When you become clear about what you are focusing your mind on, you will be amazed at who and what you find.
Many of us have never had positive role models for how to create healthy, thriving, and mutually-supportive relationships. If anything, we have had a constant onslaught of examples of the opposite. What we see in the media are often dysfunctional, neurotic, and drama-driven pathological relationships. Why is this? Well, basically, because drama sells.
As a society, we have been conditioned to be intrigued by the scandalous.
We find chaos and controversy more fascinating than cooperation and harmony. All you have to do is look at your social media newsfeed and see the latest explosive interaction between opposing political groups, between men and women, between politicians and everyone else. When we feed our minds chaos they will answer by drawing it into our lives.
From a neuropsychological perspective, this is a function of biology. Our brain is made to identify the patterns in the world that we give the most importance to. If we make it a point to engage with the things in our world that create chaos, that are examples of all of the devastating, destructive, and dramatic conflict that exists in the world, we will naturally find examples of those things everywhere we look. This includes our relationships.
Nowadays so many people are disillusioned with relationships because what they are searching for is unclear. When you become clear about what you are focusing your mind on and intentionally focus it you will be amazed at who and what you find.
When we enter a new relationship, we have the combined expectations that we have built up over the course of our lives. We consciously or unconsciously fall into the pattern of expecting that person to be something they are not. In some cases, he may be many of the things that you expected. He may live up to some expectations. He may even exceed others. But he will fall short in some. And so will you. This is the nature of being human, and it is the nature of relationships.
The relationships that we are in are the mirrors through which we see ourselves. If we are bringing a worldview that is steeped in chaos, drama, and antagonism to the relationship we will find that in the person that will, for a brief time, engage in playing that part, or simply tolerate it. This is where so many of the modern discussions about toxicity in the masculine and the feminine become so tricky.
Many of us have gotten caught up in the language of gender discourse that determines that there is something inherently wrong with men, or inherently wrong with women.
We are led to believe that there are overarching patterns of behavior that are present in all men or all women that stem from a place of resentment, betrayal, and violence. And the dominant voices in these debates are the ones that point out that the problems are all “out there,” in the other. Or worse, that claim to have done their own inner work and so why isn’t everybody else doing theirs?
When we bring these predetermined beliefs and expectations into a relationship we don’t give the person we are with time or space to be who they are. We can make drastic assumptions about who the person we are dating is, and then be devastated or indignant at the fact that she wasn’t that, at best, at worst she was the polar opposite. And in the end, we are the ones to blame for having projected our expectations onto her.
We can recognize these patterns of expectation by becoming very clear about what we want in a relationship. There is a tendency that we all have to create vague images of what we want, then expect to have the gaps in those images filled in in some unknown but pleasant way.
To know a few characteristics of what you want in a partner is not enough.
You have to examine what you are expecting in the person you want to be in a relationship with. This means looking at both the positive and negative sides of them, and acknowledging that sometimes these are reflections of the positive and negative sides of ourselves.
If we start taking stock of who we are and what we are consciously seeking in our relationships we can avoid the kinds of unnecessarily painful experiences that we go through otherwise. We do this by taking into account every aspect of our lives. From the things we like to do in our spare time, to the beliefs, behaviors, and relationships that are important to us.
None of us is an island. But we can be more conscious of who we connect to and why. Our intention and our focus determine everything we do, from pursuing a life path to choosing a life partner. When it is hazy we end up with whatever we can get. Nowadays so many people are disillusioned with relationships because what they are searching for is unclear. When you become clear about what you are focusing your mind on and intentionally focus it you will be amazed at who and what you find.