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Yielding Special Relationship to Real Love
Q: I've had a question in mind for some time, and I thought it would be a good idea to put it out there instead of working and re-working it in my head, which I've been doing for months (even when you were here last)! It's a special relationship question (but, of course!). The Course says there's no order of difficulty in miracles, but try as I may, I have not been able to forgive my last special relationship partner (or myself in relation to him) for more than short periods at a time. I feel like I've done the exercises so many times, and I feel like I get closer to forgiveness, but that's not really forgiveness unless it's total, right? I know that what is truly there between us is love, but my ego is riled up at the thought that he did not continue to think I was the most special person in the universe, and that he recently found a new person that he seems to fancy as "the new improved most special person in the universe"!
You would think that with my humor and my understanding of how ridiculous the ego is I would feel better about it. I only feel like its alleviating recently some because I've made sure to avoid the places that he would be at, so I'm running away in a way and acting out of fear... or maybe I'm just allowing him his space, I don't even know if I'm acting out of fear or love :( I'm confused because, at one point, I think he tried to convince me he was still "in love" with me just so he could make sure I was still "in love" with him, and then when he found out I was, he backed away, knowing he had "won the game". That was my interpretation. It's all so ridiculous, I know. And I've tried just acknowledging what I'm feeling under the layers, and letting go of the anger and judgement, and loving does hurt less than hating, but I must be feeling the wrong kind of love, because it still hurts.
Unconditional love is not supposed to hurt, I thought. And I try telling myself that I see nothing that is really there, that all I see is past images, and I believe it on some theoretical level, but it doesn't make me forget, so my feelings are still triggered by the memories of loss and feeling hurt. My not forgiving myself is in the form of feeling like I'm not good enough whenever I think about him, and judging myself for not letting my True Self win over in this case.
Why has this been so difficult and so long a process?
I still need to change my "mind" about the special relationship because I feel that being in his presence will bring up things, so I welcome your response.
I love what William Thetford said in the interview: ”The Course suggests that we forgot to laugh at the moment we first began to believe illusions were real. Perhaps one way we can find our way back to our true nature is to begin to laugh at the foolishness of many of our beliefs.” That seems appropriate too... I like laughing at silly things! Love.
Thank you for pouring your heart out and exposing private thoughts. Like you wrote, expressing it all and getting it off your chest takes the power out of the ego and dissolves it immediately. You wrote about partial forgiveness, feeling like the thoughts come up again and again and it needs to be total forgiveness for it to be over and done with. This is much like watching the air bubbles coming up in a tank, you can watch the bubbles (thoughts), forgive them and release them but unless you get down to the bottom of the tank and dismantle the pump, those bubbles ain't gonna stop!
It's good to get really clear about the difference between "Having Something Coming Up" and simply "Being in the Wrong Mind / Listening to the Ego".
When you find your mind re-hashing the past, repeating unhelpful meaningless chatter that goes nowhere you can get staunch and give the ego a swift kick. The Holy Spirit gave me a great catch- phrase, "Stop, Drop and Roll" Like the fire-fighters say to do if you catch on fire or you're surrounded by smoke and you cant see straight! Perfect! Stop the ego in it's tracks, Drop down from the swirling headspace that you are in down into your heart space (your right mind) and Roll with the Holy Spirit (feel the peace and ask for guidance "Help Holy Spirit, what would you have me say or do if anything?").
This is different to the feeling of deep emotions that have been triggered by something or someone and they need to come up, to be exposed. Again the ego will try to jump in and get you to act on your emotions, to act from a place of doubt, hurt or sadness and this simply takes you further away from the truth.
Again turn to the Holy Spirit, acknowledge your feelings, acknowledge that you don't know why you feel this way and that you are willing to be guided as to what to do, what to say right now. When you have a quiet time to yourself bring the feelings up again with the Holy Spirit and ask about them.
Yesterday I was guided to read through the Chapter 24, reading the first sentence of every paragraph and a few paragraphs here and there, to get the overall reminder of what Specialness is. It is twisted. It is not what we think it is. It is not love.
If Love is a consistent state and my experience of love has involved
inconsistency, pain, a bit of sadness here and there, then this is not
real Love. This world is a cover, made to hide fear, and the psuedo
love relationships that we engage in are not real Love. Even the love
I feel for my family, for my ex-boyfriend, right now when I think of
them I am thinking of the past, of images of them, they are thoughts
in my mind. The moments of joy, of love, of happiness that we have experienced
together are experiences of the present moment, a direct reflection
of Gods Love and when I attach these moments to the figures in the dream
I wish to have more of these moments with a particular person. When
a relationship seems to come to an end or I am not close to them in proximity
there is a feeling of loss, of wishing it were different because I am
making them special and attaching my memories of the present moment
Back to your letter, the vague feeling of fear of aging, death and loneliness that were hidden beneath the cover of the special relationship, this just about sums up the whole lot. To believe we are separated from God, that we are a body, that we will grow old and die, that we can be alone, is the ego. Reaching out for love in this world to dispel these feelings is the purpose of special relationship. It can never result in freedom, peace and happiness, It is a cover over death. All thoughts of comparisons, superiority and inferiority are of the ego, based on it's ideas of success and failure.
You are the Christ, the perfect, holy child of God, there is nothing and no-one to compare you to. If you forget your true identity for a moment just Stop, Drop and Roll. Remind yourself that you desire only the Peace of God, ask the Holy Spirit / Jesus to hold your hand and be with you right now, to help you with what ever you are experiencing.
Thank you so much for your willingness to let go of special relationships! This is saying yes to Love. To Real Love.
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