On a TV episode of “Animal Hoarders” a woman with a gazillion cats was asked why she had so many and her response was, “Cats won’t let you down like people will.” One can only imagine the painful experiences she’s had to arrive at such a statement! And yet despite the possibility of pain our hearts are made for communion which is the core of our relationships with others. Communion with someone does not mean agreeing with them all of the time or even at all but of being connected in such a way that one can actually hear the intentions of the heart behind those words. This requires listening without an agenda!
In counseling situations I have seen how the current culture of “Self” has confused our expectations concerning relationships and even our relationship with the Divine! Prayer is not for getting or for having our desires fulfilled. Prayer is the way in which we participate in a relationship with the Divine. Prayer is our way of talking with the Divine and turning the attention of our minds and hearts toward connection with the Divine. What kind of relationship would it be if every time we spoke to a person we had an agenda or desire to only demand or ask for something? Especially in our relationship with the Divine but in all of our relationships we need to grow up and stop viewing others as being there to fulfill my needs, wants and desires!
And yet in every relationship the heart wants some sense of fulfillment! As a Navigator in the Navy I learned a trick about how to catch sight of something in the dark distance at night. Instead of focusing directly at it you can use your peripheral vision from a sideways angle to detect it! In regard to relationships my own experience is this trick works well with others too! Instead of focusing on what I can get out of the relationship I have found it more fruitful to embrace the mindset of what I can give to it! When I do that then the satisfaction we all hope for comes of its own accord! When I insist that the relationship be about satisfying ME then my heart is unable to experience the happiness for which it so yearns!
Relationships are tricky in that they involve others who have had their own experiences. They have their own memories, thoughts and desires so how we approach them makes a difference! Relationships never work when we approach them warily or doubtfully as if we suspect they might not be stable. Allow the person to be themselves and not as we might want them to be! If we need them to be a certain way then maybe that relationship is not for us! The trick is to leave the heart open to a relationship’s surprises and allow ourselves to be lead into the deep unknowns of its mystery!