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Abstracting relationships

Written by jayson. No comments Posted in: Ethics, Philosophy

We tend to connect the pieces of our life together to make a complete story. Our egos become a huge part of this, and as a result it is often difficult to separate our ego – our sense of self and self worth – from these different pieces of our life. Particularly when it comes to relationships.

People form relationships for many reasons. The healthiest relationships are where those involved come together to create more actualization than they would normally had they never met. However, when the reasons are tied to the ego’s fear of change and identification with permanence, those relationships become unhealthy.

The problem is that both of these types of relationships manifest themselves within us in the same way. We feel this drive as attraction, both physically and/or socially. It is difficult for us to tell if we are attracted to someone out of our ego’s need for validation, safety, etc., or if it is because we experience a recognition of someone with which, should we engage them, will help us to grow and actualize. The greatest relationships are those where this recognition is reciprocal.

However, even when we do experience recognition in this way, truth is never permanent. There are an infinite number of factors that make you, you, and those things can change over time. We hold such a strong attachment to this experience of recognition – to finding someone who helps us grow – that we are often blinded to the fact that there may come a time when the reciprocity is no longer present, and when either one of us in the relationship is no longer growing further as a result of it. We cling to it so strongly that it transitions from a relationship about growth, to the first kind I described above – one based on the preservation of ego.

The feelings change. One feels inadequate, alone, or afraid – is it about me? What have I done? What can I change to get back what was there? What has changed about the other person that I can get back? All of these questions are based on the idea of returning to the recognition point; something that cannot be reversed once it has expired. And, even if it could be reversed, the desire to return to it is now based on the ego and not on the Process. It is difficult to extricate oneself from this once it has happened, but when it does happen neither person will continue to grow from the experience.

There is no “should” or “should not” here, but being honest about when this does happen is critical to moving towards further actualization for everyone involved.

One other way we can avoid this is to recognize that relationships are nuanced. A great number of people can share recognition with one another in any number of unique, healthy ways. Since every actualization point is unique, these relationships are entirely separate from each other – we can abstract them in ourselves to the point where they do not interfere. This allows us to maximize actualization among all of the people with whom we interact.

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