Relationships Are Hard
Although I have not watched much of Modern Family, besides enjoying the writing and the humor, I always liked the sitcom because of its realistic portrayal of family relationships. There is a lot of tension; a lot of painful history. There is a lot of disappointment, eye rolling, and sighing. But there is also always love.
Painful family relationships are a common theme with my clients. There are two mistaken expectations that often emerge. One is that there is not supposed to be tension in loving relationships. My clients think something is wrong when there is conflict. The other is that as one becomes spiritually aware personal relationships become pain free.
Let’s take the first mistaken expectation. There is no perfection in the world. The personal experience is a relative one so there are no absolutes. We are all unique and therefore different from each other. Conflicts are inevitable. Even if you have undone all conflict with yourself and so have no conflict with others, others will still be in conflict with you.
Love in the world shows up not as conflict free relationships, but as learning, growth, compromise, and maturity.
Who in a relative world would decide the standard of perfection anyway? Religions and philosophies have tried, and oh the wars they’ve started! They are open to interpretation. Projection and personal filters cannot be avoided in the relative world.
Although there is no standard for a perfect person, perception (awareness; consciousness) can be perfect, but only because you can look from the Perfect. This brings us to the other mistaken idea, that spiritual awareness makes personal relationships pain free. It is true that the awareness of Truth makes you aware of your Wholeness so that you do not look to others to make you whole. But this does not make the person you present perfect in everyone’s eyes, nor does it make your relationships free of pain for you. Loved ones will leave; loved ones will die. They will make choices for themselves that it is painful to watch. Maybe you won’t feel disappointment or roll your eyes or sigh because you no longer ask them to fill you up. But sad things happen in the world and you cry over a sad story even when you know it is a story don’t you? What the spiritually aware know is none of this is real, which is why they can accept that the relative is imperfect and inherently painful before they look past it.