By Ram Giri Braun, Ph.D.

It doesn’t take any effort to fall in love. Suddenly the walls you’ve built around your heart crumble and you experience what you are at your core: alive with the bliss of the heart. Suddenly your ego has evaporated and all you can think of is how to make your beloved happy.

Imagine a world where our first order of business is to make each other happy! No really—take a moment and picture that. It sounds completely utopian—impossible really—and I am here to say that we are exactly headed for that. And the best place to learn it is in our relationships.

Just one ‘little’ problem: what we expect in relationships makes true happiness impossible. “Some day you will find that special one who will make you happy.” You know, the prince charming fiction. He will come and swipe you off your feet and you will be one. The whole world tells us some version of this. We are raised to believe it, it comes at us from all sides every day, and we love to believe it. It’s deep in our unconscious and it’s completely and utterly impossible.

It’s impossible because if you want to be happy for more than a short honeymoon, then this love has to come from inside you. It has to be the way you are: this openness of heart, this self-love, this inner glow of your own fulfillment. Solid, unshakable, a breath of eternity. You deserve no less.
Another person cannot give that to you. It’s an inside job and the whole world will help you to find this love, your true Self, once you understand how it ticks. But first you’re stuck in this Neanderthal paradigm of relationships.

Let’s get you out of there!
1. You will get two things from your lover and from everyone else close to you: The first thing is love and support. Yes we all go for that. And what is the second thing? We don’t want to look at it. We want to deny it. And yet we know it. It’s challenge.

Don’t you know that there isn’t one relationship in the world that isn’t challenging? As a matter of fact, in the long run, challenge is what you can count on. Love and support are optional. We have to work to keep things positive.

2. This romantic hallucination of meeting the one who will make you happy infuses you with another illusion. It’s the unconscious expectation that it’s his or her job to make you happy. Well, of course, you’ve been raised to believe that. That’s what a partner is for!

So now what do you do when the inevitable happens and you’re not happy with the relationship? Where does that take you? It cannot take you anywhere but into blame, frustration and war. After all s/he is breaking the unspoken contract. Your partner is not living up to the illusion of what you have been taught to expect.

Now you’re really in a trap. Innocently you believe the romantic nightmare. You don’t realize that no one outside you can fulfill you—simply because they’re not inside you. You are. Your heart is your business. And you’re closing it down because s/he doesn’t do what they cannot do: fulfill you.

3. And there is more. If you depend on someone else to make you happy, then there is fear. They might leave you. And then where would you be with your source of happiness gone and your life all in shambles? So you do small or large things that don’t feel right to you, just to keep him/her, just to keep the peace. You prostitute yourself, and that feels terrible, but you see no other way.

These 3 problems are universal. They are present in almost all marriages or intimate partnerships and they serve no one. Here are 3 solutions for you:

1. The Source of all true happiness is in you. It is your already existing wholeness, the fullness in the core of your heart. You have tasted it in moments before, but most of the time it is obstructed by fear, anger, stress, distractions, sadness, running after meaningless pleasures, and so on. Now you can take the steps to find true and lasting happiness by:

A. Moving your expectation for happiness from the “perfect” partner to this inner Source.
B. Freeing yourself from the inner obstructions by practicing high-level skills with the help and support of a spiritual guide and community.
C. Healing your live and nurturing yourself deeply from the inner Source of all love, until you are clear and unshakable in your own happiness.

2. Once you know that you are responsible for, and capable of, your own happiness, you can react constructively to the inevitable challenges of the relationship. You can realize that your suffering is not created by your partner. Instead it comes from your reactions to his or her behavior. You are never a victim of anything other than your own reactiveness, your own confusion, and your own blindness. To change this, to become free of the obstacles to your happiness, you need to have someone to bring your reactiveness, your hot buttons to your attention. And there is no one better on earth than your partner to show them to you!

3. Having replaced impossible expectations with awareness and gratitude you now find yourself in a relationship with the perfect mate. Your lover is the one who supports you with his love (at times) AND by showing you where you are not yet enlightened. Whenever you react, now you can do something constructive with that: you free yourself of your way of reacting.

In this process you will experience incredible intimacy. Your love will blossom as it is freed from expectation and your relationship will become a sacred dance. To any conflict there is only one possible outcome: that it will bring your closer to your Self. Being closer to your Self, being more whole, you have more love in you and therefore more love to give, freely, without expectation. And who better to share it with than your lover?

You have now moved from being stuck in the ego of suffering (“S/he will make me happy”) to the ego of aspiration. In your aspiration for freedom you will come to know the infinite Source of love in your heart step by step. It will heal all your old pain and dissolve the cycles of suffering and your ways of self-sabotage. It will set you free.

And, when the time comes, it will reveal to you the state of liberation, the ego of the sage, the one who lives in oneness with everything. In oneness with yourself, with the sky and the earth and all living things. And of course with your partner. That is true happiness, unshakable, solid and eternal.
That is the oneness and the happiness they told you to expect. They just weren’t clear about how to get there.

My dear,
I am not a donkey
looking for a mate.
I am the soul with that great hunger
to know itself in the brilliant light
hidden inside you.
In truth
I am not even a man.
But as long as it appears so to us,
it’s a handy trick
to catch the dark thoughts
and to throw light into the room. It’s
a tool for exposure and freedom
and a stage for practicing love.
I belong to no one,
not even myself.
My hearts’ allegiances run very deep.
My business is to burn us both
in that great fire that has consumed me
ever since the gurus’ supreme love
first inspired my heart.
We are so much more than we know.
I am that great fire
that burns each star
as an offering only to you -
only to you, who fashioned
the stars out of darkness
and wove your body
of light and of earth
so admiration and awe
could have a place in this world.
~ ©Ram Giri Braun

Author's Bio: 

Ram Giri Braun, Ph.D. is a pioneer and innovator in the awakening of human consciousness to its full potential. In his unique combination of being a Swami, psychologist, yogi and meditation teacher, he has identified and tested the most effective ways you can live your life fully. He is the founder of the Skills for Awakening® and HeartSourcing™ meditation, a powerful spiritual practice to awaken the true essence of ones Heart and end the cycles of suffering. Ram Giri, from his deep compassion, clarity and wisdom, makes complex issues easy to understand. He combines psychological knowledge, spiritual insight and his own personal inner journey to inspire in his clients and audiences an enthusiasm about their own quest for true happiness and enlightenment.
 Ram Giri offers seminars and workshops as well as one-on-one mentoring and spiritual life coaching internationally.