cultivating relationships


earning the love we want

We live in a physical universe governed by respective laws, such as the law of gravity, seasons, the law of orbits, which altogether form our physical reality or what ancient wisdom refers to as the 1% versus the 99% that form our true experience, with laws such as cause and effect, the law of affinity, etc…

It’s really simple – what we see in the 1% is a mere consequence of whatever is going on in the 99%. This rule applies to everything we come to experience in our reality – including romantic relationships.

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There is a distinct energy the Kabbalists refer to as ‘bread of shame’, which is really that uncomfortable sense of shame or discomfort that comes from receiving something we haven’t earned. The first time I reflected on the concept of bread of shame in the context of romantic relationships, I found myself rather puzzled. How can we possibly earn love? Isn’t the definition of true love, something that is given to us regardless of whether we are deserving of it or not?

Somehow, I couldn’t quite get my head around the concept of being deserving of love. ‘It sounds like doing business’, I thought. But then I really pondered on the question. What do we do with the love that is given to us freely anyway? Do we always appreciate it or is there a tendency to begin to take things for granted?

The other point is the notion of ‘earning’. Do I have to play a game of rewards with my partner, in order to avoid becoming an enabler to the energy of ‘bread of shame’?

Because it is always easier to pinpoint what’s wrong with the other and all the things that we do right, it may be necessary, for the sake of the argument, to start with ourselves – how do I earn love? Is it by being a nice person? Although we know by experience that life will not reward you simply because you are being nice, but rather because you are doing the right thing. How can we make ourselves deserving of love?

Two points come to mind…

We are beings who are created with the ability to give and take. The point is not to see ourselves as the final recipient of the love, but to experience it through the satisfaction that stems from the love we share with another. If I only think about what’s in it for me, then all I do is take and expect. I don’t have time to care about how my partner feels. And when they stop fulfilling my needs, I reject them. Then, they, in turn, reject me and we call it quits. When on the other hand, I let the love they give me, simply flow through me and back to them. It then comes full circle and allows space for more love to come in.

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But relationships are not only about the other person. The best relationship we can have is with ourselves and as almost everyone comes into a new relationship with previous baggage, the trick is to turn this baggage into light. Every time we do something that scares us, or that is very hard for us to do, we unlock possibilities for growth. Our true soul is revealed and a real and deep connection with another is then possible. Our vessels expand. We are able to receive and appreciate more love as well as give and share.

It is important to acknowledge that we end up losing anything we don’t share, even our abilities to connect with another. Think of it as a glass full of water. We can’t pour any more water inside until we have emptied it. We empty our glass by sharing and transforming our baggage. And if we don’t empty it, the water goes stale and it becomes a waste.

In the end, all relationships teach us something that helps us along our soul’s journey. The root cause for something no working out goes far beyond what our pop gurus teach us. It’s not just the absence of sex, the trash that we forgot to take out once again or the partner’s wandering eye. We want to receive love and in most cases, we want to give but do we always know how to give exactly what our partner needs?

When introducing the notion of earning the love we want, we realize that love is a garden that needs to be cultivated and that by cultivating it, we progress on our soul’s journey, which results in more fulfillment in our immediate physical reality.

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You also might like this: a sufi’s perspective on relationships.