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No Solution in Relationships
Julian: Dear Ram, there is a question regarding awareness and the ego I really would like your help with. I will try to illustrate it in a practical example concerning “love” between two people in a classic relationship.
1. If I feel I am “with” someone and then discover they are also “with” someone else there is a process of grief. Or worse, I hope that I may still secretly be more important to them than the other. I am burdened with jealousy, fear and insecurity most of the time – apart from fleeting moments of Hollywood happiness.
2. Okay. If I finally discover that it is over and we are no longer “together” I feel like this “non-person” roaming here and there looking for the next someone who will acknowledge “me” to be the special person in her life. Until that happens it feels as if “I” am incomplete and almost handicapped. I actually also feel that in scenario 1, honestly, but it is just hidden.
3. When I do meet someone who actually says, “Okay, we are together and let’s go the whole 10 yards, get married,” then it is the worst of all. I still feel empty but now I am burdened with this person who apparently is giving me what I wanted but at the same time I know I feel just the same as in (1) and (2) deep down. Worse, I feel like a fraud and wonder how the hell I am going to get out of it.
In none of these three situations is there any lasting joy, nor is there any escape, nor can they be avoided. I come to notice now that so many people of all ages are grinning and bearing one of the three thinking, like me, that if they can get out of one and into the next, life will be good but it never is. It is so incredibly sad and laughable at the same time. Why always failure? Why is it never allowed to just be happy, either alone or with someone, etc? Moaning on and on.
Having cycled repetitively in this so often I notice only now, thanks to Vedanta, that the problem was never the other person or the relationship.
The solution is not to be found in “single” or “married” or any other type of relationship.
The underlying fears and hungers are continually there. Standing in awareness, I notice (please let me know if true) that these stem from my idea that I must be “special” to someone I am with, an insane need and burden. I seem to want to be coddled like a baby by its mother, continually confirmed as “the only one,” and yet when I finally think I have it from someone I want to run a mile from it (almost back to babyhood as if the first motherly love itself is an illusion that I become dependent on like a drug). Dare one say such a blasphemous thing?
Ramji: It is true and one dare say such a blasphemous thing. Life is a zero-sum game. There is no solution to the sense of smallness, incompleteness and low self-esteem in relationships of any sort, because the cause is ignorance of your wholeness. You can only get rid of these painful feelings by embracing the truth about yourself.
Julian: How can one gradually make this ego simply let go of that illusion that it is unique and special? It demands so much time and energy in a never-ending, greedy, inflated, isolated life, the opposite of joy and freedom.
Ramji: Train it to assert the opposite: “I am fine. I don't need anybody to be beautiful. Nobody can validate me except me. Isvara does not make flawed jivas. We are all ‘cast in the image of Isvara.’”
Julian: I am so so grateful to you for having been able to percieve this and earnestly wish to gradually deal with it in a mature way – but what to do?
Ramji: The very fact that you are aware of this pattern means that you are mature and qualified for self-knowledge. Just don't believe that small, needy voice. Call it out and have a word with it. Take it to the woodshed if needed. You are doing great, Julian. Keep contemplating.
~ Much love, Ramji