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It is true that as human beings, or spirit beings inhabiting human bodies, we are meant to have relationships, romantic and otherwise. The world is nothing without relationships; without relationships, the world would not be because we make the world through our relationships. But it is certainly not true that we are defined by our relationships. When we make the mistake of valuing ourselves through the quality or quantity of our relationships, we place our worth on something that is transitory and ever changing.

Do you sense right now in you a steady presence of love, independent of any person, any event, and even independent of the you defined by your history? Do you think you can be reborn to love yourself completely and without condition?

No past relationship defines me. No current relationship defines me. I am complete and perfect in and of myself. Only when I realize my completeness and perfection will I stop looking for others to complete me — I will, instead, share my completeness with others for this is what I’ve come here to do.

Until you completely love yourself, you will not experience unconditional love from someone else. Even if that other person does love you unconditionally, you will not believe it because you’re still stuck in the mindset that you are not worthy of such love. Every relationship, therefore, starts as a relationship of you with your true self. If you don’t know who you are beyond the external characteristics you happen to have in this life, you will not love yourself completely.

God, the Divine, the Creator — whatever name you prefer to use — created you as a perfect light shining eternally and changelessly. Just like a little sunbeam shines seemingly independently but is never disconnected from the sun, which is its source, so do you mistake yourself to have been separated from your Creator, but in reality never could have, even if you wanted to. The sunbeam may get the idea one day to separate itself from the sun, but do you think it could actually do that? Of course not, you’ll say, that’s impossible! And you’re absolutely right. But why do you think it would be possible for you to have separated yourself from your source? You didn’t create yourself. God did. And what God created you can’t un-create, no matter how much you think you can and no matter how much you believe that you did manage to do that.

This warped sense of who we are affects all of our relationships. We subconsciously feel guilty and inadequate because we think that we actually separated from God, way back when time began. And we have gone through endless suffering, lifetime after lifetime, feeling unworthy of the very love we seek. Because we feel unworthy of such love, we don’t experience it, although it is right here within us, where it’s always been.

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. (A Course in Miracles)

You don’t attract what you want, you attract what you are. Or, more accurately put, you attract what you think you are. If you think you are not good enough just the way you  are right now, you will attract relationships that will prove to you what you already think of yourself, no matter how false that is. In that sense, every relationship you ever had is sacred and extremely valuable because the other person always mirrors back to you how you feel about yourself.

Can you look at past relationships and see what they taught you about you? Can you look at current relationships and see what you are being shown about you? Whenever you feel there’s not enough love in a current relationship you have, it’s because you don’t feel enough love for yourself. Otherwise you would have ended the relationship. It always starts and ends with you. Relationships are a mirror of how you feel about you.

Of course, relationships come and go, and serve their purpose, no matter how long, short, happy or unhappy we think they were. Ultimately, we are grateful for all of our relationships once we realize that no relationship defines who we are. This is not an attitude of defiance, or an angry declaration of independence. It is simply a humble yet powerful realization that you are complete and perfect already. Relationships are a perfect gift because they show you the obstacles in you that keep you from seeing your own completeness and perfection.

Love is not asking you to prove your worth. Love is simply asking you to accept your worth.

The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white. Neither need you do anything but be yourself. (Lao Tse)

The one who created you (and I don’t mean your parents!) loves you unconditionally because God is unconditional love, and unconditional love can create nothing but unconditional love. Once you’ve accepted yourself as perfectly worthy of your own love, you will see the beauty of sharing your completeness with someone else, rather than expecting that other person to complete you.

When we expect someone to complete us, we are silently telling ourselves that we are incomplete. And we suffer because we’re not in sync with our true nature, with is complete and perfect love.

I love, because my love is not dependent on the object of love. My love is dependent on my state of being. So whether the other person changes, becomes different, a friend turns into a foe, does not matter, because my love was never dependent on the other person. My love is my state of being. I simply love. (Osho)