The Course of Miracles distinguishes between two types of relationship: the special relationship and the Holy relationship. ‘Special’ is what society views as a ‘normal’ relationship. We give one person our love, and so reduce our range of loving from 360 degrees (in a very expansive person) to 10 degrees. With this sacrifice (to ‘love’) we expect something back, something to compensate the ‘loss’ from expansion of love to the narrow projection of ‘special’. Since the other is our special something we expect this from them.
We are attracted to this one other special person because it feels like they have something we don’t have. We want it. We begin to expect it. We feel that if we are open enough to the other they will be able to just give this ‘something’ to us. It is not like we didn’t do anything, we sacrificed our expansiveness for them, god-damn it.
But we can’t save others, change others or give others peace, joy or happiness. These come from within. We become them by dissolving within us all that isn’t peace, joy or happiness. We simply can’t get it from outside.
In Holy relationships we see all as we are ourselves, peace, joy and happiness. We do not love anything more than anything else. Why would we? We simply love. We reside in our ‘us-ness’ allowing all others to do the same. We do not ‘care’ about the other. That’s the rub. It seems so WRONG. We don’t care?? What?
In co-dependency, that wonderful glue of the special relationship, we each develop skills of identifying with ‘victim’, ‘saviour’ and ‘perpetrator’. It makes us care about the other and who and how they are. If they are not presently as we would like them to be, we really extra care about that.
I had a difficult break up a few years ago. I was all over the place, he was all over the place. We weren’t talking. I was floundering, processing grief. I had to delete a few ‘philosophical outpourings’ from facebook. My friends told me they just didn’t really make any sense. I wasn’t with it.
I became concerned that many people were saying, ‘Have you seen what he posted?’ tThe facebook comments were ever increasing aggrandization going berserk. He, too it seems, was all over the place, attempting to recalibrate his relationship to himself.
I was worried. I cared for him. Was he ok?
He and I had been working on his professional image as an artist. I had spent a few years building up his website. He was blowing it all. He was ruining all that work I had done for him. I was concerned. I cared about him.
So, I called a friend we had in common. I explained the situation magnanimously. I asked him if he would be able to talk to my ex- and ‘warn’ him what people were saying.
My friend’s response knocked me, domino effect. He said, ‘Your apparent ‘care’ is ego control.’
‘Wow. Wow. Wow. WTF?’
And yet as I let it sink in over the day, I realised that he was absolutely right. I was saying: ‘Ex-boyfriend, I care about you.’ Which actually means, I care about the ‘you’ I have constructed in my mind and you are deviating from that image.
The message, ‘I care about you and your life,’ I began to realise was: I care about if you complete my project properly as I dreamt it, especially now that I have lost control. I spent a lot on that web site – in time, energy and dreams. Don’t fuck up. I want something back from you. I want you to be who I unconsciously planned you to be (a successful artist).
I realised that I had heavily invested in these feeling because I wanted to have the boyfriend that I wanted to have – and THEN I would love him. ‘Care’ translated into ‘I will love you when you are as I want you to be’. Care equalled conditional. It wasn’t love. It was a transaction. My messages was: I will unconsciously manipulate you into what I think you should be and THEN I may be able love you (for what you give me).
It was shocking because I was having a parallel conversation with myself about how my parents wouldn’t accept me, and therefore love me, until I was what they wanted me to be. This that they wanted for me is who I am not (a stable, married, salaried mother).
So I dropped it. With the ex. And with the parents.
The relationship with my parents became much easier: freer with more space for love to arise. And it does. I feel really happy to be in a healthy space with them, each as we are. It gives me deep confidence to be more me.
With the ex, he cannot talk to me, but my relationship with him in my heart is freer and lighter. I remember him with care-free love. I don’t need to carry the weight around of my unmet (unrealistic) expectancies. It’s not fair to anyone, least myself.