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.”

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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.

Comments

Anonymous said…
An enlightening, insightful post for me. Besides my relationship with my 3 dogs, many of my people relationships have fallen away. Coming from True Love, awareness of my wholeness, I have dropped many of the roles I've played and so can the change of the dynamic of the relationship result in them dropping away? It is as if my storybook has been retitled to, “With the Holy Spirit as my Guide, I walk with my three pups by my side.” With gratitude, DB
ACIM Mentor said…
Yes, you may find some relationships falling away when you no longer play certain roles with others.
Bat said…
excellent blog, liz. Boundaries are a tough thing for many students to utilize. Thank you for bringing up this topic.

I had to cut someone from my life a while ago, and, while i felt relieved at the time, and i had prayed to the holy spirit for help before i made the decision, i felt TERRIBLE, for several months after.

It was only after i realized that i did myself and her a favor, and that it was exactly what needed to happen. There was no guilt or blame. It's just the way it was. We aren't obligated to be friends or associates with everyone we meet, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Anonymous said…
Thank you Liz for your reply. Reviewing an earlier Course Lesson 37, "My holiness blesses the world," I offer the following line, "Those who see themselves as whole make no demands."

It seems to me that obligation is a demand in disguise. Either it coming from others or expecting it of others. The dynamic of family relationships come to mind. How then can family obligations be loving? It's ego dynamics playing.
ACIM Mentor said…
Not necessarily. You may not know your your Aunt Mary, but, because she is family, you are willing to take care of her when she breaks her hip. You choose to love her because she is family rather than because you know her well and like her a lot. Family-obligation "love" is often a verb rather than an emotion based on fondness and affection.
Anonymous said…
Yes, a verb, so simple when I give it application and yet such profound awareness. . . the "light bulb" of mind.
Anonymous said…
Liz, can you speak to the symbol of boundaries? Can a smile be a boundary? A neighbor I visit with from time to time likes to correct me, the words I use, self talk, etc. These visits offered me an opportunity for forgiveness and so now, when she corrects, I just offer a smile, letting her be right unless intuitively some clarification may be helpful.
ACIM Mentor said…
The smile is not so much a boundary with the other but maybe a boundary within yourself.
will said…
I tried to warn you anonymous. If you start playing intellectual she'll put the hurt on you:)
Anonymous said…
You know, after I posted my comment, and giving my question more thought, the "boundary within" did occur to me.

Will - thanks for the laugh and I imagine Liz smiling a beautiful smile!
will said…
Yessss, it's a beautiful smile, but I'm not too sure that's what happening:)
Christine said…
Liz, I had something astounding happen this week! I forgot completely to check out your blog - for the first time in years! I just remembered Friday to visit it and read the question or topic you offer each Wednesday. I am aware of not being needy!...and the first person to enter a comment on this week's blog post - about the three dogs, my husband and I are about to lose our sweet Golden Retriever (she was an elderly rescue found in the middle of a busy street two years ago)...to cancer. This is the first time - after having had thirteen dogs, some cats, birds fish, horses, etc. that I am not a teary horror-filled wreck that the vet has to stick in one of the back rooms in the hospital so as to not scare the other clients after receiving a bad prognosis! I know losing her is not taking away from my Wholeness - she is Whole, too, it is not a loss for her either. The last three months caring for her in her illness has been such a period of the Awareness of a never changing continuous Loving Presence.
Anonymous said…
Christine, Truth glows with a Golden Light, the Retriever of the awareness of your Wholeness. My Blessings to you and your husband, DB
Anonymous said…
Allow me to rephrase . . . Awareness of your Wholeness is the Golden Retriever of Truth.

Thank you for sharing your story. May you keep glowing with a Golden Light, DB
will said…
This is how Jesus asks you to practice the Course.

1. Go to Lesson 161
2. The focus is on paragraphs 4 and 11.
3. Read paragraph 4 until you are sure you understand what it is saying.
4. Go to paragraph 11 and follow the instructions EXACTLY as they are written regardless if you are thinking of a person or they are standing in front of you.
will said…
If you are new to the Course, paragraph 11 is a prayer. Obviously you would not say this aloud to another person.
ACIM Mentor said…
Christine, that's great!
We often don't know how much Truth has shifted our experience in until something happens in the world to bring it to our attention. Much more goes on unconsciously than we know.
Christine said…
Thanks Liz! DB, I will write that down and re-read your comment again and again - thank you:)
will said…
Liz,

In the manual for teachers, Who Are Their Pupils? it talks about everything has already gone by a long long time ago and we are in essence watching the past go by (by our experience). Then it says "Your are free however, to decide when you want to learn it." Could you explain that.
ACIM Mentor said…
You're really just living over and over again the instant of the-idea-of-not-Truth/the undoing of the-idea-of-not-Truth. So every moment you can choose on which part of that instant to focus. You can focus on not-Truth - time and its story - or on Truth, Which is here, now.
Anonymous said…
Ideas leave not there Source so we could decide in an instant to awaken but because we are so fearful, the Course teaches us a way to focus on Truth, to be less fearful of the Truth, thus undoing the idea of not Truth?
will said…
Text p.318-321
Anonymous said…
So powerful, are those pages you directed Will, all of it. Being taught, Communication is Salvation.
Anonymous said…
Well that's another reason I have a "live and let live policy" everybody owns their own "yes" and own "no' so they are free to be who they need to be with their own boundaries. If they are there "tomorrow" that's fine, if not that's fine too.

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