Divine Relatedness – Part 2

In part one we began our foray into ‘divine relatedness’ – i.e. being related to God, others and ourselves as He intended. We saw that God planted everything we needed within us for having perfect love relationships and looked at how we can nurture those endowments within ourselves so that we can extend this perfect gift of God’s love to others. Let’s continue:

The only way to gain guaranteed happiness is to contribute to the happiness of others – giving them what it is that you want for yourself. That gift can only come from your personal wellspring of love. To keep your wellspring overflowing, you must keep your heart clear of negative feelings and from the concomitant suffering. (That’s where your regular meditative examinations of your thought processes come in. No stinking thinking!)

We cultivate our love by freeing ourselves from attachment – from needing anyone to give us the love that we give to ourselves. Yet, when our love radiates outward, loving people will be drawn to us in droves.

When we experience that love, our response becomes one of infinite gratitude. Relationships only break down in the absence of grateful appreciation. It’s gratitude that brings the healing.

If you’re not experiencing the love, e.g. as in an abusive relationship, LEAVE! It’s far healthier to remove yourself from someone who chooses to wallow in the refuse of his or her making. If your partner tells you they love you but in the next moment they try to control you, disrespect you, or attempt to commit violence upon your person, that is not love. You never deserve to be mistreated in any way, shape or form.

Living alone is better that staying with your abuser, telling lies to yourself such as ‘They will get better,’ or worse ‘They will love me if I become a better person.’ If you stay with an abuser, it’s only because you have convinced yourself that you don’t deserve love. What will happen next is that your demons will come home to roost, making fertile ground for you to become an abuser as well.

Accept your abuser for who they are and GO! Be thankful for the lesson in that relationship and how it helped you grow. There’s plenty of love out there. You don’t have to settle for scraps. As you cast your love outward, love will seek you out.

True love relationships are authentic ‘mask-less’ relationships. Mutually applied love, compassion and understanding open the way for having the courage to be ourselves – to be vulnerable. Vulnerability is a sign of ultimate trust, which no healthy relationship can survive without.

Still, even in the best of relationships there will be bumps. Are you perfect? Yes. Is your partner perfect? Yes. Are your behaviors perfect? What can I tell you? We are human after all. We make mistakes. Some pain will come. That’s life.

Most, if not all our wounds are perpetrated in relationship. Ironically, we must heal those same hurts within the realm of a healthy partnership – in a space where we can bare our souls (warts and all), our needs and our anguish, having them covered with love and acceptance.

Realize that even in the best of relationships, there will be conflict from time to time – times when you don’t feel love for your partner. You need to have the freedom to feel that, so that you can make a free-will choice to love them anyway, making the relationship all the more special. Anything else (i.e. conscripted love) is slavery.

In a healthy relationship, the partners look for ways to live with each other’s differences, constructing new ways to find clear solutions for the conflicts instead of running away. A conflict avoided is one doomed to repetition. Best solutions come in the form of those that work towards each other’s goals rather than those serving one who is obsessing over who is going to come out on top in a particular conflict.

Discord occurs because your partner (or you) has slipped back into their old unconscious ways. If you love him or her, you will allow yourself to suffer (a little bit) in order to help them move through their lapse. Mutual communication must ensue, each stating their perception of the situation without trying to correct one another.

Share the needs that each of you have in that moment (without judgment) and accept them. Follow by informing each other if you can meet those needs. If one partner cannot meet the other’s needs, the unfulfilled partner will either find a way to meet those needs in a way that is acceptable within the relationship, or they may choose to continue their journey through life without you. Let them go. It is the most loving thing you can do for the both of you.

Your partner may not be able to let you be you. They may be unwilling to let go of their expectations. And if they leave, it will create a true loss that must be grieved. Do not deny your feelings; affirm them so that you can move through them. Look to see if your partner had any valid complaints regarding your actions and address the root of them in yourself. If they did not, do not take ownership of them.

Acknowledge the contributions your partner did bring to you. See if you can give those things to yourself before going out on the hunt for someone else. Surround yourself with supportive people. After working through your grief, open yourself up to what’s next. If you shy away from subsequent relationships due to a fear of potential pain, you’ll be alone for the rest of your life.

When you do open yourself up to a new relationship, don’t get caught up in worrying over whether or not this person is ‘The One.’ Instead, leave the previous drama behind and focus on the way the new dance works. You will never experience the love of others if you do not take risks…

(Note: All of these aforementioned ‘relatedness’ issues should be worked out prior to any marital commitment should that be the type of relationship you are contemplating.)

More to come…
Goodnight and God bless.

Divine Relatedness

We’ve spent a long time examining how most of us have taken on a life of unconscious living – brainwashed by unworkable ideas that have been handed down since Adam and Eve. We looked at the problem, what it costs us, and finally we’ve been engaged in how to return to the way God designed us to be and to live.

