Another thing that can have a major shift is relationships, especially intimate ones. While we may have spent a lifetime learning how to relate and communicate well with others, those principles can fly out the door when who we are changes.
One of the rude discoveries with awakening can be the jarring recognition of how primitive our world-view and behaviour had been prior. With the witness, the whole thing is much more concious. Did I really believe that? Was I really caught by such a doofus story? It’s a little like some of those teen coming-of-age things when you catch yourself acting out in a childish drama. Urk.
Of course, this depends a little on how distinct the transition is and how much self-work you’ve done prior.
The other part of this is becoming conscious of how others are relating to you. As an object? As a needs-meeting machine? As part of a big codependent story that you have to play along with to be accepted? You have to be a little patient with yourself and others during the transition until you find ways to be comfortable with what is here. It may be a bit disconcerting but some of this is normal and natural and not everybody wants to hear your new “truth”.
Some may balk if you stop playing the game. You may well choose to stop. Or maybe you’ll just see it as a game to play and see where it goes. Just remember it’s not always best to make major decisions when you are in the middle of a shift.
It’s also good to be reminded that relationships can be a means to fulfil our purpose and to resolve our unmet past. Rejecting relationships is just a form of avoidance. Accept them for what they are and they form a great mirror for what remains that is unaddressed.
There’s an old joke that if you want to see how enlightened you are, spend a week with your family of origin.
With awakening, you shift from a spiritual practice for a small part of the day to being in samadhi 24/7. You live silent being at all times. This will rapidly accelerate growth and purification.
Thus, your own baggage will clear out more quickly but may be a little in your face at times. This can be a good time to have spiritual support. It’s difficult to stay in denial when you’re awakeness itself.
None of this is a problem. It is all simply symptoms of a transition.
At a certain point, the refinement gets deep enough that the divine begins to become apparent in everything. The world is seen as full of life and perfection. Namaste is real. When we interact with someone, we can see their divinity and may make the mistake of assuming they also do. Isn’t it obvious? This can create curious miscommunication in close relationships. As always – ask, don’t assume. Again, it’s about the transition and getting used to it.
After some discussion, Michael Smith shared this in a forum:
“Good or bad, happy, sad ones, perfect ones, painful ones… they are all divine relationships. Serving one purpose.. to awaken wholeness..
The greatest love story is the one your are living. Its not completing yourself with another person, but rather you returning to your beloved. The beloved you left on the shore as all of the dance, the wind, the sun, the place where a breeze appears from…this beloved is your lover.. and.. ha ha ha ha.. lol.. this beloved is cloaked and disguised as ALL…appearing to this YOU.
So how do we return to our beloved.. how? by ending your story, ending your search and seeing that what you have been seeking is what you are already. This beautiful endless being, with no one present, no body, no mind, just an opening of space appearing… boundless.. this is the merge of the beloved.
Look all around see the divine in play, feel the divine relationships of all appearing, Mystery moves the beloved as friends, enemies, ups and downs.. and even creates the play for the mind to appear to separate it all..
so.. its not who YOU are with, but how all is appearing through
Return back to shore immediately by stopping.. and see this.. here now and open whisper .. a gift, a love”
As may be obvious, this outlook may significantly change the kind of person you’d want to have a close relationship with. If they can’t relate to how you see them and the world it can make things awkward.
When we escape from the story and drama, a new kind of relationship can open. This is a relationship not based on meeting our needs from outside but on expressing our love and joy that are bursting forth. A place to give to rather than get from. The potential for love, resonance, acceptance, and mutual support is exponentially more profound.
“When the Self moves forward and absorbs the heart, the crust falls away and a divine love emerges, flowing out and seeking an object of devotion. We are no longer looking for love but rather seeking a place to give it.” (ibid) In the Vedic tradition they talk about the object of devotion. It can be God (in any form), guru, or upaguru. The last is ones mate as an object of devotion, a point for love to flow to.
What form this will take for each of us is unique – what approach we take in our relationship with God (there will be one, belief or not) and with intimate relationships. The sage Ramana chose a mountain. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, his teacher.
Its worth noting that while renunciation has come to dominate some spiritual traditions, the vast majority of histories greatest sages, both men and women, have been married.
Relationships are very good for you. But you may have to relearn how to be in them, just as you learn how to be who you have become. A few times.