Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Love...... And Manipulation

I’ve decided to start this blog with what I’m currently working on rather than going back and posting entries from my journal in chronological order. I debated for awhile which way to structure this blog, but being that I love a lack of structure and the freedom that comes with it, why not just start right where I’m at and go wherever I’d like to go?

The decision was also influenced by the fact that what I happened to be reading today seems to be directly on point with what a lot of my friends are going through at the moment. I was reading Don Miguel Ruiz’s “The Mastery of Love” and wanted to share some excerpts from the story he tells of “The Man Who Didn’t Believe in Love." Aside from thinking my friends would benefit from the excerpts below, the story also resonated well with me.

I’ve definitely had periods in my past where I didn’t believe in love. This story highlighted a lot of the feelings I had back then and does a REALLY good job of breaking down a lot of the problems in relationships today.

It also reminded how important it is to always ask myself my intentions before acting and that if any part of my action is based on a desire to manipulate (a.k.a. get a certain reaction or action from someone, ex. saying something with the intent of making someone feel guilty), then I need to IMMEDIATELY STOP and re-evaluate my action. At the beginning of what I will refer to as “my spiritual awakening,” it was brought to my attention that I was basically a control freak. But since I’m “nice” by nature, instead of bullying people or using force to get what I wanted, I subconsciously used seduction all the time. i.e. I was nice to people so that I’d receive whatever action I wanted from them. To emphasize further, during my first energy healing meeting, I drew the card of “Femme Fatale” as my issue. That’s a good phrase to sum up my past power/control issues.

Anyhow, I went to work on that “manipulating issue” IMMEDIATELY and I did a pretty good job of ambushing it out of my personality. I’m 100% certain nowadays that I give from the heart and expect nothing in return. But months after focusing on the issue of subconsciously manipulating people, it’s good to get a reminder of the havoc that our human tendency to try manipulate can cause.

So I figured I’d go ahead and start with excerpts from this story and not worry about the sequential order of my blog. I’m following “Divine Order” instead.:-D I’m 100% certain someone will benefit from reading these passages at this very moment.

The story is about a man who thought love didn’t exist (as the title would suggest).

Excerpts (it’s definitely not word for word. That would’ve taken forever):

“Wherever he went, he used to tell people that love is nothing but an invention of the poets, an invention of religions just to manipulate the weak mind of humans, to have control over humans, to make them believe.

This man was highly intelligent, and he was very convincing….. his logic was very strong. What he said was that love is just like a drug; it makes you very high, but it creates a strong need. You can become highly addicted to love, but what happens when you don’t receive your daily doses of love? Just like a drug, you need your everyday doses.

He used to say that most relationships between lovers are just like a relationship between a drug addict and the one who provides the drugs. The one who has the biggest need is like the drug addict; the one who has the little need is like the provider. The one who has little need is the one who controls the whole relationship. You can see this dynamic so clearly because usually in every relationship there is one who loves the most and the other who doesn’t love, who only takes advantage of the one who gives his/her heart. You can see the way they manipulate each other, their actions and reactions, and they are just like the provider and the drug addict.

The drug addict lives in constant fear that perhaps he will not be able to get the next dosage of love, or the drug. The drug addict thinks, “What am I going to do if he leaves me?” That fear makes the drug addict very possessive. The addict becomes jealous and demanding because of the fear of not having the next dosage. The provider can control and manipulate the one who needs the drug by giving more doses, fewer doses, or no doses at all. The one who has the biggest need completely surrenders and will do whatever he can to avoid being abandoned.

He explained to everyone why love doesn’t exist, “What humans call ‘love’ is nothing but a fear relationship based on control. Where is the respect? Where is the love they claim to have? There is no love. Young couples in front of the representation of God, in front of their families and friends, make a lot of promises to each other: to live together forever, to love and respect each other, to be there for each other through the good and the bad times. They promise to love and honor each other… What is amazing is that they really believe these promises. But after the marriage- one week later, one month later, a few months later- you can see that none of these promises are kept.

