"Every relationship you have will always be with yourself"
Relationship is the connection a person creates with the other. Relationships can come in many forms: friendships, marriage, boss-employee, master-slave, teacher-student, parent-child, brothers and sisters, and so forth.
This article will explore the mechanics of how relationships work from a spiritual perspective so that one can learn to grow from them.
Relationship In Depth
To the mind, a relationship is the experiencing of a role play where people's roles and responsibilities are defined with consequent expectations. A relationship is like a world with its own rules and consequences, which allows one to experience scenarios, problems, dramas, emotions, thoughts that otherwise could not have been experienced if not for the relationship.
For instance, through being a parent, one can experience the scenarios of responsibilities. Through being an employee, one can experience the roles of obedience and even roles of standing up for oneself. Through being a lover, one can learn the lessons of love and loss.
Different relationships thus can help The Self to learn about different things, all helping one to Know more about oneself. Through relationships, one can explore the different sides of one's mind—of Oneself.
Realize that everything one experiences in life, one is simply the experience of Self. For instance, when one is having a joyous conversation with someone, at a deeper level, one is simply experiencing one's beliefs about the experience. Why is the experience a positive one? Because one is experiencing one's perception of the experience.
So, the world can serve as a mirror to show us who we are, i.e. how we react, what our core beliefs are. Relationships help to bring the mirror closer; the deeper the relationship, the more vivid the self-experience will become.
Relationships thus can help one to see what one cannot see. Often, it can be too difficult to see ourselves when we are without relationships. The eyes are designed to look outwards rather than inwards. That is why the practice of meditation is helpful because it can help one to turn their sight inwards. And coupled with the help of relationships, one can become aware of their reactions and their cause much easier.
You can create relationships with anything!
In life, one can have relationships with anything; not just with another person, but also with an object, an experience, an idea, a piece of art—basically everything imaginable because to the mind, all is The Self.
So one can have a relationship with a car, a flower, a mobile phone, an expensive pair of shoes, or even a far-away planet, which would be quite a long-distance relationship!
The point of this section is not so much to make one overthink about the mechanics of the relationship; rather, it's simply to make one aware that relationships can help one to see themselves clearer. Knowing this can help one greatly if one desires to transform their suffering states of mind because relationships can help us to accelerate the process of discovering them as these dark states of mind often are hidden from sight.
Realize that the quality of one's relationship to anything will always come back to the relationship one has with oneself. As explained previously, this is because whatever one is experiencing in life, one is simply experiencing their mind.
So the part that one cannot accept in the other will always reflect the part one cannot accept in oneself. For instance, that arrogant person you hate is simply a reflection of how you see the arrogant part of yourself. In other words, the beliefs we create about what is a "Perfect Self" and what is not will not just apply to others, but to ourselves as well. And relationships can help these ideas of Self-Rejection to surface because frictions, i.e. disagreements within relationships are bound to occur sooner or later.
Without this knowledge, one can be stuck in the question as to why one is always suffering whenever they meet someone they don't like, not realizing that it's simply a reflection of how one dislikes oneself.
Path Of Creator
Relationship In Relation To The Path Of Creator
To know oneself through relationships, one can practice meditation. Meditation will help one to Still the mind. Without meditation, one can easily become stuck in the surface thoughts whenever something bad happens in a relationship, dwelling in the thoughts of solving the problem on the outside, i.e. how to punish the other person. Through the daily practice of meditation, one will be able to have their attention focused more inwards, allowing them to see that it's their reactions that are causing the suffering, and with time, discover the beliefs that are generating such negative reactions. And these beliefs will always be about ideas relating to Self-Rejection.
If one wishes to explore their suffering states of mind more vividly, one can enter deeper into relationships because the more intimate and attached one becomes to a relationship, the stronger the reactions. However, the reactions in deeper relationships can sometimes be too intense for one to know what they are about. So, if one does not have a Still mind, it's better to just take a step back when relationships become too intensely suffering. For instance, when one is in a suffering relationship with their partner, it can be a good idea to take a break from the relationship to still the mind so that one can know why the suffering is there. If one simply stays in suffering and reacts the same way all the time, no insight will be gained into the experience.
To catalyze the potential for Self-Transformation in relationships, one can carry the intention to be their Honest Selves in all relationships. In doing so, the Inner Resistance and negativities will surface, i.e. fears of not meeting expectations, fears of not being worthy of love, anger, and so forth, allowing one to become more aware of the hidden negativities within.
Thus, if one wishes to know more about themselves, one can begin going towards different kinds of relationships. For instance, if one fears commitments, one can go into a committing relationship with someone to explore this suffering states of the mind more. However, if one feels uncomfortable to Know oneself this way, one can always form relationships with their goals, projects, i.e. buy a house or start a business etc. to explore more about their issues of commitment. So, it doesn't necessarily have to be a person that one enters into a relationship with to catalyze Self-Knowing.
The key to Self-Transformation is Self-Acceptance. See Catalyst - Transforming Negative Ideas to understand more about the Self-Transformation process.
The destination is towards discovering ourselves selves through relationships, more precisely, to be happy and comfortable being our true selves in whatever relationships we are in.
Develop Experienced Knowledge
When you find yourself disliking a person, you can ask yourself the following question to develop Self-Knowing
"What part of that person don't I like?"
"Would I be able to accept myself if I was like that person?"
The Creator's Meditation / VipassanaLink here
Realize that you are directly experiencing yourself when you are meditating. So the quality of the experience of your meditation can serve as a reflection of the quality of the relationship you have with yourself.
Know and Transform The Self!
The 10 Day One-Self Catalyst will make you realize that there is really only One Self. So all relationships that you have to others will always be about who you are. This is a powerful catalyst to make you realize the truth within the heart.