Can we change an addictive relationship to an enlightened one? What is an addictive relationship, anyway? How do you define it? More importantly, how do you transform it?
Find out what this great spiritual teacher has to say:
Every addiction arises from an unconscious refusal to face and move through your own pain. Every addiction starts with pain and ends with pain. Whatever you are addicted to–alcohol, food, legal or illegal drugs, or a person–you are using somebody or something to cover up your pain. That is why, after the initial euphoria has passed, there is so much unhappiness, so much pain in intimate relationships. They do not cause pain and unhappiness. They bring out the pain and unhappiness that is already in you. Every addiction does that. Every addiction reaches a point where it does not work for you anymore, and then you feel the pain more intensely than ever.
This is one reason why most people are always trying to escape from the present moment and are seeking some kind of salvation in the future. The first thing they might encounter if they focused their attention on the Now is their own pain, and this is what they fear.
But addictive relationships can be changed into true ones. Being present and intensifying your presence by taking your attention ever more deeply in to the Now is the key, whether you are alone or living with a partner. For love to flourish, the light of your presence needs to be strong enough so that you no longer get taken over by the thinker or the pain-body and mistake them for who you are. To know yourself as the Being underneath the thinker, the stillness underneath the mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain, is freedom, salvation, enlightenment.
If you stop investing it with “selfness,” the mind loses its compulsive quality, which basically is the compulsion to judge, and so to resist what is, which creates conflict, drama, and new pain. The moment that judgment stops through acceptance of what is, you are free of the mind. You have made room for love, for joy, for peace. First you stop judging yourself; then you stop judging your partner. The greatest catalyst for change in a relationship is complete acceptance of your partner as he or she is, without needing to judge or change them in any way. That immediately takes you beyond the ego. All mind games and all addictive clinging are then over. There are no victims and no perpetrators any more, no accuser and accused. This is also the end of all codependency, of being drawn into somebody else’s unconscious pattern and thereby enabling it to continue. You will then either separate–in love–or move even more deeply into the Now together.
Adapted from The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle (New World Library, 1999). Copyright (c) 1999 by Eckhart Tolle. Reprinted by permission of New World Library.
Adapted from The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle (New World Library, 1999).