Image courtesy of Gaiam and Nicole Howe
This word - this word - oh this word. So all encompassing, and yet so individual isn’t it? I mean, the definition itself is fairly dynamic! In fact, there isn’t even just one definition for the word – there’s multiple!
“the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected.”
“the state of being connected by blood or marriage."
“the way in which two or more people or organizations regard and behave toward each other”
I find it challenging to not go deep into this topic because it’s deep, yet so simple. So I want to explore it all if that’s okay with you. First off though, as always, I really want to edit the definition above:
“the way in which we are connected to ourselves is actually reflected into how are connected or how we regard and behave with others.”
So let’s move forward with this definition … just for today okay?
I mean first of all, think about all the relationships present in your life right now. The people who touch your life on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Your family, friends, colleagues, boss, crossing guard, teachers, … the list goes on right?
Now, what about the people you interact with but maybe don’t classify the connection as a relationship. Like the person on the phone at your cell carrier office, or the insurance company broker, or stranger in the car in front of you at the coffee shop?
What about the political candidates running for office right now? Do you think you have a relationship to them? What if I told you that you do based on your simple awareness of their actions, but mostly given the amount of attention you offer up in response to their decisions. Simply put … you relate in one way or another to them so you are in relationship.
So just one more step further into this; do you have a relationship with money, food, spirituality, health, religion or truth? Yes … yes you do. Because it’s how you relate to these “things” present in your life right now.
So relationship is a big word, in fact, I may even be open to calling it “the” word. Because it’s everything we are.
But let me now shine a moment of pure truth on this word and what it really means.
The relationship we have with everything around us, in this lifetime, is really only a reflection of the relationship we have with ourselves.
What? What do you mean? That makes no sense!
Ah, but it does and it is the only sense to be made actually, if we are to live the life that beckons to our soul.
In the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali, he talks about being the “observer” of our life as the intention of this yoga practice. How we begin to watch ourselves and apply self-inquiry for the purpose of elevating our awareness on how we relate, is really why we are here.
And then of course there is the amazing Byron Katie who says, “If I’m in someone else’s business, who’s watching mine? Our side of the street is the only side we need be concerned with.”
And then my lovely Priestess teacher who reminds me so eloquently that, “Dear sister, remember there is only one of us in this room. Ever.”
And then to trace this belief all the way back to Ramana Maharshi who says:
Questioner: "How are we to treat others?"
Ramana Maharshi: "There are no others."
"Self-surrender," said Ramani Maharshi, "is the same as self-knowledge, and either of them implies self-control. Surrender can take effect only when it is done with full knowledge as to what real surrender means. Such knowledge comes after inquiry and reflection, and ends invariably in self-surrender. Surrender is to give oneself up to the original cause of one's being. Do not delude yourself by imagining such a source to be some God outside of you. One's source is within one's self. Give yourself up to it. That means you should seek the source and merge in it."
Read that a couple of times … that is relationship. The only relationship you have is the one with yourself. Period.
But we sure try to externalize it all don’t we? We sure try to categorize, rationalize and pathologize every relationship we have don’t we?
What if we HONESTLY … after the ego subsided that is … looked at every relationship we had as a reflection of who we are and how we were relating in that moment? What would shift?
I can give you a few words that come to mind when we honestly take this stance and integrate it into our being …
Because this IS truth – it happens all the time. You become the observer and you recognize that everything you are experiencing is a mirror of yourself and what you are offering. And when you do that your heart expands, I’m telling you. Because you see no separation and you get it. You get that you are one and that there is nothing but love … ever.
Try this …
Sit across from someone and stare into their eyes. And I mean it. Do not divert your attention. Just sit for a very long time. Sit until everything besides their eye gaze dissolves. If you’re lucky enough you will see yourself in those eyes. And if you don’t have a willing someone who will do this with you … it doesn’t matter. Because honestly, the advanced version is to do this looking at your own eyes in the mirror.
That’s all you’re ever looking at anyway. Try this one on for size … Much love and truthful blessings.