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More ... on Relationships



MAY 20, 2007.


Judging by the sales of self-help books, you would think relationships are a SKILL, like sawing through metal with a blade, or driving a racing car around an oval.

Readers of these books are fixated on what they think are specifics. The specifics tell them what to do. If X happens, do Y. If he says B, you say K. If she does Z, you do L.

The strategies don’t work. And even if they did, people forget what they are. It’s like watching a puppet whose strings have been cut. Gruesome.


Some people specialize in making impossible demands on their partners. That’s their bread and butter. They know the demand is impossible. They know the other person isn’t going to be able to come through. But they make that demand anyway. They sometimes use the demand as a weapon.

That’s cruel and unusual punishment. If you badly want what that person can’t give and will never give, then walk out the door. Find what you want somewhere else. Stop torturing the other person.

And stop TALKING ABOUT IT OVER AND OVER. Jesus. What is THAT? Stop it.

If you don’t walk out the door, then realize you’re not going to get that thing from the other person. Accept it. Deal with it. Because if you accept the situation, you might just suddenly walk through a whole new door and find out the other person is fantastic in ways you never dreamed of.

Wouldn’t that be something? Something completely unexpected. Something way beyond the rational.


Relationships, on some days, are about a platform where you are having a relationship about your relationship. You are having THAT. And it’s sensational. No, you’re not talking about the relationship. You’re not earnestly discussing it. You’re LIVING a relationship about your relationship. It’s comedy. It’s damn good comedy. Much better than television.


Relationships are impossible. What’s impossible is the demands people place on one another. “You have to do this.” And if you can get past that, if you can drop it, a whole new space opens up. You couldn’t get what you wanted, and you thought you’d just crumble into an old piece of pound cake if you didn’t get that demand satisfied. But you found the opposite was true. By not getting that thing, you got EVERYTHING.


There are many relationships in which one person says, “I really want to do something with my life. I want to follow a dream.” But they don’t. They just talk about it. They talk about it for years. And they begin blaming the other person for their own deficiency. That’s also a load of crap. Stop it. Do what you want to do. Do it. Or give it up. But don’t stand in the middle and get on the other person’s nerves just because you can’t get up the nerve to become a whatever.


Lots of bad relationships speak of a lack of experience with life. A person somehow remains a novice about life. For example, he has no sense of irony. He can’t see the joke in something. He’s still back in the fifth grade taking everything very seriously. Our society is full of these stifled people. In the literal sense of the word, they are retarded.

Eventually, some of them enter the arena of self-blame. This is very fertile ground. They can claim they have a mental disorder. They can seek some kind of help that won’t help at all. They can go on drugs. They can spend 40 years trying to figure out what’s wrong with themselves. They can retire into so-called spiritual systems whose whole thrust is keeping them in a juvenile state of mystery.


You’ll get people who give up on a real relationship and opt for control. But they can’t make it work. They should get a parrot and teach him to speak clever phrases. They should buy one of those little remote-control cars and send it down the street and bring it back.


Lots of people start out feeling they have a great relationship. Then it dries up like the desert. They don’t know what to do. They’ve never faced the idea of inventing something. They have no experience with that. For years, they’ve been patting themselves on the back, because they’ve successfully avoided having to invent anything. They think they’ve won the prize for good citizenship. But then they encounter the desert, and then they get the payoff. It’s not pretty.


Usually in a relationship, one person starts out with more love. He/she loves more. The amount of love is astounding. If the other person has eyes to see, he realizes the love he’s getting is a revelation. It’s boundless and bottomless. At that point, unless he’s a complete dope, he responds. He becomes more than he was. He gives more than he was giving. He enters the miracle.



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