Imagine that we’re out to dinner, driving in a car somewhere, or maybe just lying in bed moments before it’s time to turn out the lights. All is well. Everything seems quiet. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, our partner tosses a “grenade” into our lap.
Suddenly, but too late, it’s obvious: we didn’t see any of the familiar signs that usually indicate a conflict is about to erupt. Perhaps they say something overtly cruel, or make some passive aggressive comment to remind us where we went wrong earlier that evening, or maybe even five years ago.
Almost instantly, from out of our mouth comes pouring a host of tried and true things we tend to say in similar situations; words with edges to cut, some smooth enough to defuse the situation, others more forceful, and all designed to turn the tide of battle and push our partner back onto their heels.
But then, a shift; something within us remembers that we’ve been where this fight is about to take us at least a hundred times, and that there’s nothing new or good about getting there; just more of the same.
In that same revelation, in fact as a part of its remembrance, we now see what we couldn’t before: we’re about to wade into a “war” with our partner that can’t be won no matter which of us seems to come out on top! And so, given what this new level of higher awareness shows us as being true, there’s the only logical, and ultimately loving action left for us to do: we refuse the call to combat.
Instead of going ballistic, we go inwardly quiet.
But let us tread this new path carefully: we are not surrendering ourselves to the misguided will or whims of our partner. We’ve seen how that path leads only to resentment when, as it must happen, we can no longer bear the brunt of being in such an inequitable relationship. The real question before us, given we can see the truth of our situation, is this: what difference does it really make which of us seems to be “steering” our canoe when we’re both headed for the falls! One of us has to wake up and change course, even if our partner is unable, or even unwilling to see the wisdom of that choice at the time we make it. And that’s why we don’t engage as an “enemy” someone that we loved only moments before.
Instead, we deliberately drop the false assumption that coercing our partner to pay for our pain can do anything other than increase whatever resentment may be growing between us.
Neither do we allow this bitterness to “think” for us, so that not only do we detect and reject its conclusions as our own, but we also refuse to lend it use of our voice to speak its demands, without which there is no fight.
In short, we give ourselves up.
We surrender…but not to our partner.
Instead we take the one path that remains open to us, given what our new understanding about higher love has shown us is true. Having seen that we remain powerless to drop our own unconscious demands and how – much in the same way – our partner is equally unable to do anything other than insist we make the “payment due” for their pain, we are left with no other option:
We agree to “die” to any parts of us we can feel trying to push us, in any way, to identify with and then enact their old solutions. Rather than uselessly suffer some well-worn pain that our lower nature usually blames on our partner, we not only choose to drop it, but also any familiar sense of ourselves that may be connected to it, as well.
In other words, we agree to voluntarily suffer the death of this false self that love has shown us knows not what it does to us, let alone to those we want least to hurt.
Making this intention – and striving to enact it, as a life-long practice with our partner – is doing our part in realizing unconditional love. In truth, it’s really the only thing that is in our power to do. Which brings us to this closing promise:
If we will do our part, love will do the rest; but we must put it to the test.
Embrace these new ideas. Enact them. Let them prove love’s power to heal and perfect all who will dare invoke its divine magic.
Guy Finley is an internationally renowned spiritual teacher and bestselling self-help author. He is the Founder and Director of Life of Learning Foundation, a nonprofit center for transcendent self-study located in Merlin, Oregon. He also hosts the Foundation’s Wisdom School — an on-line self-discovery program for seekers of higher self-knowledge. During the coronavirus pandemic Guy is livestreaming three talks a week. Each talk is followed by a Question-and-Answer session with the audience. These talks are free to anyone who wants to join in. To register visit www.guyfinley.org/online.