other. This could be in anything from scientific research to running a supermarket.
7. Of course a primary force in bringing people together in marriage is the subconscious or conscious need to create children. Through children we manifest our continuation. We offer to society human potential for the future. We also sometimes seek to gain self affirmation through their achievements. In some cases, we may also hope that they will support and protect us when age makes us less capable.
8. We are also attracted to someone because he or she embodies qualities which we admire or which supplement our personality. If we are over emotional, we might be attracted to person who is more subdued and rational. If the opposite, we might be attracted to person who freely expresses his or her emotions.
9. Another factor which some might feel has played a role in their coming together, is that of “fate” or destiny. We may feel that we were “supposed” to be together. We fell in love and feel very strongly towards each other, and feel the need to unite our lives.
These intense feelings seldom remain in the strength that they were first felt. If a couple can transform that Eros into love, respect and admiration, then they will stay together. If, on the other hand, when those intense feelings subside, they are not able to transform them into love, then the relationship may be in trouble. It might end in separation or simply as a lifeless co-inhabitation.
Most relationships are formed on the basis of some combination of the above as well as other factors which apply to each specific case.
Relationships which are based only on the above factors, without some higher evolutionary spiritual goal, are likely to develop into a number of conflicts. This is not an absolute law, but a very common reality.
10. You will notice that we have not mentioned love as a reason for coming together. This is because true love is independent of what one gets from someone. The love that we feel in most of these situations is an attraction which is created because one, in some way, gives something to the other. If one stops giving it, or gives to some other, then the feelings of love will likely diminish, as they do in many cases over the years.
The “love” which we feel when we are attracted to someone whose presence makes us feel secure, self affirmed or satisfied may, in many cases, actually be love with conditions – with the condition that the other will remain that way for ever and will continue to give us what we need.
All of these motives are based on our need to get some thing from the other. They are based on the fact that we feel empty and need the other in order to feel secure or self affirmed or happy. The other’s presence in our lives completes us. This is something extremely vital for us, as we have not yet learned complete our selves.
True love does exist and we can evolve towards it, and that is the purpose of life, and that is also the subject of this book.
WHAT IS OUR GOAL?
These relationships are called codependent relationships in which our sense of security, self worth and happiness, and perhaps, purpose in life are dependent on the other. It is a relationship in which each is dependent on the other.
This might be the case even when one of us might seem very “strong”. The “strong one” often gets his “strength” from the “weak one” who depends on him. In many cases, the victim needs the abuser, so that he can stay in the role of the victim. The “super-responsible one” is often addicted in his relationship with the “irresponsible one”, so that he can be ever affirmed as the “responsible one”.
When we need something from someone and they do not give it to us, we begin to feel disappointment and hurt that they are not giving us what we want. We could be talking about time, attention, services, material objects, love, affection, exclusivity, or support when we need it. And when the other cannot or chooses not to give these to us, we take it personally and become offended and angry, sometimes hateful and revengeful. And if this person gives what we are asking for to someone else then we feel jealousy and subsequent anger.
This is all happening not because we love the other, but because we believe we need the other.
A relationship needs to be the means toward an end and not an end in itself. The purpose of all relationships is for the continued growth of the soul. Each relationship is a lesson in self knowledge and in how to love truly. We can love truly only when we are free from fear and needs. Love is not wanting to be with someone because we need him or her and cannot be happy without him or her. That is need, attachment or dependency, not love
Love without attachment means that we enjoy being with the other and want the other to be happy and to continue on his evolutionary path in any way in which he or she is guided internally, whether we agree or not. It means feeling the same love for that person, regardless of how he behaves towards us. It means supporting him in his search for happiness, even when that does not satisfy our needs.
It means knowing that we can be safe and happy without him, and that we are with him out of love and not out of fear of being alone.
Thus a relationship is a lesson in love. It gives us an opportunity to see and overcome our weaknesses, our selfishness, our ego-centeredness, and learn to love purely. This will be the subject of this book. How we can use our conscious love relationships in order to grow spiritually together with our loved one.
When two individuals agree that they mutually want to grow into greater self-knowledge, love and spiritual development, then wonderful transformations can occur in their relationship. These changes will not be immediate, nor without conflict, pain and effort. But ultimately it is worth the effort.
This work will be very meaningful, fulfilling and enlightening as we learn to move from fear to love.