Loving Outside the Box

relationship advice

I woke up thinking today, as I often do, about how we place the ones we love in boxes. These boxes contain all of our perceptions of that person – what we perceive to be their beliefs, intentions, as well as all our stored up memories of their actions and our interactions. Our perceptions are based on our past experiences with the world and what we’ve decided is true or not, good or bad, right or wrong.

Of course this person has quite a different view of their box. They see different shades and colors of their intentions, beliefs and actions. But still, they are in the box and for the most part they can’t get out of the box we’ve created for them in our mind. And the tough part is that we are in a box in their mind too. Basically we’re just two boxes walking around trying to communicate with each other. No wonder communication falls apart.

The problem is that people change, evolve, have moments of inspiration that cause shifts in the way they think and act. They themselves are operating outside their boxes but still we keep them in it. It’s crazy unconscious behavior on our parts because some of the very changes we hoped for in our loved ones are happening right in front of us and we can’t see it or we resist it. We still see them as behaving and believing the same way they always have, for the better or worse.

See for yourselves. Have you ever just been totally flabbergasted of someone’s perception of your actions or intentions? You wonder: how could they possibly think that? Or you wonder how they can’t see that you been trying; that you’ve actually been responding to their requests, been moving toward some higher good or that your motives are much more pure than they assume. It’s likely that you are stuck in a box of their creation. And make no mistake; you’ve got them in one too.

So the point is to be aware and consider the possibility seeing clearly your partner, family member, coworker or friend outside their boxes. It starts with then intention to start each day anew, letting go of the past – both the good and the bad. I’m reminded by a meditative practice shared by Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen in which she would fill a bowl of water each day as a symbol of all that she would take in that day. Then at night she would empty it out, releasing all the experiences of the day –both the things to be cherished and regretted.

Oh to be empty and open and to see clearly the people in my world. This is my prayer each day.