Is your relationship perfect ... or just a perfect lie?
You can't take a step forward unless you are already in balance, right where you are. Before you can ever take a single step in your home, on the street, or on a trail ... you need balance. It's simply a matter of physics—balance is required to move forward in life. This is also true in any relationship, especially love relationships.
What do I mean by balance in relationship?
When you are about to take a step as you walk down the street, what is first required is a clear sense of internal balance, knowing exactly where you are. In relationships, in order to have balance, what is required is a clear sense of exactly who you are, what you value, what your strengths and weaknesses are, what ignites your passion, and what you deeply care about. This inner balance empowers you to take the 'next step' of sharing yourself authentically with another. And sharing yourself fully and authentically is the foundation of a satisfying, lasting relationship.
But sharing yourself in this way requires incredible courage to be deeply self-honest.
Without that courage and deep self-honesty real connection isn't possible. Instead, what happens in relationships is role playing. When we role play we often feel anxious that the other person will leave us. We fear this because we know, deep down, that we haven't really been true with this other person. We haven't given the other person the chance to truly choose us, because we have not shown up as ourselves. We've been role playing (doing, being, saying what we think the other person wants from us). And just like a performance on a stage, role playing in a relationships always has its natural final curtain call.
Unfortunately role playing in relationships is very common (I'd even say it's the norm in most relationships). It is based on the belief that we need to 'please' others by being who we think they want us to be. This is like trying to build a foundation on unstable ground, leaving no ability to really know where YOU are. There is NO way to maintain balance in this kind of role playing behavior. This is not a relationship, it is strategy. Strategy is appropriate in warfare, not in a loving relationship.
So how do you begin to break the habit of role playing?
By no longer assuming you know what the other person wants you to do, say, or be. How do you know what anyone else is actually thinking? Unless, of course, you've actually asked them and they have been genuinely honest in their reply. This kind of honesty strips away role playing and creates space for the beginning of a real relationship to take hold. That is, if the questions you are asking are an honest question and not simply an attempt to gain information, attention, or more manipulative strategizing.
We all want to be loved for who we truly are.
This can only happen when we actually show up as who we truly are, so that the other person can see us authentically and truly choose us.When you are busy trying to be who you think the other person want you to be, they never truly catch a glimpse of you. They're choosing a character you play, not you.
There is an ancient Native American medicine wheel (part of the 20 count teachings) called The Wheel of the Five Perception of Reality. The wheel represents the perceptions of Love, Like, Dislike, Hate, and Neutrality. The teaching says, "We spend enormous amounts of life force energy, years of our lives, trying to be loved or liked, when the odds are 3 out of 5 that we aren't going to get it. The important question [therefore] is: do I like and love myself?"
This is the ultimate question we must answer. Being able to answer that question requires a great deal of self-knowledge and self-honesty. It requires deeper questions like: What is most important to me? What do I most deeply value? What do I want my life to have been about, when I look back at the end? What am I most passionate about?
If we expect another soul to love us, that love must first begin with truly loving ourselves. Part of loving ourselves is the courage and self-respect to view ourselves honestly and present that honest self to those we love. When we choose courage and self-respect for ourselves, we allow the other person to make their choice to love us or not. After all we want REAL love, not the pretense of love. And true love requires an honest choice.