relationships

how do i meet the right person?
someone who loves, understands, accepts, supports us & shares my life?

The question is, why aren't we providing these things for ourself?
In order to be understood, supported, accepted, we have to give all those things to ourselves.
All the acceptance in the world is empty when we don't truly have acceptance for all of our experience.
We have to arrive in relationships from a place of wholeness, rather than being needy, lonely, desperate. Neediness is utterly unattractive.
self-confidence and inner peace is very very attractive to others.
When we can give ourselves what we need, we have no need to control our partners.
As far as "sharing our life" why can't we share our experiences with our spiritual friends? Why do we need there to be a single person who knows everything?
Why can't we give that to ourselves?

The test:

close eyes and ask ourselves what we most want from a new relationship or present one.
whatever it is we're searching for is what we haven't developed yet in our own spiritual practice.
if we want support, its because we haven't rewarded ourselves for our efforts.
if we want acceptance, its because we've been too critical of ourselves.
if we want understanding, its because we haven't taken the time to get to know ourselves.

our present relationships.
"how can I maintain my individuality in this relationship?"
what do we mean by "individuality?" Thinking in vague, abstract terms doesn't help.
Most of the time we're refering to friendships, hobbies, interests we had or want to have that we persued outside of the relationship.
why have we abandoned it to begin with? did anyone put a gun to our head?

"what if each of us wants different things?"
can we sit with the part of our mind that feels threatened when our partners want something other than what we want?
How can I get what i want without requiring my partner to change.
If you want Japanese food and they want Korean, the trick is not to settle each night for Chinese. Take turns taking risks, exploring what each other finds exciting. Don't settle for what's agreeable and easy.
Instead of hoping someone will fix our loneliness, lack of ambition, our lives...

How can we be the person who has the life we want?

What if I'm with someone and don't feel that magic?
What is magic?
It resides in the brain, its not in the other person. It is partially neurotransmitters and hormones kicking off...we become addicted to its lack of subtlety.

What happens is we meet someone, the craving part of the brain creates a wonderful chemical mix that puts in a drugged state where reality recedes. Its easy, as we know so little about our partners in the beginning, they're blank canvases we can project anything onto...
Eventually the drugs recede, and we're back in our lives, and its their fault that our jobs suck, etc.
We're back in our normal mind, which is agitated.
Sometimes in new relationships we don't feel the magic from the beginning, and we feel there's something wrong with our partner.

"magic" is again a state of craving. it is a set up for suffering.
Filled with low self esteem. Worry. Resentments. Guilt. Old rejections. Superiority.

Eventually the little things they do that we don't, the things they want that we don't, grab our attention.

The trick is to learn to appreciate the longer lasting mental states that don't pass.

"how can we understand the other's needs better?"
how can i understand myself better so that i can see all the cravings that are interfering with hearing my partner?
Spiritual practice unloads the stuff that keeps us in ruts, that keeps us from truly experiencing what's going on.
The Buddha shows us that below our cognitive radar that are constant states of old karma, feelings that are filtering our experience. Without being mindful, we have no hope of truly hearing what our partners are saying.
Breath. Feel the body. Steady the mind.

"how can i best express my needs?"
first we look at these needs. what do we sense that we're lacking?
Support? Acceptance?
How can I give them to myself rather than demand it from another person?
When we come to relationships needing the other person to give us acceptance we cannot give ourselves, we're placing too much need on the other person.

Growing spiritually with others
we are social beings, and to certain extent we do need to awaken spiritually with each other. even when alone, we must carry a sense of being connected and belonging.

daily relationships are critical. not separated from our core relationships.
daily relationships are how we practice for our partners.
how we deal with feelings of rejection, frustration, not being heard will determine how we act in a relationship.

The buddha spent much of his life teaching monks how to live together.
the key practice is right-speach. true and helpful.
if we are always honest and helpful, its difficult to cause suffering.
others rarely act threatened & cause harm if we establish a good track record.
from that grows non-harming. he always counseled admission of guilt when wrong.

Listening. What are they really trying to get across.
Try to figure out what's really being said when someone's emotional. Don't get caught up by words that are trying to gain attention.

Mindfulness.
PAUSING. When we react out of habit, we get lost in:
—>Defending, Distancing and Judging. That's how we feel safe.

(satipatthana) The key in communication is to listen, pause, relax the body, notice our feelings and mental states.

When we don't pause we're driven by unconscious fears, asavas, as the buddha called them. when we are mindful we can stop the influx of old hurts from controlling our reactions.

Let it out to get it out.
Its a human mental illness to feel that what we experience is different from everyone else. It keeps us defensive and distant. It keeps us from being open.
Eventually when we learn to share our deepest hurts and fears we can experience the armor that protects us fall away.
Sometimes we share and our friend will not understand—that's why we cultivate a spiritual fellowship, so that we can eventually find mirrors for all our experience.