The Illusion of Work in A Relationship

“You have to love yourself because no amount of love from others is sufficient to fill the yearning that your soul requires from you.” ~ Dodinsky Relationships are only work when one of or both members of the partnership are not at peace with themselves. When both are out of alignment with self-love, a dangerous pattern […]

“You have to love yourself because no amount of love from others is sufficient to fill the yearning that your soul requires from you.” ~ Dodinsky

Relationships are only work when one of or both members of the partnership are not at peace with themselves.

When both are out of alignment with self-love, a dangerous pattern can emerge. Neither party will be able to identify that the angst (the work) is not being caused by their partner but the actions of the person controlled by fear and ego.

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Art by James R. Eads, motion by the Glitch

Fear Creates Work 

Like a drug, fear will rob a person of their peace. Tricking the individual to feel safe in its presence by creating an addiction to this negative emotion. Fear is often buried in illusion and will cause great destruction, ruining the love surrounding the person. If both members of the partnership are living in this space, the relationship becomes one of hard work. A hamster wheel of fights all going nowhere. A rat cage of entrapment buried in stagnation. This is why people cheat, settle or degrade one another. One who is suffering finds it hard to separate the feeling of fear from the actions of the ego. Both parties acting in this way can hurt each other deeply.

If one member of the partnership is at peace within his or her self, they can notice this monster of fear in their beloved. There is hope one member can help lead the other to light, but the aligned partner must truly be aligned with the frequency of peace and self-love as not to enable, control, or “fix” their partner.

They must show them the light but allow their partner to walk towards it with their own two feet. The aligned partner must practice patience and compassion with themselves and their beloved.

Fear is a powerful monster that can try to devour all acts of love it sees. The aligned person must not allow the fear of his or her partner to negatively influence his or her self-worth. We must have faith that love will always win, for love is surely stronger than any negative emotion or act.

Interdependence Brings Peace

A healthy relationship is not one of independence. Love provides freedom from fear and that is all the freedom we need. However, a healthy relationship is not one of co-dependence either. Feeling complete or whole should not be on the account of the other. This creates impossible expectations which leads to suffering, disappointment, and strife. A healthy relationship is one of inter-dependence in which the two work together.

First, each individual must work on his or her self separately by expanding their personal understanding of self-love and engaging in the activities that feed and nurture the relationship to the self on a daily basis. His or her partner may not control or choose which activities will bring this self-understanding. Only each partner can choose which medicines will bring this connection. This is a self-practice and must always stay with the self, regardless of how intertwined the lovers’ lives may become.

Love is our birthright.

It is an illusion of fear to believe that this self-work must be done independently before a relationship starts. If there is an opportunity for a relationship, God/the universe/atman will always deliver and this must be trusted. If you’ve found a partner, do not self-sabotage and push them away because you feel you are not worthy. Your partner sees the light in you that you cannot. Work on yourself within the relationship so you can see this light too.

Each partner must support each other in doing these personal separate acts. Then, from this place of self-constructed balance, peace can be achieved and maintained within the self.

The two serve each other through respect, by coming together, they create a peaceful protest and show this world that love is real.

Fear says: “If I don’t love myself, I can’t love my partner.” Love says, “We are all learning how to love ourselves everyday and so we must honor, cherish, respect and be grateful for any act or example of love that God/the Universe/Atman gives us. We must never push this love away.”

There is no end point. 

Please note that the work we must do is with the self, not on the relationship. We all have so much beautiful work to do on ourselves. The relationship is there make this work easier.

This process never ends. We are all evolving. Some may find self-peace within minutes each day while it may take hours for others. This doesn’t matter as we all are love and deserve love.


shawna-schenk-thumbWritten by Shawna Schenk
Shawna is a San Diego a E-RYT-200 yoga teacher, Reiki master, author, and spiritual activist leading classes, workshops, teacher trainings, retreats, and festivals throughout North America.

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