We choose our relationships —
whether consciously or unconsciously —
for our growth and evolution.
Our relationships with others — whether casual or intimate — provide us with a constant, truthful mirror of ourselves. If you have created generally loving, supportive relationships, give yourself some appreciation, for you are obviously being loving and supportive yourself. If you have created difficult relationships, if there’s anger and resentment, look into yourself to find the source of those painful emotions.
That other person isn’t doing it to you or making you angry; you are doing it to yourself, and you are making yourself angry. In fact, the other person is doing you a big favor by making you aware of your areas of unconsciousness, and pointing out where you need to change in order to create the kind of relationships you want. We should thank those who we have difficult relationships with rather than blaming them: They are our best teachers.
An honest appraisal of our relationships can provide us with some of the best material we have to help us grow. Within the experiences of our relationships are the keys to our freedom. Let’s find these keys; they’re within us all.
Every Relationship is Tantric
Every relationship we have is a tantric relationship, if we see it in that light. Every relationship is another step on our journey along the path we are creating; our relationships are there to help us learn and grow, every moment. We may not have been conscious of this fact, but there are deep reasons for all our relationships, including those with everyone we happen to encounter, even for a brief moment.
Look at every deep, ongoing relationship you’ve had. Unless you’ve been closed off to it, you can see how much you’ve learned in the moments you’ve shared. You’ve each had things to teach the other, and that’s one reason you were drawn together. You’ve mirrored each other in many ways. You’ve reflected each other’s strength and beauty and positive qualities, and you’ve shown each other where you need to change and grow. And each of you has grown, whether you’ve wanted to or not.
Sometimes this has been for the good: You’ve become a clearer, more experienced person in the process. And sometimes it has been a negative process, if the people you’ve chosen to share your time with have had beliefs (and resulting behavior) that didn’t help them or you to become better people. Either way, you change and eventually grow. Either way, it’s a tantric relationship, an essential part of your unique path.
Get The Latest From InnerSelf
What Do You Want?
As we all go along on our various paths, we come to realize that, in our relationships as well as in most other areas of our lives, we’re free to create whatever we desire. We have evolved enough, as a people and as individuals, to go beyond the need for a single social morality that is dictated to all, and enforced, like the law of Moses. Morality is a purely individual choice, and it is up to each of us to decide in our hearts and minds what is right for us, and to live by that, as long as we don’t harm others. We are free to have any kind of relationships we want in our lives.
I learned a startling process from Shakti Gawain (who I think got it from Sondra Ray, author of I Deserve Love). Shakti had her workshop participants do it, and it proved to be a real eye-opener for many of them:
Take out a sheet of paper and write three phrases across the top, so they form the heads of three columns:
WHAT I WANT WHAT I HAVE WHAT I REALLY WANT
Under “What I want,” list what you want in your relationships and in your life in general. Under “What I have,” list what you have at present. Then, under “What I really want,” also list what you have at present — because we have already created in our lives exactly what we have really wanted.
Some people think this isn’t true, because it certainly doesn’t seem to be true on our conscious level of awareness. We don’t consciously think that we want to be alone, or in unsupportive or unhappy relationships, or in poverty, and so on. But on deeper levels, it is completely true: We have created for ourselves exactly what we have wanted and what we have felt we deserved; we have created what we feel we are worth. But we deserve better things — so let’s create them!
First we need to focus within ourselves, and do some inner investigation, and then we’ll focus on the outer world of our interactions with others. Almost all the important work, we find, is within. As Eckhart Tolle says so brilliantly in The Power of Now,
If you get the inside right,
the outside will fall into place.
Create It Within
Everything begins as a subtle, spiritual impulse, then becomes a thought, then a feeling, and then it is manifested on the outer, material plane.
Whatever we have created so far in our relationships is the result of what we have been affirming to ourselves over the years, the result of what we have been thinking and feeling and believing. Through conscious effort, we can let go of the thoughts and beliefs that are creating what we don’t want, and replace them with thoughts and beliefs that create what we do want.
