There are several reasons why relationships fail, and very few reasons why they succeed. If TRUE love is your goal, you won’t find it by building your relationships on earthly foundations. Soul mates cannot be found through worldly means. Whatever image you’ve created of your soul mate, the beautiful woman with the piercing eyes, or the handsome man with the chiseled features; these are rarely more than superficial fantasies. As long as you’re searching for that perfect IMAGE, you will prevent yourself from seeing your true soul mate when your paths actually do cross.
So how has romance treated you thus far? Have you been successful? Is this your first relationship? If it is, and it has the right elements, you may have that happily ever after ending you’ve been searching for. But if those elements are missing, or you’ve had more than one failed relationship in the past, chances are, your present relationship, will not be your last. That, of course, depends upon the pattern you’ve developed. You haven’t developed a pattern, you say? Perhaps not, but, then again, maybe you have, and you just don’t realize it.
Let’s take a look at the man who married three times, prior to his present relationship. In each of his previous marriages, his wives cheated on him. Would you say this man has a pattern? A woman, who married twice, was abused by one husband, and cheated on by the other? Does that qualify as a pattern? Her two husbands betrayed her in different ways, so what’s consistent about that? A man who married twice, cheated on his first wife, but in his second marriage his wife cheated on him? How could that possibly be a pattern? The truth is, each example describes a pattern of failure. One failure need not be exactly like the last to create a pattern.
The first thing a person MUST do in order to change their present paradigm, is take responsibility for their pattern of failure. We often take on the roll of victim when relationships end. This absolves us of the responsibility for our failure. But how are we ever going to learn from our mistakes if we convince ourselves we never made them? If we spend our time blaming our former partners for the destruction of our relationships, then we don’t really understand how relationships work. When two individuals unite, they become two halves of one soul. They are no longer individuals. Modern relationships, however, do not share these ideals. Couples enter into a marriage on a trial basis only. Neither party is willing to relinquish their individuality; for fear that the relationship may fail. Should that happen, individuality insures that they will be able to make a clean break. Even those of us who believe that marriage is forever, remain uncertain that the relationship will actually last. In a world where people divorce for reasons as superficial as a man losing his hair, or a woman’s body changing after pregnancy, why shouldn’t we be uncertain of marriage?
Regardless of the reasons a relationship ends, the FACT that you are responsible for your pattern, does not change. Let’s examine the word responsible for a moment. In any given situation, you are able to respond wisely, or foolishly. In other words, you are response-able. A man dates a woman who shows all the signs of being a cheater, but because he’s convinced himself that she’s the “one,” he refuses to see those signs. A woman dates a man with a temper, who doesn’t hide his jealousy, regarding her flirtatious personality. His jealous tirades could easily evolve into physical abuse. But she convinces herself that he is her soul mate, and ignores the signs. So who is at fault in these examples?
A man is walking through a forest and spots a wounded bear. He has compassion for the bear, so he runs home and gets his truck and trailer. He coaxes the bear into the trailer with some raw fish, and takes him home. He clears a place for the bear in his garage, and begins nursing the animal back to health. After several weeks, the bear is healthy once more. The man believes he’s made himself a new friend, and prepares to return the bear to the forest. He throws some raw fish into the trailer and opens the garage door. But instead of peacefully climbing into the trailer for the fish, the bear is startled by the sound of the garage door and attacks the man, killing him. The man appears before Jesus, and asks Him why the bear would attack someone who was only trying to help him.
God explains to the man that the bear isn’t to blame for his death. He tells him that it was his own compassion for the beast that brought about his untimely end. “You believed that rescuing the bear, and providing the necessary care needed to save its life, would endear you to him. And that is the reason why you were killed. How can I fault an animal for following its nature? Should I condemn a bear for being a bear?”
In the same way, how can we blame the adulterous woman, if all she was guilty of was being an adulterous woman? And how can we condemn the abusive man, for being an abusive man? It was their partners who CHOSE to overlook their true natures. If a woman marries an alcoholic, having full knowledge that he has a drinking problem, should God let her out of her marriage contract, if she decides her husband’s problem with alcohol is too much for her? If a man marries a woman with an eating disorder, should God let him out of his marriage contract, if he decides he doesn’t want a fat wife? If you enter into the covenant of marriage, and you do not take everything into account, you have no one to blame but yourself for the failure of that relationship.
