Jealousy…the green eyed monster. And indeed it is a monster, one capable of destroying an otherwise perfectly smooth relationship.
The surge of interest in open relationships and polyamory only increases the likelihood of encountering this strong emotion…and many people think they should just try not to feel it. How many people think in their heads they want to be more “open” and yet this emotion is real and valid. To try not to feel it is simply suppressing an emotion.
Others try to enforce a very strict monogamy, based on many restrictive rules of what each partner supposedly can and cannot do…some lovers try to stop their partner from even looking at others in a certain way! This is attempted to repress more than just an emotion…it is at attempt to repress sexual energy! This energy is the energy of life itself and trying to repress it uses up a huge amount of energy and creates blocks.
So what to do? It looks as if we either impose strict rules, or let things be open and deal with the resulting jealousy…
But Tantra is a path of transcedence…which means that when it appears we are stuck between two contradictions, it is simply an illusion of duality created by Mind, and there is a way of those apparent opposites meeting.
“Life is so vast it can contain contradictions, and yet life in itself is not contradictory. There is harmony in the contradictions; the contradictions are complementary” – Osho
What if, instead of trying to impose restrictions on each other using rules of conduct, we begin to build a mutual trust of inner values and intentions?
There is that famous saying “rules were made to be broken”, and it is certainly seen that rules that go against ones nature (sexual energy being a big part of our nature) often force people into dishonesty. Dishonesty is like rust in the bodywork of a relationship, slowly breaking down the container for our love.
So rather than rules, could we share with our beloved our inner values on relationship. Inner values are nothing to do with behaviour, but more to do with attitude and intention. For example “I like relationships to be monogamous” is not an inner value because it refers directly to behaviour.
There are ways to express one’s inner values without attaching them to pre-arranged behaviors: “I value following the free flow of my sexual energy, but with an intention of awareness and responsibility. I value treating each human being in a way that never intentionally causes pain. I value honesty” are all inner values, not outer rules.
If this is the foundation of a relationship, rather than a set of rules, then each individual is trusted to make their own choices of behaviour in each and every moment. After all, we can only be authentic if we act spontaneously, but our fear of spontaneity is reckless behavior, of not feeling into the repercussions of our actions on the feelings of others. Iif we all try to align our actions with our deep inner values, then we start to act with integrity and yet we have the space to be authentic.
Such a framework creates space in a relationship for each person not to feel restricted by imposed rules (with the danger of rebelling or acting dishonestly). Each partner can begin to trust the other to act in accordance with their own deep inner values, as best they can.
Of course we all make mistakes, and this is the time we can come to our beloved and say “I did ABC and discovered that it was not in alignment with my value of XYZ”…even though the behaviour may have had undesired outcomes, we can recognize what happened and own it. This builds more trust.
In stead of trying to build trust on obedience of a set of rules, we can build trust knowing that we are both intending to live in alignment with our own inner values, and trust that we can take responsibility for all of our actions. In this way relationship does not become a restrictive trap, but a container for mutual growth.
© 2014. Shashi Solluna. All rights reserved.