I Am Whole and You Are Whole
To follow up on the last article about “Love”, when you enter into relationships from the awareness that “I am whole and you are whole” you change the dynamic of personal relationships. Personal relationships usually start from “I lack, please fill me”. In an attempt to feel whole you drop the boundaries between you and another. This shows up as you demanding that another meet your needs. If they don’t you feel abandoned or attacked. You also may insist that the other change to meet your needs or change because you are uncomfortable with how they show up. Without boundaries you feel that how they show up reflects on you. Or you may be uncomfortable with how they show up and think that they are responsible for your discomfort.
You also experience the other side of this in personal relationships. Others demand that you fill their needs or that you change to make them happy or comfortable. You can see why personal relationships are so contentious! Everyone is pulling against everyone else.
This is not easy to address because often our identities are tied up in the role we play with others. That role may be the helpless one in need of fixing. This is the victim role. You are a victim of your childhood or circumstances or a god or something that makes you lack. You are powerless and dependent on others to make you feel better. And if they do not then you are their victim, too. Everyone plays this role in some, if not all, areas of their life. It is central to the personal thought system (ego).
You may also play the role of the fixer-of-others. You may feel that it this is your purpose in life; maybe even a “God-given” purpose. Eventually you may find relationships to be a burden because you are overwhelmed taking responsibility for others’ bad feelings and problems. So you may avoid relationships. Of course you cannot fix others and they often resent you trying. This makes you feel unappreciated in your relationships and becomes another victim role for you. But when you feel that this is your assigned role in life you feel guilty if you do not take responsibility for others.
You can see how coming from True Love, or the recognition that “I am whole and you are whole”, changes the dynamic of personal relationships. Not only do you not need others to make you whole. You also do not need to make others whole. You do not need to play a certain role with others to be whole. And since you are already whole you do not have a purpose to fulfill to make you whole. In Wholeness you recognize that you do not have to do anything. You are free! And you are with others because you want to be with them not because you need them or need to play a role.
Some think that coming from True Love means being a doormat. But an awareness of Wholeness shows up as self-respect. Your relationship with others is your relationship with yourself. And in self-respect you expect respect from others. So you set boundaries with others who do not behave respectfully. This honors not just your wholeness but theirs. Their acting out and inappropriate behavior is a sign that they are not aware of their inherent wholeness. When you set boundaries you give them a chance to look at themselves and to grow into an awareness of their wholeness. Whether or not they take this opportunity is up to them.
In self-respect you decide how far out boundaries need to be or how close in they can be based on what you need to take care of yourself. Students will say, “But don’t I need to look at myself in this situation?” Yes! But you do that behind healthy boundaries. You don’t have to hang around abuse to figure out what you may be projecting or using in the situation to perpetuate your story of victimhood. Eventually you will stop taking personally others’ responses to you and you won’t feel attacked. But even then you will put up boundaries. Even if you don’t feel attacked allowing others to disrespect you only teaches them that their dysfunction is okay. Again, your boundaries are for you as well as for them. It’s a way of saying, “I’m whole and so are you. This is your chance to learn this.”
Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.