Eternal love, perfect partner, soul mate and hit by the thunderbolt? If we stopped seeing our relationships as romantic comedies or perpetual dramas we would actually be able co-create quite a wonderful real-life relationship.
Saying good-bye to Prince Charming and Dream Woman doesn’t mean we can’t be romantic. It just means we free ourselves from the illusions that make a fulfilling, joyous relationship in real life impossible. We have relationships in order to grow and to awaken from the illusion of separateness – we do not have relationships to make us happy 24/7. When we apply this understanding to all of our relationships, we realize that the relationships are clearly a form of yoga. After all, yoga means connection or union. Here are 3 ways how yoga and meditation can help us get a more realistic look at relationships and bust the myth of a 'special' relationship.
1. Know yourself. On the practical level Yoga and meditation teach us primarily mindfulness and self-awareness. Through regular practice, we become aware of our own patterns of behaviour and of our beliefs. When this happens, we can change the patterns that no longer serve us. A psychological/spiritual law is - we choose partners who will validate our beliefs. If one of our beliefs is that "men (women) are generally unreliable", sooner or later our partner will turn out to be unreliable.
2. Focus on what you want to see. Another thing yoga teaches us: It is important to focus on what we want to see. Perception is generated by projection, which in turn falls back on us: we ourselves feel everything that we transfer to others. In Yogasutra 4.15 Patanjali says that we create our own reality. The choice is ours: guilt and fear or love and the beauty of human imperfection. As long as we continuously judge, evaluate or “test” our partner, focus on his mistakes, make him responsible for our well-being, or need him to complete us, we will be disappointed in our relationships. No human on Earth is perfect and can meet all of your needs. Your happiness is your responsibility.
3. Bust the myth of a "special relationship"* Misled by Hollywood, soup operas, advertising, media and love songs, we are obsessively looking for the Mr. or Mrs. Right, for a "special” partner who will complete us. This thought is one of the greatest illusions of our society and our ego. You already are complete! There is no "special relationship" that can do that. No one is special because no one is separated from anyone else. Yet everyone is a unique! Everyone is holy and perfect in his essence! Pure love exists when the heart is open, when the feeling of separation disappears. This can also happen while watching children play, while walking through the forest or holding someone’s hand at their deathbed. There is no limit to love, it is not localized and not tied to just your lover. It is all-encompassing. This kind of feeling connected and whole is a gift of a regular yoga and meditation practice.
Too often love is confused with a romance or a "special" relationship that is exclusive and not all-encompassing. In a "special" relationship, we seek to hide our weaknesses, faults and wounds. The task of a relationship, however, is to bring exactly these areas to consciousness so that we may heal. And the more we are attracted to a person, the more these blockages and unhealed wounds are revealed. By accepting the other as they are, by staying open and vulnerable while firmly grounded in our truth (owning our good, bad and ugly!) we create a framework for healing in a relationship. We create a REAL relationship, a "holy relationship". The one in which we can can grow out of our limited tolerance and inability to love unconditionally. The one in which we see our partner's truth and beauty, accepting them fully and exactly as they are. And in which we are accepted, seen and loved in the same way.
*special and holy relationships are terms from The Course in Miracles