Q: Hello, John. My partner and I have been living together for the past six months. Many times I’ve wondered whether that was kind or skillful because of the pain and suffering that arise in the relationship. If I had had my time over, I would not have included sexuality and living together in our relationship until we had a solid, long-term commitment to each other. We want to take some time apart. Is it possible to be together as friends and not be involved intimately until that commitment is solid and strong?
John: Yes. But what is more important is what each of you is living for. It is that that determines the relationship. What good is your relationship, your commitment to each other, if that isn’t clearly and solidly based on the commitment within each of you, and the purpose of the relationship, for something higher – not as an ideal but as a clear and solid response to something that you know the truth of?
If it is for an ideal then it is for something that is already less than you. If it is for what you know is true and you’re understanding it, then it is for something that is greater than you. If a relationship isn’t for something within each of you that is greater than each of you, then each of you will be using the relationship to eventually pull your selves down. The level in which you exist within a relationship is the same level that you’ll be confirming within your selves.
To evaluate a relationship you would have to evaluate your selves with the purpose of being open to change anything that isn’t in alignment with what you really know is true. It would require the most tender and the sharpest use of intellect, without which you won’t be seeing what you’re unaccustomed to seeing, all for the sake of benefitting within each of you a higher awareness. You would be judicial love, the kind of love that doesn’t favour what is personal but rather includes what is personal in favouring what it knows.
If this exists within each of you then the two of you are able to profoundly be together: two beings dwelling together, both supporting and existing for one beingness. There may still be real difficulty, but without either one of you being difficult. It would be intelligent goodness interacting with each other, where the slightest playing of a game would be a shock instead of the truth being a shock. Kindness would become skillful in establishing the goodness that it knows.
Within such a relationship the two of you wouldn’t be existing for anything else. This would be the foundation for the relationship, and everything that each of you builds would be of the same beingness.
Q: Would you tell me, John, how can I be more aware of my goodness?
John: By using your backbone for goodness instead of using your backbone for coping.
Q: Thank you, John.