Let go of the belief that you are in any way incapable of satisfying relationships! Quit telling yourself that you don’t deserve a good relationship, or that you’re selfish or unloving. The truth is you do deserve a wonderful relationship. Underneath it all, you are loving and giving. Refuse to believe that you can’t have what you want, because you can, if you believe you can.
Let go of all those unsupportive and negative thoughts and beliefs, replace them with some supportive and positive ones, and you will see some very satisfying results, almost instantly. When negative thoughts arise, counter them with positive affirmations and mental imagery. Create an internal picture of yourself as highly capable of having ideal relationships, even if you have to suspend your beliefs to the contrary.
If You Don’t Ask, You Won’t Receive
We can’t have the relationship we want if we don’t have a clear picture or idea of what we want in that relationship. It’s essential to get the inside right, get the picture clearly in mind.
Create a clear picture
of what you want in a relationship,
and affirm that it is so.
Then see what happens.
Allow yourself to fantasize. Picture your perfect lover. Imagine being together in a beautiful, loving way. Then affirm, “This, or something better, is now manifesting for the highest good of all concerned.”
If you are involved in a relationship you want to continue, imagine it expanding, getting better and better. Imagine the best possible relationship for all concerned.A great master once said, “Ask and you shall receive.” And yet there are so many who deny this is true, because they have underlying beliefs that life is a struggle and that it’s hard to succeed, and so they end up unhappy, unfulfilled. Most of them haven’t even asked in the first place. And if you don’t ask, you won’t receive.
If, instead, we keep asking clearly for what we want — such as a loving, supportive relationship — we will receive it. When we do this inner work, the outer world will reflect it, easily and effortlessly.
The importance of our work on the inner planes in creating anything is in some ways contradictory to what most of us were educated to believe. We habitually deal with things on an outer-directed level, thinking that the thing we need to do in any situation is to go out and do something. We think that the thing to do to have the relationship we want is to go meet somebody somewhere — meet that right person. But when we understand that the most important work is the inner work, within our hearts and minds and emotions, we find it much easier to create whatever we desire in our lives.
We simply need to connect, each in our own way, with our abilities to creatively imagine what we wish. You deserve relationships that are loving and supportive. Begin creating them now with a daily affirmation session. Some examples are:
I deserve love!
I feel good about having what I want in relationship.
I am creating a beautiful, harmonious, satisfying relationship.
My relationships are filled with grace, love, ease, and lightness.
Take these words and change them. Make up your own affirmations. And don’t ever underestimate or invalidate their power:
Ask and you shall receive.
Keys to Fulfilling Relationships
- Give your lovers — and everyone else in your life — the freedom to be themselves, and find the freedom in your heart to be yourself. Trust and support the other person’s power, and trust and support your own. They are not in conflict. There is always a way to harmonize your feelings with your lover’s feelings.
- Trust and support the other person’s experiences, insights, impulses, dreams. Support each other, and encourage each other to do what feels best in your hearts. It may mean spending time alone, or being apart at times. Let it be.
- Give your sharing a huge space in which to move, and grow, a space large enough for both of you, all of you, to be completely fulfilled.
- There are an infinite number of approaches to solving any problem that comes up in relationship. Be creative — trust your own experience, your own feelings, for these give you the answers you are looking for, the ways to work it out.
You choose your relationships, consciously or unconsciously. They are happening, and they are happening for a very good reason, whether you know it or not. They are happening as part of your evolution, part of your growth into true freedom and creativity and happiness.
Love is the answer
Love is the key
It can open any door
Give us eyes to see
In our hearts lies a secret
And it set us free:
All we need is love...
All we need is love!
©1981, 2015 by Marc Allen. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
New World Library, Novato, CA 94949. newworldlibrary.com.
About the Author
Marc Allen is an internationally renowned author and speaker who studied Tantric Buddhism with a Tibetan teacher at the Nyingma Institute in Berkeley, California. He is the author of I Deserve Love and cofounder and publisher of New World Library, one of the most successful independent publishers in the United States. He has also recorded several albums of music, including Awakening, Breathe, and Solo Flight. For more about Marc, including his free monthly teleseminars, see www.MarcAllen.com. For more about his music (including free samples), see www.WatercourseMedia.com.