Chapter One: The power of relationships
Find the gap: where are you now?
Let's talk about one of the most important areas in your life if not the most important area of your life. The area of your life that when is handled can give you the greatest amount if joy, love, and ecstasy that you ever imagined and probably most of picks of your life have some aspect of this in your life, and if of course is handled ineffectively, then this is the place of pain, this is place here people feel really devastated, this is the place where life seems to lose its meaning.
So the area we will talk, of course is that vehicle of life that we focus on and we call relationship. And if you handle it well, then when you are in love, when you feel that connection, when you feel that bond, when you feel that feeling of sensing with somebody, what is that like? What can rally compete with it?
Making money might be nice, achieving something might be wonderful but if you do it alone is worthless. If you don't have someone to share that joy with, then what it is like?
In the same time being upset with yourself is one thing, but when you got someone else to be upset with, boy then this is really different, you can really get yourself upset, you can really get yourself wired, you can make yourself being massively inferior or massively superior, angry, upset, frustrate, hurt, devastated, you can feel just anything you want with this vehicle called relationship.
A called it vehicle because we forget that the relationship is the way of relating, that is a process, is not a fixed thing in time, it always changing, is always moving, in fact challenges we have as human beings is that we all want to have things done, we want have all that financial stuff and we never have to work again. Of course, if you will never work again you will be totally unfulfilled, because I know many rich people who do not have to work anymore but they work even harder than before and this is because they focus on doing things because they want to and not because they have to. But most of us thing that when we will reach this level we will stop, but when you stop you begin to die. There are two laws of life and they are so fundamental and they are true to everything and certainly true to relationship: the first law is everything in life must grow because if it doesn't grow then it dies. That is true for relationship, for your body, for your mind, for a plant, for anything in the Universe. You grow or you die. When you start thinking that it is over, then it is over. You cannot look for fixed time and all of the sudden your finances, your body, your relationship are done. Is it never done!
Your body is a constant challenge to constantly improve, to make things passionate and powerful so you can live life at this high level and have the edge, have an extraordinary quality of life and this is true for relationship too. Most of us have so many things going about in the relationship that need to be handled, but if we won't have to handle then we won't have to expand, to grow, we won't have what we deserve in our life. We won't have that little resistance when we need it, we won't have that comfort and need for reinforcement, and most importantly we won't have love.
We won't have the deepest love of love, the kind of love that we are able to share, whether be with our Creator, with our children or our lover, our best friend, and that relationship s are all about.
The second law of the Universe is that you must contribute, because if you don't find a way to contribute in meaningful ways, you are eliminated. That is a law of life, of the Universe: anything that doesn't contribute eventually is eliminated, by evolution if not by something else.
So in order for us to feel fulfilled, we have to grow, and to contribute in the way that we feel some kind of meaning. If we don't do that, no matter how much someone else loves us, we won't be happy with ourselves. So a relationship is a place where we go to sculpt our spirit, our emotions, and to enjoy life to the fullest. And it is handled properly it is the most incredible joy, pleasure, excitement, and when it is handled poorly it is a pain. I am sure that you have been in these places because all of us have.
The secret if that we need to look at three things:
Firstly, let's talk about how you create an extraordinary relationship. Not a good one but the one which is outstanding. I don't care if you want to start one from scratch or you have one and you want to re-create it, rejuvenated into an extraordinary relationship, the principles are basically the same.
Secondly, let's talk about how you are dealing with inevitable challenges that show up in any relationship. That gone be there because we have people with different values, different rules, different ways of looking at life, you are going to have conflict. It is a matter of time, no matter how much you love somebody it's going to show up: some conflicts are small, some conflicts are huge. They have to do with the rules, personalities, and beliefs of the people involved.
And thirdly, how do you nurture and expand this relationship geometrically. How can you make sure that that grow factor is absolutely there. You don't only create a relationship but you keep constantly expand it. So that fulfillment is a spiral that moves up and not in revere which happens with most things. Things begin to naturally break down. If you are not moving forward, is moving backwards, is just like gravity, is the way life works.
So by doing this let's consider where are you now. Because we talk each day about this concept of having the ability of closing the gap. I mean, how you create an extraordinary life: you close the gap between where you are now and where you want to be. The secret of closing the gap is to be honest to yourself and admit that there is a gap. In almost any area of your life there is a gap because a healthy person is constantly preoccupied to make things looking better; the love where they are but they want more, more love, more connection, more intimacy, more spirit, and more play time. We all want more if we are healthy and we are growing and expanding because it is a nature of a quality life.
So where the gap in your relationship is the first question we are asking here. Maybe we should start asking where we are now. There are only two positions people are in: we are either in a relationship right now are we are not in one.
If you are not in a relationship then there are only two perspectives: either you want one but you don't have one. And the question is if that is true then why? And the answer I can tell you right now:
a) If you really want a relationship and you don't have one is simply because you have mixed emotions about a relationship will mean.
You want a relationship because it means love, and connection, and intimacy but on the other hand you don't want one probably because you think that you don't have the time, the energy, you don't want to feel like a failure, we don't' want things to work out, you don't want someone to disappoint you again, etc. So the truth is if you are not in a relationship is because it is not a must for you to be a in a relationship. Perhaps it is a must for you to not get hurt. And if you gone be in a relationship, let me tell the good news about it: you gone get hurt. It is part of nature of life: we cannot have joy without having pain sometimes, everything in life has to reciprocate, and we cannot have only one dimension of life. Is like saying that we want the rainbow but no storm.
And what we learn to do is, those who have an extraordinary life are the people who learned to enjoy the storm as much as they enjoy the rainbow, because they found value in the storm, the beauty in the storm, and they learned how to change perspectives.
b) If you are not in a relationship is because you don't want one, and you are clear about that, in which case is obvious why: you have associated so much pain to relationship that even your natural drive for connection is being shunted. A sad part about this is that eventually this creates even more pain that being in a relationship, because we all have a deep emotional, psychological, spiritual need to connect at the deepest level. We all have this need for intimacy; it is not something we want but something we have to have. So we have to deal with negative associations sooner or later.
The second position you can be in is that you are already in a relationship and there are three perspectives: a) you want more from this relationship which is natural no matter how great this relationship is; b) you want out of it, this is the other extreme but you are not sure how to navigate it or you can't; this is because you associated a lot of pain with your relationship, or you associated pain with leaving the relationship. Is that making sense to you? Relationships are all about emotional associations. It is not about the real thing, we don't really respond to life anymore but we respond to what we associate to life. Somebody said something and we decide what that means: that means that they don't care, they don't love us anymore; we are going out there on a tangent because most of us do not respond anymore to what is happening in the moment but most of us are bounding to our past. And when somebody does something that resembles pain from the past then we will run quickly. Not only that we will run but we will start firing the old feeling to pretend that's what happening now.
One of the secrets to a great relationship is to learn that this is not that! That the person we are right now