Enlightened Relationships

Relationships - Enlightened Relationships

by Suma Varughese
None of us are free because we are all pulled and pushed by the relationships in our lives. they
determine our moods, motives and actions. how then are we to be free of
these factors and sail into relationships that are loving and
beautiful, but not coercive?

The philosopher, J. Krishnamurti, used to put a hugepremium on relationships. To be, he used to say, is to be related. What
he meant by this somewhat cryptic statement was that we are born into a
web of relationships with everything that comes our way, including
objects and events. Our relationship with the people in our lives and our own selves, are, of course, our primary relationships.

There is certainly no doubt that our happiness revolves
a great deal around our relationships. There is also no doubt that our
relationships, as Krishnamurti used to say, are the clearest mirrors of
our own states of mind, reflecting all our weakness and strengths, our
generosity or lack of it, our sense of security or lack of it, our need
to control or not, our sense of caring, loving, nurturing, etc. This
being so, how can we ensure that our relationships are the source of
joy and happiness in
our lives and not of tension, grief and rage? All of us have been
through contentious equations with people, perhaps with our parents,
siblings, teachers, bosses or peers. We have bullied or been bullied,
exploited and manipulated or vice versa, loved or been loved and so on.
All of us have experienced the helplessness of depending on others for
our happiness.

This is never more so than when we fall inlove. Suddenly, one person becomes crucial for our happiness. We long
to be loved by her/him, long to please them, long to secure the relationship in
some lasting way. Whatever they do affects us, so that we experience
the whole panoply of feelings in love: joy, tenderness, giddy
excitement, hurt, grief, anger and frustration.

In The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle talks about the irony of experiencing pain in a love relationship. How can it be love? he asks. How right he is. What we experience is not love but our own ego’s needs, desires and play of imagination. But insofar as love relationships force us to confront these issues, they are of tremendous importance and constitute a path in their own right.

To an extent, these feelings are at play in all our relationships,
helping us to see how little freedom and self-determination we really
have. Where is freedom, when a word or look from someone can send us
into paroxysms of joy or sorrow? Where is freedom when your neighbor's
new car sends you tail spinning into envy and the determination to
upgrade your own vehicle? Where is freedom when your father’s
disapproval invalidates any achievement, including winning the Nobel

None of us are free because we are all pulled and pushed by the
relationships in our lives. They determine our moods, motives and
actions. How then are we to be free of these factors and sail into
relationships that are loving and beautiful, but not coercive? How can
we relate to people in freedom? How can we spin away from this cycle of
attraction to some and resistance to others? How can we retain our
balance in all situations? How can we be our own person all the time
with everyone?

These are questions all seekers address for without this ability we are
only provisionally ourselves. The controls to our behavior and
ourselves lie outside us and not within.

As we inquire deeply into this issue we will once again come to the
same hoary conclusion. We can control our reactions, but not that of
others. We have no control at all over what people are like, what they
think, say or do. Your wife nags you; your subordinate sends the office
into gales of laughter by mimicking you; the driver in the car ahead of
you is painfully slow. That’s the way they are. What can you do? Oh,
yes, you can rave and rant and scream and yell, until they carry you
out feet first, a victim to stress and heart failure. Or you can work on yourself.

One thing is to recognize that the other person has the perfect right
to be who he or she is. Just as we have been given freedom of choice,
so have they and therefore it’s up to us to accept them as they are,
and not up to them to change themselves to suit you. The plain truth is
that the world is not designed to please us; it’s up to us to change
ourselves and our attitude to attune to the world. The minute we give
people the right to be themselves, we drop all expectations of them. We
can’t have any, because we have no control over them. So what do we do
with our feelings, reactions and general emotional mess? We take
responsibility for them. They are our problem. We have to take
ownership of them and process them within ourselves instead of spraying
them all over the world. When we truly do this, we go deep within
ourselves into the very depth of our being. There we lovingly receive
our feelings, wants, needs, desires, anger, grief, in fact any mental
movement. Through loving attention and acceptance we gradually
assimilate our reactions within us and free ourselves of them.

