Thursday, January 19th, 2017

The Crucible of Relationship

January 31, 2011 by  

Everyone wants to know: how can I be more happy in my love relationship?  Sauhu has a fairly radical take on the topic.  But, as usual, our view makes things practical and workable… and turns the difficulties of love-relationships into vehicles for tremendous personal growth.  When we expand as individuals then we will automatically be more intimate  and nourished by our relationships.  This is human nature.

Three things should be said about partaking of a relationship Sauhu style: 1. The relationship MUST be based on mutual respect.  This should be obvious, but often people tough out relationships that they shouldn’t.  There is no room for martyrdom in a healthy view of reality.  If your partner disrespects you, walk out the door.  But, if this mutual care and concern does exist, then: 2.  Commitment.  We must accept when our partner is good enough, ditch the fantasy of a perfect “soul-mate” and then stick through the difficulties. And, 3. Both partners must be playing by the rules of this game.

If tension does not exist between two partners then there is no opportunity to grow.  In Sauhu we see the sticking points as opportunities, not obstacles.  Two people that have enough “karma” to spend a lifetime together definitely have the keys to each others’ growth and happiness.  These keys come in the form of everything about our partner that drives us a bit crazy… these are the particular juicy points of life where we have a tremendous opportunity to expand beyond our current limitations.  Viewing our relationship dynamics from this perspective by itself creates a great deal of space where there was once angst and frustration.

However, the major shift of vision that is required for one to make real use of their relationships as means for growth and true satisfaction is this: we must not place the blame for our reactions, or the credit for our happiness in the other person.  Recent advances in physics tell us what spiritual sages have been saying for decades: we do not see the reality that exists, but rather, reality exists because we see it.  In other words we project our internal state of being out into our life situations and we actually see the manifestations of our inner thoughts and emotions in our outer world interactions.

Thus, even though it appears to be the case: my partner does NOT make me angry.  If I  have a predilection towards anger it will inevitably get triggered in relationship to my wife.  But, I must never make the mistake of giving her the power to “make me angry.”  Even if she does something that is apparently very annoying, or even mean she does not make me angry.  No one can make me angry.  Certain life situations show me that I have anger inside… and considering the importance of the love-relationship, IT should be the most common arena for me to be shown my limitations.

For example, because our marriage is based on mutual respect I do not make the mistake of thinking the grass would be greener elsewhere and I commit despite the difficulties.  The grass is not greener elsewhere because if I go somewhere else I will still be there.  Like John Kabat Zinn said, “Wherever you go, there you are.” And, since the anger is in me, and could never be caused by someone else, it would just show up in the next relationship if given enough time.  Commitment problems are based on not wanting to stay around long enough to have to get real with the discomfort of our limitations… this getting real is the key to intimacy, an open heart, and a worthwhile, nourishing love-relationship.

How does this view play out in real life?  Say I am being regularly triggered by my wife to experience frustration and anger.  I must say to myself, “This anger is in me and it is being shown to me by this situation.” If I really want to grow and become a better human being then I am grateful for being able to see this about myself.  Right away, I transform anger into gratitude and this takes a huge edge off the resentment factor that often builds in relationships.  But, if my wife does not play by the same rules it will be a mess because I will be taking responsibility for all my crap and she will be blaming me for all of hers.  That’s no good.

Anyway, having accepted that my reactions come from within and are not caused externally, I remember what I have learned: all negative emotional states are contracted/tense versions of their counterpart expanded virtues.  In this case, the energy under tension that we experience as anger, when relaxed and expanded, becomes clarity and compassionate discrimination.  Getting from one point, the contraction, to the other point, the expansion, is the work of Energy of Mind: A Sauhu Therapy.  We have all sorts of tools to effect this transformation, including: a. those to build the awareness that is necessary to notice when this is all is happening, b. those to develop the detachment necessary to step back and make more conscious choices in the heat of the moment and, c. those to actually work the energy of tension-expression into a more expanded and virtuous display.

Every negative emotinal state has its counterpart virtue.  Energy of Mind is named as it is beacuse it is all about “riding the energy” of our situation, which is often tense, back to the energy source, which when relaxed, is inherently virtuos.  Thus, every moment of life is our field for realizing our highest potential as a human being.  One of our mottos is “We rise upon the ground on which we once stumbled.” Relationships are the most amazing crucible for this alchemy of transforming our limitations into radiant virtues whose by products are health and happiness.

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4 Responses to “The Crucible of Relationship”
  1. G K says:

    “If your partner disrespects you, walk out the door. ”

    You lost me right there. Relationships, and working out problems is (about) a process. Eventually doors may need to be walked through/out of, but relationships are about giving it our best (first).

    Best of luck!

  2. admin says:

    Gear G K,

    Thanks for reading, and critical comments are always welcome on this site… but I have to assume that you stopped reading right after the remark that turned you off. Because, literally, the entire article is about the process of relationships and the commitment it takes to stick through the difficulties. The very next sentence states that if your relationship is about mutual care and concern then you must COMMIT and work through the inevitable difficulties. Further, it states that we must ditch the fantasy of some Hollywood version of a perfect relationship. The remainder of the article is about the perspective required to actually be able to stay involved in a relationship when it gets rocky. That all said, Sauhu remains firm in its belief that there is no place for martyrdom in relationships. Life is too short. So, if a partnership is NOT born on the value of mutual respect then, by all means, walk out the door. There is no ground to stand on to do the real work of relating, growing, accepting, loving and learning without this fundamental base. And, staying in a physically, emotionally or psychologically abusive relationship (which one without respect must inevitably be to some degree) is a false kind of heroism and strength.

    Best Wishes,

  3. PM says:

    Can you elaborate on mutual care and respect? There are definitely times when I feel my girlfriend shows no respect or care for me but other times when I feel like I am the only person in her life that matters. Are there examples that illustrate this point?

  4. admin says:

    Hi Patrick,

    I don’t know if this answer will satisfy the level of specificity you are asking about, but here’s a shot: When we speak of mutual respect in the Sauhu relationship theory we consider the base of this to be total acceptance of the other, exactly as they are. We have a feeling that the best thing for my partner is therefore the best thing for the world, which is therefore the best thing for me. We really want our partner to live the life they want, in the way they want to live it – even if it means making personal sacrifices on our end.

    Then, if both partners are playing by these rules of the game then there is a process of mutual respect which leads to healthy compromises when life choices inevitably stand in contrast. This way, we care for each others interests and needs and we give our partners space to live the life they need to live within the partnership. I see that one of the most common ways we end up driving each other nuts in relationship is when we suffocate each other too much and we get to that extreme of “she’s the only thing that matters.” If we get to that extreme we almost always end up lashing out and being nasty with our partners in order to get the space we need as individuals.

    I hope this helps.
    Best wishes,