A woman is married to a man who begins beating her after ten years of marriage. Obviously, there were key elements missing from that relationship, otherwise it would not have escalated to that level in only a decade. The husband is guilty of following a violent path, and breaking the vows of marriage – he is also guilty of the injuries sustained by his wife, the first time he beat her. The wife, however, is responsible for allowing him to carry out that pattern of abuse, beyond that first assault. She may deny that fact, using excuses like, finances, children, fear of further harm, or even fear of death. Her choice in life mates was awfully poor if that last one is a possibility. As far as the rest of the excuses are concerned, they only apply if she has no family beyond her husband, and children. If she chooses to stay with the beater, even when she has parents, siblings, or friends who could help, that is again, HER responsibility. If a surfer knowingly goes surfing in the middle of a school of great white sharks, should we blame the shark for eating him? We live in a victim oriented society. People are constantly blaming others for the consequences of their choices. The woman who allowed herself to be abused over and over, blames the beater, while the beater blames things like bi-polar disorder. “It wasn’t my fault, I’m the VICTIM of a chemical imbalance!” Come on! The only thing you’re a victim of is pass-the-buck syndrome! We are responsible for our choices, and the roads they lead us down. Admitting that is the first step in changing your pattern.
The second step in changing our patterns is probably the most difficult step of all. We MUST become the kind of person that someone would WANT to spend eternity with. So let me ask you something. If you were your spouse, or significant other, would YOU want to spend eternity with you? Be honest. Most people answer no to that question. And if that was also your answer, how do you think it affects your pattern? A negative opinion of one’s self is one of the most destructive elements you can bring into a relationship. Why should your partner carry the burden of proving your worthiness of receiving love? Your opinion of yourself is entirely YOUR RESPONSIBILITY, and it only creates a strain on the relationship when you put that responsibility on your partner. If your partner loves you, and often tells you so, why can’t you just accept that? Why do you treat their affection as a temporary thing, only extended to you, until someone better comes along?
Why do you allow your insecurities to prevent your partner from connecting with you, at a spiritual level? Why are you constantly telling them that you don’t trust them? You don’t have to say the words “I don’t trust you” to convey that message. All you have to do is act as though you don’t believe them when they say “I love you.” And why do you allow your jealousy to confine your partner to a cage? Don’t you realize that our own human instincts will inevitably cause us to try and escape our cages? Your partner isn’t the one looking at your competition and thinking, “wow, there are so many better choices out there than the one I made.” Those are YOUR THOUGHTS. And even though this is your opinion of yourself, you are constantly punishing your partner for it. How can your partner prove his or her love for you, if you look at the evidence he or she presents with untrusting eyes. And without trust, your relationship WILL fail, and your pattern WILL repeat. Trust in a relationship is paramount to its survival. Therefore you have two choices: tear down your walls, and trust that you are worthy of your partner’s love, or keep them up and watch your insecurities drive your partner away.
The third step has also proved to be a difficult one. It requires a person to follow an honorable path. For all of a person’s accomplishments, their homes, their cars, their income, and their families, only one thing cannot be taken from them. You can be robbed of your home, your car, your job, your family, your freedom, and even your life. The only thing that cannot be stripped from you, is your integrity. The sad thing is, most people give that away without a second thought.
You make a vow to your spouse and a vow to God, on your wedding day. To love, honor, and cherish; for better AND for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, keeping yourself ONLY unto him or her for all the days of your life, till death do you part. Remember that promise? A person’s word defines his or her character, and their character defines them. If that person’s word means nothing, he or she is CHOOSING to mean nothing themselves. If a relationship is without honor, or integrity, it will crumble under the weight of its own deceit.
The fourth step requires a great deal of discernment. Forgiveness is an important part of every relationship, however, there is a fine line between forgiveness earned, and forgiveness unearned. When your partner breaches your trust, and apologizes, should you forgive him/her? What has he or she done, other than apologize, to regain your trust? A woman marries her high school sweetheart, but is unable to remain faithful to him. He catches her in the act, and she pleads with him not to leave her. She promises never to cheat on him again, and because she is his high school sweetheart, he forgives her. Less than a year later, he catches her again. This time, he files for divorce. Despite her pleading, she cannot mend the scars created by her choices. He finds someone new and moves on, and so does she. Once more, she promises to be faithful, but this time she makes that promise to herself. Twenty years later, her marriage is still going strong. She made a choice, to repent from the dishonorable ways of her past. She stepped up, took responsibility for her choices, and turned her life around. She earned her forgiveness. Saying I’m sorry, without making an effort to change, is meaningless. Just like it is when the beater who swears never to abuse his wife again, breaks that oath the next time they have an argument. Has he sought counseling? Did he enroll in anger management classes? Did he do ONE SINGLE THING to earn her forgiveness? Does swearing it will never happen again or begging for forgiveness EARN back a wise person’s trust? Of course it doesn’t, and no one should receive forgiveness until they prove they deserve it. But if you CHOOSE to forgive someone who didn’t earn it, the consequences are your responsibility.
