Tag Archives: shameful

619. Learning From Relationships

 

I listened to three audios on Eqafe that I find essential to listen for everyone, considering how most of us – or so far I’ve only known one person in my life that was not interested in having a relationship – are usually looking for and aiming to ‘find that ONE person’ to establish a relationship with.  Here are the titles: Fear of Missing Out on a Fulfilling Relationship – Fears & Phobias, Using Relationships to Hide From Myself – Life Review, Time Alone Before Time Together – Life Review.

When I listened to the Life Review specifically, I could relate to what the woman shared with regards to the little time spent without and in between relationships and how that affected her in disconnecting from herself, from who she was and how much the constant seeking for a relationship made her dependent on the ‘other’ person to be complete within herself – this might be a bit of a vague description on my side, so I definitely recommend you listen to her story yourself. But! here I’m focusing on sharing what opened up for me as I was listening to her story.

First of all realizing that I have been in such kind of situation where I would end a relationship and start another one right away, not spending time alone to reconsider where I am and who I have been in the relationship –  in terms of what were my lessons learned, points expanded, faults, mistakes, things I can be grateful for etc. – and instead jumping into the next relationship. This is probably one of those weakest points I’ve had throughout my life and one that I have been particularly – secretly – ashamed of because it is obvious that it involves a lack of honesty towards myself within relationships in terms of what I can accept and allow, what I can commit to and how I have disregarded the consequences and the effect that me changing my mind about relationships can have on the partner and people around as well.

I share this because I do consider it vital to apply what the woman shares about her story, to be able to take some time off from relationships in order to ‘get back to oneself’. I’ve done both things and will share my experience in both situations.

There was a time that I’ve recently in my mind judged as very bleak, lonely and fruitless, this happened when I was living in Mexico City and I deliberately decided to learn to be alone – in a rather ‘extreme’ way to be alone I’d say – being then fully aware of my tendency to become dependent on being ‘always there’ for other people, being the kind of partner that lives the life of the partner and has none of her own – I decided to learn to be by myself –that means without relationships – and learn to know what I enjoy doing, learn to be comfortable being alone and doing things alone, going out shopping, to the movies, living on my own. Yes, maybe I took it to the extreme in terms of the lack of interaction I had with other people – including family and friends – but that’s something I am also now learning to do in terms of not being too extreme in the way that I decide to change things. So, in a nutshell, I call it my monkish period, and as much as in my mind I’ve judged it as a generally ‘bleak’ time, when I recently looked deeper into it to not resent my choices at that time, I see that such years were dedicated to live ‘me’, to know me better, to learn to be alone, to learn to do things that I decide to do – not that someone else ‘takes me’ to do – and there was a sense of independence formed that I would not trade off or change, because it assisted me to see where and how I compromised myself many times for the sake of being in a relationship and existing in fear of ‘losing’ something that I now know was not best for me, was constantly emotional, troublesome and detrimental to my expression and my living.

Then I got to a point where I decided I could establish a relationship again and I did, again looking back not having the best starting point because it did come from having formed an experience of alones at the time, but I tried to make it work nonetheless. I had settled in one relationship believing I could change the person, conforming in certain ways to make it work and taking the compromise lightly to say the least, not fully being aware of the commitment that I was making at the time and the challenges it represented. But I wanted to make it work for both of us, which didn’t happen. At least I proved to myself that I could fully and absolutely commit to another and still see that even if I am doing all that I can to assist and be ‘there’ for another, it takes two to tango to stand on the same page. I broke that relationship even if there were legal formalities formed with it.

After that, I had a few months to yes go through the sorrow, pain and ‘disconnection’ process from that relationship but I did decide to enter a new relationship after that; though fortunately enough did still have the opportunity to be alone and process through all of the things that I had accepted and allowed – created – in the previous relationship. But still, I do consider that I went ahead too fast and without much consideration of the implication of making such decisions not only for myself, but for the other person as well. This year I repeated the same, because of not having had that needed time to ground myself around relationships and one thing I can tell is that unless one has an understanding partner that has full awareness of the previous relationship patterns, it can be a disaster recipe to go jumping from one relationship to another.

