Long Term Relationship Advice - Metaphysical Responsibility

I received several responses to the article in this series on Creative Visualization. Most of these contained an element of anger, wondering how I could imply that visualizing oneself as being loved could change the other person, particularly when the partner is behaving "badly". That was not my intention. My intention was to point out that one's creative visualization could alter one's own life, and the quality of experience that would be attracted as a result. Those of you who follow this column regularly know that I do not support the control or changing of another person, only ourselves. I actually have little patience with those who choose to attempt control of another. This week's column is about the personal responsibility that can be taken to improve the quality of our experience within a difficult relationship.

Taking personal responsibility within the framework of a two person relationship can bring up a number of negative emotions, particularly if the relationship isn't going well. This seems to occur because when the heart is opened, we allow ourselves a childlike vulnerability. Then, if we feel hurt, we may react in childish ways. "He/She hurt me first!" tends to be the recurring cry. This is not personal responsibility or even maturity.

When we react in this way we are expressing our pain. That is a human response. However if we want to resolve an issue, and not simply assign blame, we must examine our own behavior to understand the truth of the source of the pain. For example, we may blame the truck that ran us down, but in order to let the situation go we must accept that standing in the middle of the street was our own choice. Yes, the driver of the truck was in error. To exclude our own error in the matter only keeps us in victim mode, which is a frame of mind that we try to avoid in metaphysics.

When we can accept that our pain is a co-creation, that is, that we also played a part in its occurrence, healing can then happen. This is because a victim, by definition, is helpless. In metaphysics we know that this is impossible. We are each spiritual beings, capable of conscious creation of our own lives. In metaphysics we know that at some level of mind, we are experiencing our lives in accordance with our own expectations. This does not mean that our lives are always what we want, but instead, what we expect.

If we expect to be hurt in a relationship, it is very likely that, sooner or later, we will be. We may unconsciously set up situations which will eventually produce the expected result. A classic example of this is a person who gets involved with someone who is married. It should not be surprising if later, when these two are now married, that the same person again has liasons outside of the boundaries of marriage. We may not consciously want this to occur in our lives, but it is only common sense to expect that the probability is high, that it will. We can blame the disloyal partner incessently for their betrayal, but real healing will not occur until we can accept that this was an expected outcome.

A necessary component to healing is the acceptance of strength. If we are not willing to accept our own strength in difficult situations, we remain vulnerable and weak. Like a child, all that we can do is to weakly strike out. Obviously, this resolves nothing. Also, a young child's primary defense is to lay responsibility at another's feet. This is an instinctive defensive reaction to hopefully escape further punishment. They will experience a sense of relief if the offending other is deemed guilty.

An adult may not experience this same relief. We often hear this from victims of crimes whose persecutors were sent to jail. They may say that it doesn't make the situation personally better for them. Although it may be comforting to know that the offender is out of circulation, it may not aid in our personal healing. This only occurs when we reclaim our personal power. In a relationship, if we are only willing to see ourselves as a victim of our partner, the relationship does not improve.

Taking personal responsibility for our love lives, means that we may have to temporarilly put aside our pain in order to view our own contribution to the matter. When we can see our own contribution, we can take steps to alter the situation. Otherwise, we are dependent on the other to do all of the changing, and there we are again, in victim mode.

Famous Quote: The Trumpeter Taken Prisoner

A Trumpeter, bravely leading on the soldiers, was captured by the enemy. He cried out to his captors, "Pray spare me, and do not take my life without cause or without inquiry. I have not slain a single man of your troop. I have no arms, and carry nothing but this one brass trumpet." "That is the very reason for which you should be put to death," they said; "for, while you do not fight yourself, your trumpet stirs all the others to battle."

--Aesop's Fables