Wednesday, 20 March 2013
An approach to relationships
My approach to relationships is this:
(1) Do I want this person in my life at all?
(2) If so, what kind of things are we going to do together?
(3) Let's set something up!
This looks disarmingly simple, but it is in fact the implementation of Step 11: knowledge of God's will for me, and the bit of God's will for me that is my business consists in the actions that I must take and therefore plan.
There are all sorts of questions, therefore, which are largely not my business to answer or resolve, although answers may be disclosed over time.
(1) What the other person thinks of me or feels for me.
(2) What the other person does when I am not there.
(3) What I will think or feel in the future.
(4) Whether or not I am "good enough".
(5) How the relationship should be "defined".
(6) Where the relationship is "going".
(7) The other person's life before I met them.
(8) Any part of the other person's internal world or life they do not opt voluntarily to reveal.
(9) The other person's supposed "character defects".
(10) The rightness or wrongness of the other person's behaviour.
(11) How the other person runs their own affairs.
(12) What God's will is for the other person.
Everything I give must be for fun and for free, expecting nothing in return. If demands are made, explicitly or implicitly, especially if there are mutual demands, we don't have love, we have a material transaction. Then, I have established what I am; all that remains is to haggle about the price.
This means, also, I give the other person space to give of themselves voluntarily. If they give because I have used guilt to coerce them, I have extracted their love by offering release from guilt. The true nature of this is hinted at above. The motto is therefore: your turn; my turn. If you do not take your turn, that is your prerogative and not fodder for my comment.
There are surely situations that are marginally more complex than this, but the Traditions and Concepts provide ample guidelines for solving these.
The result of applying this?