One question we often get asked at Choose Again is - what is the purpose of a relationship?
And in particular - what is the purpose of a romantic relationship?
The purpose of a relationship - from the point of view of Choose Again - is to reflect back to me the core beliefs that I still need to work on. In other words the purpose of the relationship, is to bring out of hiding all the false ideas I have about myself.
It’s a fact - I will always attract into my life someone who will reflect to me the areas that I most need to work on. In fact, that is the real purpose of the relationship. This is true for all relationships - whether they are intimate relationships or working relationships.
The key is to not be afraid of what my partner will reflect back to me. I need not fear the conflicts in the relationship, but welcome them.
I must learn how to take back the reflection I’ve received, and use the reflection to go deeply inwards, to see where this reflection comes from, to find its root cause. At choose again we use the Six Steps precisely for this purpose.
It is important to acknowledge that my ultimate purpose in life is to remember who I am in Truth. This entails letting go of all the false beliefs I made up about myself. And so the purpose of a relationship is not is just to enjoy loving each other. This is a part of it, of course - or can become part of it. But the deep purpose of the relationship is to heal my old - and false - beliefs about myself. To free myself of the “me” that I made up in childhood, and come back to the Truth of who I am, Now.
So, for example - if I were to look back at my past relationships - I can see that for a long time I had a huge issue with anger. Now I know that this is because my father was an extraordinarily angry man. So the relationship with anger, the relationship with my father which was now projected again in the present, was something that I needed to work with, and resolve.
My reaction to expressions of anger in others was a real barrier to joining with anyone who may have had such issues. In my relationships I was given many opportunities to discover the beliefs I made up. All of them made up in relationship to my father’s anger.
So I had many opportunities examine, process and eventually heal the conflicts rooted in my reaction to anger, using the Six Steps. In the process I got to find out what identity I took on as a boy, what false beliefs I was reliving in the relationship with my current partner. And so I could let them go, and come back to Truth, to Peace.
All the relationships in my life have inevitably shown me who I thought I was, what unhealed beliefs I was still holding onto. Sometimes these were not very pleasant experiences. Sometimes the experiences were so overwhelming that I just had to say - No, I can't. I can't do it in this relationship. I know it's my issue. I know I have to work on it, that it’s about me. I know that this upset is for my healing. But I'm not advanced enough to do it, in this setting.
So I want to make it absolutely clear that the longevity of a relationship is not its purpose. I've heard people say - “Oh my my parents were married for 50 years”. My question to them is - Yes but were they happy? And the answer is usually “no, they were miserable…”. So the fifty years of marriage is not an achievement.
The purpose of the relationship is not to get a medal, like in a marathon. The purpose is to find out the real cause of whatever unhappiness I am experiencing in the relationship. My purpose is to get to the root cause of any conflict, or upset, that comes up in the relationship. To find out what it is that I need to heal in myself. And then to actually heal it.
This does not mean that every relationship is going to lead to the ultimate relinquishment of all my core beliefs. This level of healing may not happen in my current relationship. But if I will allow myself, and if I become skilfull enough, then I will find significant healing in every relationship.
Watch the video here.
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