Consciously Creating Your Relationships

Many simply act unconsciously in relationships, but this does not need to be so.

Posted Dec 29, 2013

A great deal of my writing, especially of late, has been focused on consciously creating yourself (You and the Manifesting of Reality, Overcoming Unnecessary Suffering, Unconsciously Rushing To Be Unconscious). Once again, I’d like to return to the topic, but with the focus on relationships.

You have been conditioned to be the way you currently are. Much of what you think, believe, and how you behave is a result of the interplay of genetics and your experience. This is a natural occurrence, and is true for everyone. However, rather than passively accepting yourself as you are, you can make a conscious effort to change. As I’ve written, this is a daunting task. It takes much more energy than simply being. Simply being is often a beautiful act in itself, and shouldn’t always be fought against or overcome. The goal is a balance between being genuine and authentic, and consciously creating who you want to be.

It may be beneficial to consciously create who you are in times when you are unhappy with yourself or your circumstances. One place where this may become evident is in interpersonal relationships. The desire for more fulfilling relationships can be a motivator for personal change. Often we want to be better for the person we love, or we may simply want to keep the relationship and realize change is necessary for that.

One of the first aspects to look at is what you believe about relationships. Much of what we believe about relationships has been conditioned. From Disney and every romantic comedy, to our families, friends and every other experience we’ve had with relationships, ideas of relationships have been ingrained. Despite an abundance of real life evidence that relationships often fall short of expectations, most seem to count on the fact they will be the exception. A firm evaluation of beliefs and expectations would be a good place to start when desirous of changing a relationship.

As evidence of how unrealistic relationship expectations can be, in a recent interview Ethan Hawke said: “To act all indignant, that your world has been rocked because your lover wasn’t faithful to you, is a little bit like acting rocked that your hair went grey.” Though this may seem harsh, his point has validity. Fidelity in relationships is becoming more rare. The ease with which we can find new partners is increasing substantially. Most people in this culture subscribe to serial monogamy at best (and often the ending of one relationship was begun with attraction to another, so monogamy may not be the correct term).  Despite an abundance of evidence around them, couples continue to believe they will defy the odds.

Even if one holds onto the idea of a long-term monogamous relationship, it would be beneficial to examine other expectations. As I wrote in “Why You Really Want to Get Married” many are simply blindly following the programming of their culture. Without being to repetitive, simply stated there are a great many conditioned reasons one wants to get married. A more enlightened approach would be evaluating where one’s beliefs originate, and deciding what to retain and what to discard. This approach is beneficial for many beliefs about relationships. After all, everything one reads about relationships helps to form and or challenge beliefs. A more enlightened and less idealistic view of relationships will prove advantageous.

By suggesting one creates herself, it is not suggested one has to abandon all previous ideologies. In fact, my suggestion would be that if you want to espouse these ideologies, you consciously do so. This would require consciously challenging other impulses that go against your beliefs. Humans are often led around by their unconscious, and then justify their behavior with explanations that seem logical to them (see my article “You’re Full of It, and So Am I”). Studies continue to indicate people behave, and then use their gift of thought and ability to process information to explain why they did what they did. Yet studies indicate their explanation often isn’t accurate. By consciously deciding who you will be, the thought and intention precede the act. In other words, you no longer act out of conditioning, but consciously choose who you will be in the moment.

As I wrote in “Love’s Tug of War

Photo by Alexi Berry

” romantic love is a balance of unconditional, agape, metta love, and the needs / wants of our ego. The ego is necessary and attempts to protect us. At the same time we desire to give and receive pure love. Becoming more consciously aware of how the ego’s conditioned state is influencing your decisions can lead to a more loving relationship. Fettering out unrealistic expectations can help one be happier in her relationship. Ultimately the goal is a happier relationship; but the onus is on you, not circumstances or your partner.

Again, this is a daunting task. It is also beneficial, as I stated earlier, to just “be”; enjoy the moment, become immersed in the now. But there is also tremendous benefit in questioning beliefs and decision making, choosing consciously who we want to be and how we wish to behave, and bringing that into fruition.

Copyright William Berry, 2013

References:

Hawke, E; 2013; retrieved from: http://natmonitor.com/2013/12/01/ethan-hawke-slams-societys-childish-vie...

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