A Return to Love

a return to love

“…the search for the perfect person to ‘fix’ us is one of our biggest psychic wounds, and one of the ego’s most powerful delusions…” Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love

Are you having difficulty finding Mr. or Ms. Right?

Have you spent years, decades even, looking for that dreamy, ideal person who will complete you and make you whole?

If you’re like me, you’re probably dreaming up this man or woman who will uncompromisingly love you, heal your wounds and be your emotional soulmate.

Each of us desires this “holy relationship” and seeks a partner who will love and complete us.

I’m guilty of this.

Friends and family of late have been introducing me to women whom they say are “perfect” for me.

I’ve chatted with some, emailed a few and even met a couple, but each encounter has ended quickly.

I’ve found faults with every one of them, and have come up with reasons why each person will not do.

I don’t know if I was looking for a partner as much as I was looking for a savior.

Marianne Williamson’s book, A Return to Love, was my wake-up call.

Marianne Williamson, a spiritual teacher and author, points out that we are being delusional when we seek this ideal or “perfect” relationship. These fantasy notions of the ideal person are nothing more than our ego at work.

While we seek wholeness and love, our fantasies of the ideal, in fact, separate us and prevent us from having the love we desire.

What your ego is doing when you seek this special and magical relationship is arguing that the love you need must come from someone else and that only one special person can fill the deep hole in your heart.

This thought comes from a belief that you’re separate from love.

The desire for that one special person symbolizes the separation and the guilt you feel because of it. In search of love, you separate yourself from divine love. You separate yourself from the love within.

You don’t believe that everything you have and need is already within you – so now you have to seek love. This is the separation.

“This is why so much anger is often aroused in our closest relationships,” Marianne writes. “We’re projecting onto someone else the rage we feel against ourselves for cutting off our own love.”

Your ego tells you that the special person will heal your pain. The movies, the media and advertising reinforce this message – that there’s someone out there who will heal you and make you whole.

The reality of the matter is that you – and I – don’t “need” someone else.

You believe you’re not whole when, in fact, you are.

You think you’re not enough when, in fact, you are.

You don’t feel you have enough love within when, in fact, you do.

“Special love is a ‘blind’ love, seeking to heal the wrong wound.”

Our ego, in its lost and confused state, asks, “What can I get?” instead of, “What can I give?”

The ego blinds us and “…seeks to use other people to fulfill our needs as we define them.”

In our search for a special relationship, we are continually fearful because we believe that if we get too honest or too vulnerable, the special person will leave.

We try to become people we’re not. In the process, “we’re actually fostering our own self-hatred and lack of self-esteem.”

You can transform your views of relationships by adapting what the Course in Miracles describes as the “holy relationship.”

“A holy relationship starts from a different premise. Each one has looked within and seen no lack. Accepting his/her completion, (s)he would extend it by joining with another, whole as himself/herself.

The holy relationship is a friendship. It is a relationship of support, forgiveness and healing one another.

Instead of being a relationship in which we expect our partners to be a certain way or to never press our buttons, the holy relationship drops judgment, gets rid of any personal agendas and shares pure love between partners.

“We love purely when we release other people to be who they are.”

Instead of changing someone, extend love and compassion to them. Love them fully for who they are today.

A holy relationship allows you to be yourself, wounds and all.

A holy relationship is “a common state of mind, where both give errors gladly to correction, that both may happily be healed as one.”

Your goal in a relationship is not to find someone who will heal you and change your life. Your goal isn’t to find someone who will take away the pain and fill the hole in your heart.

This is a romantic notion, perpetuated by storybooks and movies. Think of a relationship as a school for love.
What if our relationships brought our pain to the surface?

They would demand that we use all of our human skills to cultivate “compassion, acceptance, release, forgiveness and selflessness.”

Don’t expect or desire a relationship that will take away your pain. Don’t expect a perfect person who is “complete” or “finished” in his or her growth.

Marianne orders us to stop glorifying romantic love.

“We seek desperately for love, but it is that same desperation that leads us to destroy it once it gets here. Thinking that one special person is going to save us tempts us to load an awful lot of emotional pressure on whoever comes along that we think might fit the bill.”

Think of a relationship as an opportunity. As learning. As a school to expand your heart and become more loving.

When you’re learning about and removing the obstacles that prevent you from loving yourself, you won’t have to harp on someone else. Instead of finding ways to change someone else or fix someone else, you have the opportunity to work on yourself, heal yourself and love yourself.

You don’t have to find a perfect person – any person can be your spiritual teacher and lesson.

Instead of looking for love and blocking love when it shows up, we need to work on ourselves.

Working on yourself means loving yourself. It means “…learning how to support another person in being the best that they can be.”

“Partners are meant to have a priestly role in each other’s lives. They are meant to help each other access the highest parts within themselves.”

How do you do this, you’re asking?

To change your perception of relationships, Marianne suggests in her book, A Return to Love, a twofold process of noticing and prayer.

1. “I see my error or dysfunctional pattern.”

2. “I ask God to take it from me.”

When you’re asking God, you are committing to the choice to let healing occur on your own.

This means the choice to make a change in your life.

You have the power within you to make the changes, to heal yourself and love yourself.

Instead of replaying past events or continuously reminding yourself of emotional wounds, actual change occurs because of decisions on your part – the decision to heal and the decision to change.

Marianne concludes by saying that you have the power to reprogram your emotional computer.

You can establish a new pattern of thinking, a new way to respond and a new way to live.

Your own healing is available to you through the choices you make.

Underneath your pain, suffering and wounds lies your true nature.

You can return to love by making the decision to do so.

To pick up a copy or A Return to Love, click here.