True love or co-dependent relationships?

I went to watch “The Longest Ride” this week and I think overall it is a pretty well done movie about love and romance. It’s not going to be a movie review but I do feel inspired to write a post about qualities of true love and co-dependent relationships. A lot of people tend to be confused about them because they both can feel very intense when we are in them. In many cases, what we believe to be the qualities of love are actually qualities of co-dependence or just emotional emptiness wanting to be filled. While in other cases, when some people feel guilty for leaving unloving relationships and not fulfilling their obligations imposed by societies, they are actually being most loving to themselves and other people involved.

the longest rideIn the movie, Ruth has always wanted a big family, however her husband Ira cannot impregnate her due to his wound infection. Ruth is devastated that her dream of a big family can never become true. When she decides to leave Ira, instead of getting angry, Ira tells her “I think you should leave. I fell in love with you the first time I saw you and for some reason you chose me. But the way I loved you then is nothing compared to the way I love you now. I love you with everything inside of me and I love you so much that I just want you to be happy even if that happiness doesn’t include me.” 

When you truly love someone, you will feel a strong and genuine desire to be understanding, loving, giving and compassionate no matter what the outcome . You will be so enjoying the process and grateful for the joy you feel by sharing you love with the other person no matter what the outcome is. If you get sad, afraid, frustrated or even angry when the other person does not meet your expectation/demand, it is a strong indication that you do not really love the other person because there are conditions involved and you probably are just obsessed with the idea or image you have about them.

Our expectations are products of our mind and nobody has the obligation to fit in a character created by our beliefs. Instead of getting frustrated when our expectations are not met, the most loving thing to do is to look at the underlying causal emotions that drive our expectations. When we have expectations for people, we start to take them for granted and stop seeing that everything they do is a gift that they choose to give us. Relationships without genuine appreciation will not last long because the quality of our relationships is a direct reflection of how much love we give.

For example, when a woman seeks a partner for financial security, she can get very upset when her partner is out of job or does not bring into family enough money as she expected. This is very damaging to both her partner and the relationship because it really is her own responsibility to support herself financially. Instead of projecting her fear of lack of money at her partner, she can embrace, experience and release her fear. Since our life is really a reflection of how we feel emotionally, after her truly owns, experiences and release the emotions, ironically, she will find her financial situation gets better. Another example is when a man expects his partner to obey and agree with everything he says, he will get angry or even violent when his partner disagrees. In this case, the underlying emotions are need for power and fear of losing control. These are very damaging emotions because they are very demanding and are interfering with another’s freewill. People who have need for power and control are usually very insecured and cannot find real strength until they face and own their fears.true love

All of our expectations come from not being responsible for our fear-based emotions. Instead facing and experiencing them, people tend to project them at other people and try to make them to be responsible for their results in life. Expectations are common signs of co-dependent relationships which are usually formed based on mutual wound.

On the other side of the spectrum, true love relationships are based on desires for understanding, growth, learning and sharing. There is no need or expectation involved. Both parties are so involved with learning and growing that there is so much joy in their life that they do not need the other people to fill their emptiness because there is no emptiness. Their life is overflowed with joy and excitement that everyone they see is an opportunity for them to share their love with. When two people are attracted to each other based on these qualities, they will experience a true love relationship that is loving, freeing and exciting in all ways.

Jane Huang

MasterSource Spiritual Guidance

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