From Addictive to Enlightened Relationships
Whether you are living alone or with a partner, this remains the key: being present and intensifying your presence by taking your attention ever more deeply into the Now.
For love to flourish, the light of your presence needs to be strong enough so that you no longer get taken over by the thinker or the pain-body and mistake them for who you are. To know yourself as the Being underneath the thinker, the stillness underneath the mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain, is freedom, salvation, enlightenment.
If you stop investing it with "selfness," the mind loses its compulsive quality, which basically is the compulsion to judge, and so to resist what is, which creates conflict, drama and new pain. In fact, the moment that judgment stops through acceptance of what is, you are free of the mind. You have made room for love, for joy, for peace.
First you stop judging yourself; then you stop judging your partner. The greatest catalyst for change in a relationship is complete acceptance of your partner as he or she is, without needing to judge or change them in any way. That immediately takes you beyond ego. All mind games and all addictive clinging are then over.
There are no victims and no perpetrators anymore, no accuser and accused. This is also the end of all co-dependency, of being drawn into somebody else's unconscious pattern and thereby enabling it to continue. You will then either separate – in love – or move ever more deeply into the Now together into Being. Can it be that simple? Yes, it is that simple.
Love is a state of Being. Your love is not outside; it is deep within you. You can never lose it and it cannot leave you. It is not dependent on some other body, some external form. In the stillness of your presence, you can feel your own formless and timeless reality as the unmanifested life that animates your physical form. You can then feel the same life deep within every other human and every other creature. You look beyond the veil of form and separation. This is the realization of oneness. This is love.
What is God? The eternal One Life underneath all the forms of life. What is love? To feel the presence of that One Life deep within yourself and within all creatures. To be it. Therefore, all love is the love of God.
Love is not selective, just as the light of the sun is not selective. It does not make one person special. It is not exclusive. Exclusivity is not the love of God but the "love" of ego. However, the intensity with which true love is felt can vary. There may be one person who reflects your love back to you more clearly and more intensely than others and if that person feels the same toward you, it can be said that you are in a love relationship with him or her. The bond that connects you with that person is the same bond that connects you with the person sitting next to you on a bus, or with a bird, a tree, a flower. Only the degree of intensity with which it is felt differs.
Even in an otherwise addictive relationship, there may be moments when something more real shines through, something beyond your mutual addictive needs. This may happen during physical intimacy or when you are both witnessing the miracle of childbirth, or in the presence of death, or when one of you is seriously ill – anything that renders the mind powerless. When this happens, your Being, which is usually buried underneath the mind, becomes revealed, and it is this that makes true communication possible.
True communication is communion – the realization of oneness, which is love. Usually, this is quickly lost again, unless you are able to stay present enough to keep out the mind and its old patterns.
Although brief glimpses are possible, love cannot flourish unless you are permanently free of mind identification and your presence is intense enough to have dissolved the pain-body or you can at least remain present as the watcher. The pain-body cannot then take you over and so become destructive of love.
from The Power of Now, copyright 1999