Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Presence in Relationships

Relationships are so difficult, but so very interesting! Who was it that said, Men, you can't live with them and you can't live without them. And of course, the same applies for women. But why are relationships so difficult sometimes? It is because they cause us to reach beyond our own ego. We have the opportunity to see things from another perspective. And many times we would rather not see things from another viewpoint. We tend to like our own viewpoint the best.

From an esoteric standpoint, the majority of our karma manifests through relationships or other people. If you have controlling tendencies, other people will make you aware of it. If you have anger tendencies, other people will bring out your anger, and so on. Other people are really your mirror and can help you to become aware of your problems. Then you can work on them and balance them more positively. Of course, relationships are also about sharing joy and love which is what life is really all about.

Eckhart Tolle talks a lot about presence in relationships. Presence means to be aware in the present moment without any expectations of the past or future. It exists in everyone at all times, though most people are unaware of it. We have become so accustomed to our thinking mind and our preconceived notions that we come to believe that is who we are. But who we are really exists at a deeper level behind our thoughts and our emotions. Being present is to accept everything as it is, no matter if we like it or not. We don’t have to necessarily agree with it, but to just accept it. To be present in a relationship is to accept other people as they are and to allow them space to be.

Although it sounds simple, this is not so easy to do. Most relationships start with feelings of love and then down the road turn into feelings of discontent, pain and unhappiness. Many times this is because the relationship fails to live up to one’s expectations. To practice presence in a relationship is to let go of one’s expectations and become aware of the person just as they are, not as you expect them to be. Of course, most everyone has expectations, but the key is to become aware of them and realize that expectations are just what you expect, not how things are. To be present in a relationship is to be who you are, at that center of awareness behind your thoughts and expectations, and to allow your beloved the space to be who they are behind the mask of thoughts and emotions. Practicing presence in your relationship, will allow for a deeper and more meaningful relationship than you ever expected.

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