It begins with having love, acceptance and compassion for others and ourselves for having been submitted to the wiles of the adversary. It requires that we live in the present moment, leaving the past behind and forgetting about a future that hasn’t happened yet. We have to root out all forms of fear (including anger, jealousy and envy) and replacing them with the peace of God. We must recognize and acknowledge that God knows what He’s doing – that the way He made us is perfect and we don’t have to wear some mask to hide aspects of ourselves we (mistakenly) believed were unacceptable. Finally, we learned how to communicate with love.

This brings us to the exciting culmination, which is to just be you and offer up that same authentic self for relationship! After all, every single facet of our existence lives in relationship. Thus, it behooves us to have them be stellar.

God created us to be related – to Him, to ourselves and to each other. Our relationship with God is the foundation for our relatedness to everything and everyone. When we turn inwardly towards our Creator, we will finally understand who we are; and if we come from that place, we will attract others into relatedness with us.

Everything we’ve ever been looking for is within. Who we are is prefect and always will be. (Note: I’m not addressing the issue of ‘original sin.’ It’s a given that countless scholars have developed over the centuries and does assuredly required the saving grace of salvation, but that’s outside of this discussion.)

As God’s perfect creation, we have no reason to look outside of ourselves for love, approval or acceptance. We only need to give it to ourselves the way our Father does. In fact, we must direct love towards ourselves so that we can nurture our love and ourselves before we can give it away. The primary reason for relationship is to offer our love – the love that God gave us first.

Then we will be in a place where we can make contributions instead of only withdrawals.

It may be true that you missed out on healthy loving relationships in your past. However, you now know that everyone did the best they could with the tools that they had. So you can stop the blaming and forgive them for their unconsciousness as well as pardoning yourself for judging them.

Furthermore, God uses relationships for healing. We can provide the love and nurturing for ourselves that we did not receive, and then be open to let that love and nurturing flow into other relationships as well.

A loving relationship is one wherein we can admit our fears, take risks and have the freedom to fail – all within a space where retribution and abandonment are never given consideration. It takes a lifetime of practice to accept, know and love ourselves and others, yet if we can allow each other to be our true selves, it becomes a continual source of joy-filled discovery…

Let’s talk about the relationship itself. Healthy relationships form, take root and flourish only if they are founded upon a love that is freely given by both participants. Otherwise, all that you have is the experience of an emotional attachment. And, as we’ve seen countless times, that love must come from the love you have for yourself first. You can never find what you don’t already possess in your own heart. Thus, you must become what you seek.

The good news is that deep down, you already are that lovable loving person. You only have to let him or her come back to life.

You know when you’re not experiencing love. It’s when you feel that yearning for peace, joy, understanding and the loving touch of a human heart. It happens when you fall back into or continue in your old ways of being. When you are thinking and acting unconsciously, you are not being whom you really are. The only thing true about you is that you are perfect love. Anything else is a lie.

When you find yourself mired in your old spot, take that quagmire to your meditation to dissociate yourself from the old false beliefs about you that you have re-entertained. Ask your powerful questions: ‘Are these beliefs true? How am I robbing myself of my relationship with my perfect self? How have I been living my life? What kind of actions have I been taking in order to keep these beliefs in place?’

Acknowledge that you have experienced pain. Look to see if you helped create it and apply compassion.

Happiness is what happens when you experience peace, love and joy. Stay in the present moment and ask yourself repeatedly, ‘Are my thoughts and actions conducive to my having these?’ If not, replace them with those that are. Drop anything that is not connected to love. Be there for yourself. Ask God for the strength to never give up on you.

You are the only one who knows exactly the way you need to be loved. Love yourself in that way first. Having done that, you will be able to go ‘out there’ and have loving relationships with everybody else. You will bring your love, acceptance and compassionate understanding with you. It allows you to touch another person’s pain and realize that we’ve all had that same pain at one time or another. Your defenses will melt in the face of the newfound connected-ness that you will have with the human race. The word ‘enemy’ will no longer find a home in your vocabulary.

Once you’ve already filled yourself with love, you will have created an open space for others to choose whether to love you or not and it will not matter what choice it is that they make. If they choose to love you, you can co-create a new synergistic love relationship. If not, you won’t take it personal and will bless them inwardly with your love – wishing them the best life possible.

To be continued…
Goodnight and God bless.

Heavenly Communication

Our primary tool for communication is language. In fact, you cannot think of anything without putting a ‘word’ to it. All reality is based in language. Coming from the mouth of an awakened person, communication becomes a tool of limitless loving creativity.

And that’s just what we are in the process of doing – awakening. No longer are our relationships going to be based upon ‘communication breakdown’ rooted in the old broken picture that we had of ourselves. We are leaving our defensive postures behind, giving them up and looking instead for how our speech may bring a contribution to others and ourselves.