What you find is a war of control to see who will manipulate whom. Who will be the provider, and who will have the addiction? You find that a few months later, the respect they swear to have for each other is gone. You see the resentment, the emotional poison, how they hurt each other, little by little, and it grows and grows, until they don’t know when the love stops……. The one with strongest will and less need wins the war, but where is that flame they call love? They treat each other like a possession.’

The man told others, “I have done all that already. I will no longer allow anyone to manipulate my mind and control my life in the name of love…..”

And then the man randomly meets a woman one day in the park who held ALL his same beliefs on love. She didn’t believe love existed either and shared his same reasons for her belief. She explains to him (in regards to her ex-husband), “We swore to each other our loyalty, respect, and honor and we created a family. But soon everything changed. I was the devoted wife who took care of the home while he developed his career. Soon his career was more important to him than our family. He lost respect for me, and I lost respect for him. We hurt each other, and at a certain point I discovered that I didn’t love him and he didn’t love me either…”

He responded to her, “…We look for love, we open our heart, and we become vulnerable, just to find selfishness. That hurts us even if we don’t think we’ll be hurt. It doesn’t matter how many relationships we have; the same thing happens again and again. Why even search for love any longer?”

Anyhow, they end up becoming best friends because they are so much alike.

“It was a wonderful relationship. They respected each other, and they never put each other down. With every step they took together, they were happy. There was no envy or jealousy, there was no control, there was no possessiveness. They loved to be together because when they were together they had a lot of fun. When they were not together, they missed each other.

One day the guy thought, “Hmmm…. Maybe what I feel for her is love. But this is so different from what I have ever felt before. It’s not what the poets say it is, it’s not what religion says, because I am not responsible for her. I don’t take anything from her; I don’t have the need for her to take care of me; I don’t need to blame her for my difficulties or take my dramas to her. We have the best time together; we enjoy each other. I respect the way she thinks, the way she feels. She doesn’t embarrass me; she doesn’t bother me at all. I don’t feel jealousy when she’s with other people; I don’t feel envy when she is successful. Perhaps love DOES exist, but it’s not what everyone thinks is love.”

He tells her this new thought and she says she was thinking the same thing. So they become lovers and move in together, and “It was amazing that things didn’t change. They still respected each other, they were still supportive of each other, and the love grew more and more. Even the simplest things made their hearts sing with love because they were so happy.

The man’s heart was so full with all the love he felt that one night a great miracle happened. He was looking at the stars and he found the most beautiful one, and his love was so big that the star started coming down from the sky and soon that star was in his hands. Then a second miracle happened, and his soul merged with that star. He was intensely happy and he could hardly wait to go to the woman and put that star in her hands to prove his love to her. As soon as he put that star in her hands, she felt a moment of doubt. This love was overwhelming, and in that moment, the star fell from her hands and broke in a million little pieces.

Now there is an old man walking around the world swearing that love doesn’t exist. And there is a beautiful old woman at home waiting for a man, shedding a tear for the paradise that once she had in her hands, but for one moment of doubt, she let it go.’

That’s the story. And then the author goes on to ask, “Who made the mistake?? Do you want to guess what went wrong?

“The mistake was on the man’s part in thinking he could give the woman his happiness. The star was his happiness, and his mistake was to put his happiness in her hands. Happiness never comes from outside of us. He was happy because of the love coming out of him; she was happy because of the love coming out of her. But as soon as he made her responsible for his happiness, she broke the star because she could not be responsible for his happiness……

If you take your happiness and put it in someone’s hands, sooner or later, she is going to break it. If you give your happiness to someone else, she can always take it away. If happiness can only come from inside you and is the result of your love, you are responsible for your own happiness. We can never make anyone responsible for our own happiness, but when we go to the church to get married, the first thing we do is exchange rings. We put our star in each other’s hands, expecting that she is going to make you happy, and you are going to make her happy……”

Re-creating "paradise" is a phase of my life I certainly look forward to when it comes. This time with so much more wisdom under my belt.....