“Relationships don’t necessarily take the pain away. The only thing that ‘takes the pain away’ is a healing of the things that cause the pain. It isn’t the absence of other people in our lives that causes us the pain, but rather what we do with them when they’re there. Pure love asks for nothing but peace for a brother, knowing that only in that way can we be at peace ourselves.”
— Excerpted from Marianne Williamson’s book A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles
Before getting married, many people live with the idea that when they meet ‘Mr. or Mrs. Right’ things will change. Life will be somehow more complete, they will feel loved and fulfilled. But anyone who is married knows that those feelings can be short-lived. The reality of our own loneliness, or fear of intimacy, or patterns from our childhood start to emerge.
Then what? We blame that person for our pain. We believe they caused it. We think that if they were the ‘right’ person then we wouldn’t feel this way. But what we fail to realize is that the pain is not coming from the external source, but from our internal world.
As the quote states, pure love asks for nothing but peace. Are you expecting things from others? How does it make you feel when your expectations aren’t met? When we place our happiness, our peace, in the hands of others, based on what they do, or don’t do, we are setting ourselves up for a rough ride. When they come through for us, we are happy. When they don’t meet our expectations, we are upset.
Pain in a relationship simply shows us that we have work to do. But how can we heal the pain that we are experiencing in our relationships? Although it seems to be a quick, and effective solution, to remove that person, it is not going to change anything, unless we first change ourselves. How many people get a divorce only to remarry and find themselves in the same situation they left a few years prior?
So, first, figure out what pain is being triggered within us by that other person, and then take the necessary steps to heal that pain. Maybe our knee jerk reactions to our spouse stem from feeling rejected which can stem from our parents lack of acceptance. Maybe our judgments of our children are just a reflection of our judgments of ourselves. Use these moment to look within. Heal your pain and know that pure love asks for nothing but peace.