To help us do that, we want to speak with a heavenly bent, soaked with kindness, love and compassion. After all, the ability to communicate is a gift from God:

“Who has made man’s mouth?…Is it not I, the LORD?” Ex. 4:11 NASB

We can’t speak to others with kindness, love and compassion until we first give it to ourselves. Without that intimate experience we are at a loss, because we cannot give what we do not have. So, when we can familiarize ourselves with the nature of these gifts, we will be able to send them out from our heart. In fact, we will have a loving unction to do so.

As a result (and because we get into the habit of checking the content of our speech before we utter it), we stay in the present moment and frame our words in love, gratitude and possibility.

The heart of the righteous studies how to answer… Pr. 15:28 NKJV

“…whatever the LORD says to me, that I will speak.” 1 Kings 22:14 NKJV

But what happens when we don’t? (We are human after all.) Acknowledge that you’ve said something unkind. Those words are etched upon the other’s spirit. Admit your error and restore the love…

Avoid people that you complain to because they are inadvertently helping you to remain a victim. Indeed, stop complaining altogether. Sit still and bring your mental focus to your complaints, and look to see what it is that you are doing or not doing to have these things in your life. Ask yourself, ‘Why would I be manifesting this in my life? What’s my payoff?’

Always bring love to your conversation. Then you can stop defending your position and your obsession with being ‘right.’ Most people would rather be right than happy. Crazy. Stop blaming, and take responsibility for what’s going on in your head.

If a communication problem pops up, ask yourself, ‘How can I help myself and others get past this hurt?’ or ‘How can I communicate more clearly?’ Commit to removing anything that separates you from others. Start by feeling good about yourself so that you can project those good feelings onto everyone else.

A gentle tongue [with its healing power] is a tree of life… Pr. 15:4 AMP

Don’t avoid difficult people. Everyone has worth. Drop your expectations and practice kindness. Most people you don’t like are those who won’t endorse your mask. (You’ve tossed that aside by now, yes?) In fact, ‘difficult people’ are gifts to you because they show you the schemes you’re running that hinder your growth in love.

Tell the truth. Do what you say you will do. Life only works to the degree in which you align with your word, i.e. how well you practice your integrity. The amount of integrity you have is in direct proportion to how much love you have for yourself.

Truthful lips shall be established forever… Pr. 12:19 NASB

“You shall be careful to perform what goes out of your lips…” Dt. 23:23 NASB

Again, our humanness will emerge from time to time. We all fall out of integrity and break agreements. Instead of listening to that voice in your head try to beat you up for your transgression, acknowledge that you broke a commitment (without judging yourself) and make the necessary corrections – recommit to your agreement.

Every time you keep a commitment, your ability to stay in integrity gathers strength as well as your self-confidence.

You can also help others with their integrity. If you let them slide, you are showing disrespect. They know they are out of integrity and are ashamed in the face of your enabling. They will ultimately resent you for it because that’s how they feel about themselves.

In order to be aligned with your word, you must stop lying.

“Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace…” Zech. 8:16 ESV

When we speak from love, it is our responsibility to share the truth – gently, yet giving no thought to how it might be received (so we don’t color it with our opinions), or whether we might be rejected for doing so. Integrity demands that we speak with irreproachable honesty about what we feel and how we perceive what is happening in every moment.

Those who hunger for truth will walk with you through whatever obstacle might be present, so that the relationships can continue to grow in love…

When listening in a conversation, listen to what is so, i.e. the perceived truth of the speaker. What they say is rarely personal. It’s only a reflection of where they are in that present moment. You needn’t be fearful. When you answer, respond from your ‘reflective listening,’ i.e. parrot back to the speaker what you think they said and what you thought it meant.

Real communication begins when you realize that you really don’t know what’s true for another person; so you have to listen to them first and always seek clarification.

As an example, let’s say the speaker is having a problem with you. Instead of throwing up walls of defense, ask them, ‘What is it about my ____ that is a problem for you?’ If you need additional clarity, you might say, ‘Please give me a little more information about how my ____ disturbs you.’

In any communication breakdown, look to see what might be ‘missing’ in the conversation, not what’s wrong, and be willing to change your approach. Keep the conversation in the present (a place where participants can be co-creators of something new and meaningful) rather than sifting through your opinions of the past to find answers to questions that haven’t even been asked.

There exists both peace and mayhem in the world. Many times, when we find ourselves in the mayhem, we make unconscious choices. We need to acknowledge those choices so that we can be consciously empowered to act differently – sharing ourselves with love and compassion.

People crave authentic communication. Give it to them. What they do with it is beyond your control.

How you feel about yourself matters most, because if you have love, kindness and compassion for yourself, it will flow outwards as well, and you will know that you’re doing your best. That’s all God ever asks of you.

There will be no more having to defend yourself, to be right, to complain or to blame. You and your communication partners can encourage one another, looking past your histories and inspire each other to be your true selves…

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Eph. 4:29 ESV

Amen.
Good night and God bless.