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The Relationship of Relationships Part II Visualizing the Dynamics of a Relationship By Luca DiMatteo
There exist merely two types of relationships in the universe: the primary relationship (the one we have with our self); and the secondary relationship (the one we have with everyone and everything outside of our self). The primary relationship is independent of the secondary relationship and is perhaps the most crucial relationship we have. We cannot lie to our self, if we do, it just causes an all knowing eerie feeling within us; the chatter of our integrity. The secondary relationship is totally dependant on the primary relationship and is constructed using beliefs from our primary relationship. The following is a visualization of the dynamic components of the secondary relationship. When does a secondary relationship start forming with another individual? Most would answer; “At the first sentence spoken.” A closer evaluation reveals that the secondary relationship begins at the first glance of another person, before a sound is uttered. As we gaze across a room at someone we begin to formulate ideas and opinions of who that person is, what type of characteristics they have, how much money they make….and so on. We begin to “size up” if they would be a suitable companion. We build an entire persona of this individual in a matter of seconds. How does this occur? Why does this occur? The answer to these questions lies within our primary relationship. We accept an image that we create of our self based on opinions that are passed down to us through our linage. We then take the values that we believe as our own and project them onto the other individual. There is an added twist; we increase the expectations, if we are a kind person then we want a person who is more kind, more giving then us. This happens because we have a basic belief that we may not be good enough just as we are, therefore, we must find someone who can refute this concept of self lack. This is called “Expected Image”. The expected image has no truth to it. It is a faux image. We construct a set of criteria that the other person should meet. Recall that all this occurs in the seconds following that interested glimpse we take of this other person, no words have been spoken. The meeting occurs, a dialog starts and we are all on our best behavior . We project the Expected image we believe we should be and are looking for a return of a better expected image (of our values) from the other person. It is important to note that this dance is occurring from both sides simultaneously. Let’s say that there are twenty items on this mental list of expectations (this list may not have actual form in the mind, rather it may be more of a sense). Instantly we make a decision that we are interested or not, based on the check list. We perceive that the other person meets all of the items and we make every effort to meet the expectations we believe the other person wants. The Expected image that we perceive and project take great energy to maintain. Our physical and energetic forms can only sustain this effort for so long. Time passes, we have been engaged in this maximum effort relationship for a while and both begin reach a space of comfort with each other. Suddenly, the secondary relationship begins to emerge into a place closer to each individual’s comfort zone; closer to an energy level that resonates with each person’s usual and customary space. Now we realize that the expectations list that we had for the other person has less items being met. Perhaps the list of twenty now only has fifteen being fulfilled. We have totally diminished the other side of the equation, the part that we play in trying to meet the other person’s expectations. Remember, that this is occurring on both sides of the relationship table. We start to re-evaluate the secondary relationship. We move into the next faux image; The Satisfied Image. The Satisfied image is projected again from the primary image of settling with the opinion that we cannot meet all of our own beliefs so we accept our self as less than perfect; again, a sense of not being good enough as we are is rearing up. We begin to have judgment of the other person, but it may be better than being alone. Being alone will reinforce our belief of self lack, ‘if we are alone, we are not worthy of a relationship’. We move into a secondary relationship that is based on a story of settling for less than we believe we should have. It is not the best we can have but it will have to do. This makes the secondary relationship’s foundation shaky and based on multiple levels of judgments and false beliefs. Judgments begin to add up and we view the other person as less than perfect and unable to make us happy. We find fault in the other person. We believe that it is the other person’s responsibility to make us happy. Actually, we have lost our awareness and are projecting our belief of self faults onto the other individual. Quickly, we move from the Satisfied Image into the final faux image; the Dissatisfied Image. The Dissatisfied Image is born out of total judgment and belief of unfulfilled expectations. Confrontation out of frustration takes place, not only with the secondary relationship but also the primary relationship. We now find fault with the other individual and our self. We are unhappy in every aspect and uncertain what to do about it. It is important at this point to step back and look at the list of expectations. A simple exercise is required. Take a piece of paper and hold in landscape fashion. Draw two vertical lines sectioning the paper into three equal columns. Label the left hand column ‘expectations’ and list all the expectations you wish to have met by the secondary relationship. Label the center column with the name of the person for whom you have the relationship and then check off each expectation that was met. Label the right hand column with your name and check off each expectation that you could willingly meet consistently, be truthful. We will find that usually the other individual has met more of the expectations that we could. It is time to re-evaluate the validity of expectations. If we are not able to meet the expectations that we have how can someone else. Remember, they don’t even know that these expectations are present. The dynamic portrayed here is a general foundation for why we find having secondary relationships difficult. It does not state that all secondary relationships should end in trouble, merely, that relationships that have conflict tend to pattern this model. The development of a loving and truthful secondary relationship is based on two key points, a loving, truthful primary relationship and an authentic secondary relationship that is formulated with communication and honesty of feelings. The third part of the article series will focus on the creating primary and secondary relationships that are based on a loving and truthful relationship that has a foundation of honesty and respect of self and the other individual.

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