And lastly – the fifth step. We constantly attempt to navigate the course of our own lives. And yet, we always seem to find our way out of the storm whenever we loose control of the wheel. Some don’t believe that a divine presence watches over them. Still, they can’t deny that they have weathered storms that should have scuttled their ship, but didn’t. You have NEVER carried a burden you could not carry, and you have never faced an obstacle you could not overcome. The fact that you are sitting there, reading this, proves that. And still, we hold on to the wheel.
Even when we’re in a relationship, we continue to maintain control of the helm. But instead of one navigator, a relationship has two, both trying to steer the ship in their own directions. In spite of the fact that the sea has never dragged us down, no matter how rough the waters got, we rarely have enough faith to let go of the wheel. And yet, that is what we must do, if we are ever going to find our happy endings. After all, I do not know the way to that place where happily ever after endings are found, and I’m fairly certain you don’t either. That is a destination that only faith can find. If you both try to steer, your ship will likely be dashed against the rocks. The ship is the embodiment of your relationship. You must have faith that it can take you where you need to be.
Like it or not, you do not control your destiny. Be it God, the universe, or fate, something beyond your control has your future well in hand. And if you will just stop fighting the current, it will take you to your destination.
So take a good, long look at your relationship, and ask yourself if it has the elements it needs to succeed. Do you both take RESPONSIBILITY for your choices? Do you TRUST one another? Do you hold firm to your INTEGRITY? Do you know when to FORGIVE, and when not to? And do you have FAITH in the journey, and its destination? If you look back on the failed relationships in your past, I’ll bet you’ll find that they all lacked most of these ingredients. If you examine your present relationship, you may discover that it also lacks some or all of these elements. So the choice is yours, follow your pattern to an unhappy end, or chart a new course, with a new destination.
That journey begins with you taking responsibility for the choices you make, and the consequences those choices bring. You are responsible for the pattern that brought you to this crossroads in life. It is up to YOU to change that pattern, and follow the right path. I think that responsibility, trust, integrity, and faith, would be attributes that any of us could choose. If you are the kind of person who makes these kinds of choices, it would stand to reason that your soul MATE would also be such a person. If you choose someone who does not share these qualities, that is your choice, and your responsibility. You are not a victim of anything, but bad judgment, if you choose poorly. How difficult is it, after all, to recognize someone who takes no responsibility for his or her choices? Are you incapable of noticing if your partner trusts you or not? If your partner has no integrity, do you think you might overlook it? Does your partner do whatever is necessary to EARN your forgiveness when he or she does something that hurts you? How about faith? Do you think they can slip that one by you?
It isn’t as though these are attributes that can be faked with any consistency. Either your CHOICE in partners has them, or they don’t. Therefore, if you disagree with me on the basis that couples rarely ever share these attributes, you are correct that this is a sad reality, but the responsibility for choosing a partner that doesn’t share your ideals, is yours. It is up to you to find the person who best suits you. Creating a lasting relationship depends on the choices you make as an individual. The destiny of that relationship depends on the choices you make as a couple. From there, trust and integrity will fortify you, forgiveness will give you direction, and faith will be your guide. If you both follow the course that these five elements chart for you, your relationship will not fail.
Those of you who are trying to think of reasons why I’m wrong, in order to avoid accepting responsibility for your actions; ask yourself why its so important to prove anything to me. If you aren’t responsible for the pattern your life has followed, why does this treatise bother you so? Why not just say “I’m only human,” and leave it at that. It’s as good an excuse as any for not being responsible, or trusting that your partner loves you. It excuses you from honorable conduct, being wise with forgiveness, or having faith in the journey. It allows you to remain the victim; the victim of being ONLY human. But remember one thing, if that is the path you choose, when the time comes for reflecting back on your life: this too will be yourresponsibility.
God bless U.
Jai Shree Krishana…..