[Classic post from 3-1-16]
I was reading an astounding insight by Eckhart Tolle regarding relationships, which I related to my 42 years of marriage experience. Here's what he said:
“If you both agree that the relationship will be your spiritual practice, so much the better. You can then express your thoughts and feelings to each other as soon as they occur, or as soon as a reaction comes up, so that you do not create a time gap in which an unexpressed or unacknowledged emotion or grievance can fester and grow. Learn to give expression to what you feel without blaming. Learn to listen to your partner in an open, nondefensive way. Give your partner space for expressing himself or herself. Be present."
Getting used to seeing our lover and spouse naked, perhaps even going to the bathroom in our presence is at first uncomfortable perhaps, but becomes easy soon enough. Baring our body is not that hard to do; however, baring our soul, or baring our innermost thoughts and feelings is not. Naked body? No problem. Naked emotions? Big problems.
It takes courage and feeling safe to allow our innermost emotions and thoughts to be exposed to anyone, even–and maybe especially so–our closest companion. I think the way through is called surrender. Eckhart spells this out here:
“In surrender, you no longer need ego defenses and false masks. You become very simple, very real. “That's dangerous," says the ego. “You'll get hurt. You'll become vulnerable." What the ego doesn't know, of course, is that only through the letting go of resistance, through becoming “vulnerable," can you discover your true and essential invulnerability."
He brings it all together with this quote: “Fulfill me, make me happy, make me feel safe, tell me who I am. The world cannot give you those things, and when you no longer have such expectations, all self-created suffering comes to an end." I might also add that our spouse cannot give these and neither can we. We can only give them to ourselves–or allow that in ourselves.
Expressing our wants, our needs, our inner thoughts, and feelings is the deepest sharing that we ever do. All the other stuff is so small and so unsatisfying. To trust in ourselves enough to risk rejection is one of our greatest strengths. Surrender, of course, comes from trust. Without trust, there is no surrender.
I think we need to be our truest self to have the most intimate and fulfilling relationship with another human being because we then share that instead of all the ego-laced protections. And, in the process of releasing all judgments, we find a bliss that is rare and beautiful.
For Me, It's Never Too Late To Learn.
Spread Some Joy Today–by doing something for another today.