I was in a way fortunate that my partner was understanding of it all, not that he approves of what I’ve done and my relationship habits, but again, he is aware and he made a decision to stand with me anyways and understood that I had things to process from my previous relationships at the same time as starting a new one. The thing that I want to share is how it’s not a bright idea to not give oneself time to be alone after a relationship ends, it can lead to not fully considering things in terms of what one is able to commit to and the effect it may have by making a decision without proper time for reflection, for personal assessment of the mistakes, the things allowed, the points that one needs to self-forgive and work through, because it does ‘filter’ or ‘spill through’ to the new relationship and it may lead to ruin if one does not handle the situation with proper sense of responsibility and communicating about it and again, having a partner that can understand and not take it personally either.

So from my recent experience, this kind of situation led to a great amount of stress that I became unaware of – apparently – and I became sick or having certain health issues almost on a regular basis for the past months. This can also be a narrow perspective on my health situation, but this is what I’ve concluded recently, that I put myself under a lot of stress because of the decisions I made in relation to relationships, where not being honest with myself and towards others led me to compromise myself and that became an ingredient to constantly be thinking of guilt, burdening myself with the ‘wrong doings’ while at the same time starting a new relationship and opening up all the potentials that this entails. It’s not a great thing to walk an ending and a beginning simultaneously – point learned.

I would not be able to share this from a clearer view currently if it wasn’t for the process that I did to self-forgive myself for my decisions, my actions and mistakes,  my short-sights and also forgiving myself for the damage caused to others by my lack of consideration or selfishness that this kind of situations entail. However, I also understood that there’s no point in continuing to flagellate myself emotionally, all that I can do is learn from it and know that I cannot repeat this kind of behavior again in my life, or I’d be simply falling again into my old patterns that I’ve worked on already. I did judge myself because of wanting to ‘make things right’ and ‘work through it’ and in a way being in disbelief that I could have managed to ‘repeat myself’ in patterns that I thought I had changed over the ‘monkish’ phase of being alone and without relationships – but, as I now know, I cannot be sure that something is entirely ‘clear’ and ‘transcended’ within me at all, it always takes a daily – constant – decision to act in the way that is right, that is supportive, that is considering consequences, that is responsible and self-honest for myself and for others that I have an effect on.

Currently I assess my situation on a constant basis when it comes to my relationship, because it has enabled me to see where I could be compromising myself or constructively compare how I have now seen that I was compromising myself before when trying to ‘be’ something for someone else in a relationship.  When I decided to be in this relationship, I did take the time to consider who I wanted to be in it and what would be of myself IF the relationship simply doesn’t work, knowing I could stand on my own two feet as well. So, I might have taken a ‘big risk’ considering  the rushed and somewhat risky decision making processes I’ve taken in the past without much ‘thought’ into my relationships, but this time I did make sure to entirely be ‘me’ making the decision and fully taking the responsibility for what I decide to make of it. 

I did take the time to assess the person, even if it was a relative short amount of time of doing this, there were characteristics that stood out for me enough to consider how this could work through, which included sharing with him the process I’ve walked with relationships, the weaknesses, the mistakes I’ve made, the dishonesties, the repetitive patterns I’ve had and that I still have such points to work through for me, to reestablish my self-trust in relationships – with all the past disclosed – and this is now where I can prove to myself that I can stand in an equal manner in loyalty, honor, respect and integrity that such person has given to himself throughout his life, which I am currently learning a lot from as well.