When we become capable of doing this we freewheel out of the control of
others and finally into our own. The beauty is that when we give others
their freedom, we are actually taking back our own freedom. The
attachments that tie us to the world are born out of an untidy tangle
of blaming others for our reactions, being dependent on them, wanting
them to behave the way we want them to, etc. When we finally free
ourselves of all these and accept with clarity that our reactions,
feelings, wants, fantasies and what have you are all our projections
and others are not responsible for them, and simultaneously that their
reactions, etc., are their business and we don’t have to take
responsibility for it, we start separating ourselves from others. We
begin to cut the Gordian knot that ties us to people.

This is freedom. Enjoy it and savor it. It is very hard won. From now
on, you will not be dependent on others; you will not be in their
control. And therefore, you can reach out to them in friendliness and


What do you think about this, my friend?  Dave Kenyon

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  • Thank you so much! This is so beautiful! I love it! This is it! :)

    When we give others the right to be free and choose for themselves, we are helping them to learn and grow in life. This is every soul's individual journey after all. They have come to develop, to fulfill some purpose of their life and to know it all- they need freedom to make choices, learn from them and do things on their own. 

    And when we appreciate them, when we give them freedom and when we love them as they are - in the process we free ourselves too. We also get freedom to seek truth, grow and discover the purpose of our own life. Thus form- enlightened relationships!

    And we can do this when we are connected to our source. We feel so complete that we don't want anyone to complete ourselves. When two complete individuals come into a relationship that relationship becomes a truly enlightened one, a true joy! Imagine two equal players playing a game! Likewise, two spiritual players playing the game of life! What a joy! :) 

    Much blessings.  

    Peace, love and light to all

  • This is a pretty good article.

    We all like to think we are truely accepting of others, especially our partners and the people closest to us- none of us like to admit (especially not to ourselves) that we are 'conditionally accepting'. We have ideals that we envision- these encompass ourselves- our families- friends- career- all of the spheres in our lives- and ussually theres nothing wrong or unhealthy about that- thats the yardstick that we measure our feelings of success and progress and hapiness by.

    The inherent challenges we all face in our journey to fullfill our desires and ideals is the chaos of choice and chance. We each have free will and the right to exercise that free will.

    Moulding others into our 'plans'- or even just assuming that they will fall into their place is pretty neive.

    Thats part of the mystery and fun of life- everyone has choices and options and has their own beliefs and opinions and morals. It's what makes our lives interesting.

    I think it's great that the people closest to me are in ways the most distant from me. I have no desire to try to control them anymore- (there was a period of time i felt- why are they like this? why cant they be like that? etc etc? which to me is me attempting to control them and force them into a mould that suits my ideals)

    Instead I marvel at their resourcefulness and fun loving natures- am intrigued by their motives at times, celebrate their triumphs with them, laugh at lifes trials and challenges- and truely enjoy their unique character and presence in my life.

    Lately i thought to myself- ' who am i to think that i know whats best for another individual adult? who am i to say that this is a better option or choice than that?' It was a profound thought to me, because i feel that we each create our own realities and I have no business or desire to want to change someone else or tinker with their world.

    That's the beauty of individual freedom- it's an individuals responsibility also. I have no desire to be responsible for others.

    I have my own self to change- and my own life to affect. I have my own choices to make and my own reality to shape.

    Something verry powerful about focusing on yourself and infusing your own life with energy and enthusiasm. It's gaining control and power over yourself- and consciously shaping your own path.

    And amazingly it has a flow on effect- others react differently to you when you yourself behave differently.


  • This a very good piece of information. How to be free and then enjoy our lives. I Wish all u desire for for the effort u r making towards humanity.
  • Ellie, you post shows so much insight and your strategy of saying goodbye to unfulfilling relationships is often the very act of self-love that is necessary to set yourself free from relationship entrapment's that are toxic in nature. To know when yo let go is as vital as knowing when to reach out to embrace a potential new relationship. ~Dave
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