Notes for a Valentines weekend

Last weekend, I took myself to the Esalen Institute at Big Sur, California — probably the most beautiful hot springs spa in the world. While I was there, I sat in on a workshop on Finding True Love by Daphne Rose Kingma, author of the book of the same name. (Rather than going out on a date, this was a valentine’s gift to myself this year.) Daphne’s work on relationships is unsurpassed and, as to be expected, I learned some profound things.

In her book “The Future of Love,” Daphne writes and teaches that, during the past century of personal growth along psychological lines, people have been trying to use relationships for emotional need fulfillment. Now that many of us have done a fair amount of “emotional work” — often wreaking havoc on traditional forms of relationship — we are being called by Spirit to view relationships differently. It is time for relationships to become less personality-based and more soul-based, which means different forms, different priorities, and a different experience of Love.

It’s hard to let go of our desire to get our emotional needs met by a partner … it’s such an attractive fantasy, but it doesn’t really work. It puts too much pressure on one relationship. A soul-based approach to relationship has a different objective. Rather than looking to the other to meet our personal needs, we look to the relationship as an adventure of love and ask “How can I expand my ability to be kind and generous, not only to a partner, but to myself and all beings.” A much wider perspective … and much more under our control.

We cannot control the past. We cannot control other people (not even a spouse :-). The one things we can control have to do with the “inner game” — our attitude and our expectations. Perhaps the more I look to how I can be more loving, focusing on radiating love (including for myself), instead of getting my needs met by another person, I will attract a partnership that better serves our long-term well-being and happiness.

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