It is not my position to share his views here, but in a way I do want to do it, because he’s that person I mentioned at the beginning that has been known by everyone – and himself – to not desire a relationship or ‘lust’ over women at all. Everyone had always asked him when he would have a relationship and he always said that wasn’t something he was looking for, explicitly not interested on because he knew himself as a different kind of person that would find it hard to find a woman that could ‘stand’ through his ways of living life and the principles he has. He just wanted to work and focus on bettering his life. Well, that kind of approach led him to learn to live and be for himself the best that he can be. He is probably one of the few people I know that loves himself and regards himself as a self-made man that wasn’t always dedicated and hardworking to get to be who he is now, but made a decision to step out of the shadows and strive to do what he was told was ‘impossible’ for him to achieve. That sort of strength made him aware of his capacity and potential, which is part of the characteristics that I saw made him a ‘whole’ man already, not really looking or searching or being ‘needy’ for anything or anyone to ‘complete’ him or make him feel ‘better’ about himself.

This is how he considers that most people should not constantly go jumping from one relationship to another, but be able to be alone even for the rest of their lives if necessary, because they are not yet the best for and towards themselves. This view is perceived as too ‘extreme’ by his friends, but I’ve come to understand his point based on what he has lived and what I have lived and the consequences I’ve faced because of having held this constant belief that ‘I need to be in a relationship’ and the outflow this has. I’m not saying that this is how it’s supposed to be, but simply different ways to approach the relationships. Mine was more ‘trial and error’ and yes causing consequences for me and for others, his was more of a holistic approach of deciding to be in a relationship if and when the right person would exist for that.

Of course, he is now in a relationship and that may seem contradictory for many, but he explains how this is the first relationship he’s ever had – and took it to the level of absolute commitment and responsibility, which has led him to explore and open up many more ways of enjoyment in life, more than the ones that he already had been living on his own. I don’t want to sound like I’m praising him, but I do want to share  this because I’ve noticed how many strengths are built through deciding to be ‘the best for you’, to learn to be a man – or a woman – for oneself first, to learn to love, care, be the joy of our own lives instead of expecting something or someone to come and ‘save us’ or ‘fulfill’ our lives in one way or another. So, his usual perspective or ‘advice’ to anyone is to learn to be alone and learn to be ok with themselves, letting go of the notion of needing a relationship – and even better, to not participate or create a habit in desiring sex or porn or that sort of mental-masturbation in relation to women – or the opposite sex – at all, which leads to a genuine discovery of physical expression in a relationship, probably something that most people ‘seek out’ through mind stimulation and my take is that this pollutes or ‘disconnects’ us from the ‘hereness’, the physical development of actual touch and clear-mindedness so to speak required in a developing a physical relationship. This is not only related to sexual expression, but also in relation to fully focusing on being with the one person you decide to be with and not entertaining any thoughts, ideas, beliefs or glances at something or ‘someone else out there’ that ‘could be better’ than the relationship one has decided to be in.

What I’ve gathered from my time with him is how it truly takes that sort of diligence to honor and respect oneself and not exist solely for the idea of a ‘relationship’ as something to ‘get to’ or ‘find’ as an absolute goal in one’s life. It seems that as one focuses and works on fulfilling oneself and becoming that person that one enjoys looking at in the mirror – and not only for appearance level – but for the person one shapes of oneself – then one simply aligns with people that are on that same ‘track’ so to speak in their life, and that’s how you meet and realize that it is something that can work as a betterment platform for both, which was my approach as well when deciding to establish this relationship. We both agreed that this was going to be a relationship of two fulfilled individuals walking together, me knowing that if I decide to no longer be in the relationship, he’s not going to be ‘needing’ me as such, but will continue his life and endeavors as usual and vice versa – communication and understanding and assessment at any time.  The relative ease with which this agreement-  as he also called it – was able to be established is simply because of seeing the affinity in our ways of thinking and living and our principles and the way of living as well as our aims in life. I am fully aware some of my views are not that ‘popular’ with regular people, because they may sound too ‘out there’ or ‘difficult to achieve’- but not for him.  Then it is simply like two notes resonating at the same level that consider they can join in and create a harmony that will better the sound in each other’s life – and that’s what it currently is and has been.

