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Standing Proud and Tall
Perry: Dear Ramji, well, the relationship with Marty has come to a stop. She broke it off with me after I told her that I did not want to give her a ring. She kept saying that we’ve known each other for several years now and that she needs a symbol of my emotional commitment and cannot just keep going on without a clear agreement on “where we are going.” She may be okay with the idea of not getting married in the future, but she needs a tangible symbol of my determination to be with her into old age and that she is “my main meal and not a dessert.”
Ramji: Well, you have to see if commitment to a person is serving you spiritually. What do you want from life, emotional security and the pleasure of a woman or do you want freedom from the need for emotional security? If Marty had said, “I want for you what you want for you, I can see that you have a strong spiritual vasana and I would like to support you totally in that wherever it leads,” then you could work on yourself and enjoy the benefits of a relationship. What is your “main meal”? Did you come to this earth to give her emotional security? Or is there another reason?
Perry: I question myself, if I am resisting her because my discernment is telling me to stay away from it or because I have a fear of getting trapped and fear of commitment, and so am sabotaging going further in the relationship.
Ramji: Is the fear of getting trapped a reasonable fear – or not? This you have to decide. She is assuming, I think, that everyone really wants a secure, committed relationship. Most people do, but are you most people? I think you are of two minds about what you want. You want intimacy and you want freedom. But in the world of maya this is not possible. You have to give up one or the other. If you don’t, your mind will always bounce between two unpalatable alternatives. If you want intimacy and freedom you have to be intimate with yourself: What do you really want in life? Once this is clear then Bhagavan is free to give you want you want. But if you are undecided, how can reality move you toward your goal?
Life is a zero-sum game, Perry. You can have the relationship. It is there waiting for you. Buy the ring, get down on your knees and pop the question. It will work, but what is the subtext of this commitment? What are all the small, everyday things that she is going to ask of you? I think, considering that she tried to use her father to pressure you into a commitment, that she is very needy and manipulative and that once you have “committed” you will slowly descend into a veritable emotional hell. And I think that your little willy will not find itself standing proud and tall anymore.
Perry: She has many good qualities and seems to need this ring for her own sense of security. My withholding it – is it just stubbornness or some insight that I had better take note of?
Ramji: Mind like a laser, Perry! It is definitely an insight you need to honor.
Perry: These relationships are certainly difficult. I want to navigate my human experience in harmony with dharma.
Ramji: What is your dharma, Perry? This you have to discover.
Ramji: In terms of the relationship itself, what is that you are not doing here and now that causes her to feel that you are not committed to her? If she felt the commitment she would not ask for a ring. I personally believe that you are not committed, because you have not let go of your attachment to your ex-wife. She is trying to get you to break that attachment. But this not good psychology. You should examine the feelings you still have for Cindy – which you seem incapable of facing for some reason – and how they are preventing you from giving your heart to another woman. You cannot expect to be happy in love until your heart is pure.
~ Much love, Ramji