How much more free and loving could you then be in a relationship?
Some people are so shocked by the idea of not needing someone that they ask, “But, then what would a relationship be for?”
Such a response reveals how deeply their conditioning goes.
Both my generation and the current generation have been raised in a “romantic era” that is more accurately called an “attachment era.” The majority of our movies and music proclaim a love that needs the other, and that idea is portrayed as a good, romantic thing. Perhaps it comes from the fear of losing someone and therefore needing them to be your “only one” and “forever.”
Thus fear spawned relationships that are based on fear, but which are cloaked and labeled as love. This attachment love is about trading and goes something like: “You be this for me, and I’ll be this for you,” and we call that loving each other. In actually, it is more like raping each other! There are needs, and demands, and when they conflict and oppose each other it can get really ugly. Stand-back when things go awry and watch how suddenly “love” becomes venomous hate.
Of course at the root of this is the idea and belief that you are somehow incomplete, and that you need someone in order to be happy. This is because generation after generation has been raised with the erroneous fundamental belief that happiness is somehow found outside of you, in things, people, or events.
But we don’t want things, people, or events, we want the feeling we mistake them for—and if things or people were truly the cause of happiness, then once we got them, we’d be happily ever after. But we are not—because things, people, and events are not the cause or source of happiness. Add to that the fact that the outside is unreliable and always changing; it is constantly coming and going. No matter how much you want to keep your partner or your love from changing, they change. Resistance and grasping makes things worse; pushing love and lovers further away. There is a Zen saying that says it all:
“The tighter you squeeze, the less you have.”
In our own true experience, we all know that happiness based on the outside is temporary, but still we have repeated it, over and over, looking for the next person or thing to “make” us happy. As if that were true. So this is a kind of outright denial and delusion. We just haven’t known any better. We have mistaken the outside for the inside, and so we suffer the consequences of clinging to what inevitably changes. And we have not looked for love where it is, always was, and always will be—inside.
True love is not a bodily urge, not a rush of hormones or excitement. It is not a “flash in the pan,” here for a while and gone again. It cannot “fall out of love.” It does not narrow its focus on one person and depend on them, cling to them, or need them to do a certain thing and be a certain way—or not—in order for you feel ok. It is free, open, spacious, generous, and unlimited.
Because it is not outside you, because it is you, it is always with you, and always available to you, no matter what goes on around you. So long as you look for it outside yourself, you will always miss it, and therefore you will repeat the same error, over and over.
When I speak of my utterly fulfilled experience, being single, full of love and bliss beyond what I could have ever imagined possible, and beyond what I ever experienced due to any relationship people who have not discovered the true source of love and joy cringe at the idea of being alone. They often raise objections like, “We are not meant to be alone,” or some such other belief, most often formed from a bad, lonely experience. They cling to the memory of the temporary pleasure and temporary happiness (and temporary pain) that they have known, forfeiting the mind-blowing, infinite, eternal love, bliss, and peace they have not known but are capable of. It’s like trading a single peanut for an infinite, all you can eat international smorgasbord.
This is not to say that you should not be in a relationship. This is to say that by believing a relationship the source of your happiness, and seeking one and using one for that purpose, you will remain ignorant of truth, and perpetually ride the uncontrollable ups and downs of the ever changing, unreliable outside.
You can relate and be intimate with someone and simultaneously know the true source of love. From there, you have more to give than to take. When you are completely filled with love from the inside out, it spills over onto others and there is no limit, because the source is unlimited. When you truly love someone, you want them to be happy, even if that means letting them go. Love covers that much space.