There are so many more things that I’ve been learning about myself in relation to him in that have opened my eyes to see what kind of limitations I was making ‘ok’ within previous relationships, where and how I was not being honest with myself and rather molding or making myself ‘comfortable ‘about things that I wasn’t entirely willing to live with, but made it all ‘ok’ because of the idea that no one can be perfect and that I would always have to kind of ‘struggle’ in a relationship – now I know it doesn’t have to be this way. And I’m not saying this is currently perfect, but now I know that there can be people that can be at that same level of self-awareness and self will to live a different life than most people, which is what I’m here to do in this world, to continue cutting through the mold and not limit my expression, my ‘wacky’ way of being that I have come to re-ignite and rediscover within myself, something that makes me enjoy life more and something that I had judged as ‘not fit’ for everyone’s taste and so believing I had to be more ‘accommodating’ for others. In a nutshell, I’ve come to be aware of self-compromise, which is also one  tendency I’ve had in relationships where I kind of sink into the background and mold myself to fit into the idea of who I believe the other person wants me to be – even if this is most of the times my own projection.

The bottom line is that even if one can make ‘mistakes’ in relationships, the point is to always learn more about oneself, to use each opportunity one has to share one’s life and expression with another to learn more about who we are with each person, and yes unfortunately at times getting to also know the ‘darker’ aspects of ourselves – not to be turned into something necessarily bad or evil – simply recognizing that there are things that may be subtle at first but eventually build up or accumulate to compromise, to diminish ourselves even in the most ‘unnoticeable’ ways and I say ‘unfortunately’ – yet at the same time, I would not have known otherwise if I had not made mistakes and learned to see where I truly want to be in terms of standing in a relationship with someone else, first of all checking – on a constant basis – not to limit, diminish or compromise me in order to ‘be’ in a relationship as a need point.

So, having said this, I now realize that as painful, troublesome and consequential it is, mistakes allow us to also see the paths that we don’t want to follow through. Sure, it’s best when we can identify this earlier on and not have situations escalate and have more consequential breakups, but I now see that this is something quite specific for me to face based on the life that I had lived before I started this process with Desteni, my ‘processing’ done in that alone time and how I do realize how easy it is to slip back into old programming if not fully considering one’s actions and acting again on a ‘whim’ so to speak, making decisions without giving myself time to know first of all where I stand and then where I would want to stand in relation to someone else.

Based on my experience and the example I shared about my partner and how he led his life, I see that the best thing one can do is to give oneself time to learn to BE for oneself, to learn to truly love and appreciate yourself first, to be that one person that you can enjoy living with so that no matter who you join your life with – or not at all – you continue being whole and complete by yourself, so that 1+1 equals 2 instead of being existing as a half that seeks another half to create a codependent relationship that most likely ends up in compromise, diminishment and harm towards one another.

A relationship is a platform of support to become a better person, to grow, to learn from each other, to communicate openly without holding back or secrets, to express openly, to test and try new ways of living and expressing without judgment, to walk through disagreements and challenges with understanding – but! to do all of these great things takes a lot of self-work first, otherwise we base our entire ‘wellbeing’ on another person ‘all of this’ for us, and that’s where the fuckup usually is. So! Self first, always, then the rest of the people or situations that may come into our live become opportunities of expansion, a complement that can be beneficial not only for the people in the relationship but also for those that surround the relationship and for whatever is created within the relationship, which becomes an example of what a supportive relationship can be in a world where most exist in consequences and conflict – my personal view and experience here.

Ok so that’s it, again, listen to the Eqafe recordings, they are a great eye opener to understand more of what I shared here as my ups and downs, my faults, my points to learn and correct through relationships.

Can also learn to do this through the Relationship Course in Desteni which assisted me to ground many of the foundations that I now realize have to be lived in a very disciplined way of establishing self-honesty within self, otherwise they become nice principles on paper only – as always, the key is to live it and REALLY stick to Doing it.

Thanks for reading

 

Self First -

 

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