Why do people resist change? It’s curious given the fact that transformation is built into nature. Future life forms are seeded, they grow, mature, evolve, and then go back to the earth and the process starts anew. Even when this process is threatened, nature is always working to preserve relational balance. Love without limits is the very nature of nature (pun intended). We are all a part of nature. So, why is it so hard for us to be natural in love?
The problem is that we are so conditioned to be unnatural in love that we have no idea what that even means or how to do it. There is this systematic cleansing function in nature called biotransformation. This is an umbrella term for a set of biochemical reactions that help to remove pollutants and contaminants from the environment to create homeostatic balance. This applies to the macro environment of earth, as well as the micro environment that is our human body; basically any system of life has catalysts that assist in removing threats that attempt to disrupt the smooth operation of the system.
How does this compare to humans and love relationships? Well, we also have catalysts built into our emotional and relational worlds that perform a similar function. We call them feelings and they come from our authentic self, our inner voice. But, when we ignore these intuitive nudges and allow toxic people, toxic behaviors, toxic thoughts, and toxic societal paradigms infiltrate our emotional bodies, and then block our feelings from doing their job (to clear out toxins) we become ill in love and in life.
Relationships feel complicated because we make them so. I truly feel that they don’t need to be and are not meant to be. What ultimately changed my perspective on this was discovering unconditional love, or love without limits. What this means is that I am simply here to love, learn, teach and grow, and so are you, and so is everyone else of this planet. None of us own the rights to or are beholden to anyone else, we are all sovereign beings with the natural born right to make choices that support us evolving towards our higher selves. Will partners make choices that you don’t like? Most definitely. But, you always have a choice to stay or go. Nobody owes you anything.
What makes relationships toxic? The idea that just because we choose to engage in relationship with another soul, that they owe us something. Whether it be that our image of who they are can never be challenged, or that our expectations of where we think the relationship should go are always met, or that we have an automatic pass to every facet of their private life, or that it is okay to engage with them in disrespectful ways, the list goes on. But, it all comes back to that initial idea of being owed. Psychologists call this the “transactional relationship”. And, this is the main relationship paradigm in the world today, unfortunately.
If wants, needs and boundaries are clearly communicated in a transparent and open way in a love relationship, agreed upon, and then violated, we have two choices; stay or go. Even in this scenario, nobody owes us anything. It is about us as individuals and choices. It is about self-responsibility. It is about asking ourselves: Is this relationship contributing to my higher good? Is this relationship contributing to their higher good? Is this relationship contributing to the collective higher good? Meaning, are we setting an elevated example of relationship to those around us as well as to each other? It is about love above all else. Many times love does not look how we expect based on our social conditioning. Sometimes letting someone go is the highest form of love because you are allowing them to bring the focus back to themselves and their healing journey. Sometimes love is staying and evolving together. Sometimes love is a hybrid of the two. Only our inner authentic voice knows the answers to what would be the best way to express love in each moment.
Just like hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria inherently know how to degrade oil pollutants in our earth environment, and enzymatic reactions remove pharmaceutical drug waste from our bodies, our inner authentic voice knows how to release toxic emotional energy. Listening to this voice is the key to becoming a vibrant, healthy soul who is capable of having mature and expansive relationships. Changing our perspective from a transactional or “owing” relationship paradigm to love without limits is the key to emotional freedom and personal upliftment.
How do we go about shifting from transactional or “owing” love to love without limits or “unconditional” love?
Stop resisting change. I’m sure you have heard the cliché “live in the moment”? I’m not talking about a devil may care attitude of blazing through life doing whatever you want disregarding everyone in your path, which is what many may attribute to this cliché . That would be advocating narcissism, and I am definitely not doing that here. What I am advocating is not making highly specific mental and emotional future plans regarding anything, including your relationships.
Try not to put your hopes, dreams and expectations on others. Don’t burden them with that stuff, that is your stuff! They have their own set of those. Just love them and help them to grow and evolve in the most compassionate ways possible. Accept that you both will grow and change, which means that every day is a new day to choose or un-choose the relationship.
Allow life to guide you. Release attachment to “the way things should be'“, and your societally-conditioned beliefs. Be open to possibility and where life is propelling you. Take action when your authentic inner voice guides you to. You will be blown away by the feelings of liberation once you do this. Get off the hamster wheel of stagnancy. Your relationship will thank you for it. Your love will feel more alive as soon as you start implementing this.
Realize that life is a collection of lessons.
Let’s use the concept of trust in relationships as an example. Let’s say that your expectation is that your significant other should never privately message friends of the opposite sex without telling you about it. Yet, you never discussed this as a boundary to your partner. But, when you find out that your partner has done this, you feel that they have violated your trust, and they are therefore untrustworthy. But, are they really? Or, are they simply not meeting your undisclosed expectations?
Obsessing over trust in relationships is often indicative of a lack of trust in oneself. Maybe you have had people lie to you in the past, but what is this trying to teach you? Where does this expectation that your partner cannot message friends of the opposite sex come from? Is it fair to place these restrictions on your partner because of your past relationship experiences? Would your relationship be better served if you approached the situation with curiosity, vulnerability and openness versus blame, anger and resentment?
Utilize the Scout mindset introduced through the life-changing Ted Talk by Julia Galef to find clarity in your life. Be open to the possibility that you are projecting your past issues on to current relationships. Be open to being wrong about your partner’s intentions. Be open to hearing and absorbing their truth. Just be open.
Trust the moment. ‘Don’t trust people, trust the moment’, as Kyle Cease recently expressed. Re-focus on yourself and your personal journey. When you are on your path and following guidance from your inner compass, all of the drama of relationships tends to melt away. When you are engaged in life and how you are expressing your unique soul, you don’t have the time or energy to project your shadows on the world or your partner. This is why self-exploration is another key to shifting from transactional relationships to love without limits. Your capacity to love grows stronger every day that you are expanding your consciousness and allowing the moments in life to guide you towards your most authentic self and your purpose here on earth.
Be with people who accept all of you. Be with people who want to help you to be your best self. Leave people who don’t. It really is that simple once you start listening to your internal guidance. You won’t agonize over personal decisions as much because you no longer carry the weight of the expectations of others and you no longer project your hopes, dreams and expectations on to them.
We think that transactional love is natural because, for most of us, that is all we have ever known. But, we have been lied to. The “you complete me” and Disney constructs have warped our minds. This is exactly why there is so much love relationship dysfunction in the world. If you really take a long, hard look at these ideas we have about what love is and how it should work, you will eventually see this dysfunction with absolute clarity and understand that transactional relationships are the most unnatural and destructive type of relating there is.
“I’ll give you this, but only if you give me that.” “I’ll do this for you if you meet my expectations of who I believe that you should be.” “I’ll love you if you act this way, but if you act this other way, I will hate and resent you.” “You owe me.”
Do you see how this is all about how the relationship will reinforce an individual’s expectations instead of actually loving another person? People behave this way because they are afraid that they cannot be loved for their true authentic selves. They don’t believe that being who they are is enough. Therefore transactionality comes into play to act as a catalyst to balance the scales (albeit in an unhealthy way). If we instead followed nature and became love, if we cleared the toxic emotions and listened to our inner voice, we would choose our relationships every day as long as they were balancing our emotional systems, evolving us and flowing with the practice of unconditional love.
Are you ready to let nature take it’s course when it comes to love?