Relationships have hiccups, but if you’re living in hostile conditions for love—an ego battleground—it’s time to change. Be on alert for these three signs.
Would you ask your poorest friend for financial advice? While they may be well intentioned, they likely don’t have the skills to make good suggestions when it comes to money. Instead, you would likely turn to higher source of reliable information, someone whose financial decisions you admire.
However, when it comes to love, we turn to our egos to make the decisions, rather than our spirits. The problem with this is the ego doesn’t have any relationship skills. Instead, the ego tries to manipulate as a means to give and receive love. In an effort to protect ourselves, the ego resorts to: Resistance, arguing, fighting, sarcasm, put-downs, depression, withdrawal, aggression, frustration, passive-aggressiveness, revenge, disrespectful gestures, intolerance, blame, competition, distrust, resentment and self-doubt.
The ego’s choices end up becoming the very obstacles to love and our relationships turn into ego battleships.
Our spirits, by contrast, utilize the relationship skills of acceptance, wisdom, intuition, forgiveness, apologizing, allowing, understanding, adjusting, compromising, creativity, serving, being discerning, moving away from, taking responsibility, learning, growing, trusting, asserting, and gratitude. Our spirits are love, capable of loving and deserving of love—naturally. No manipulation needed. These are the qualities of real relationships.
Signs the ego is at work:
1) Constant judgment, criticism, put downs and ridicule.
Believe it or not, this is the ego’s attempt at being loving. The ego thinks the best way to love someone is to change them; so, the effort to love, through the filter of the ego becomes the need for control. The problem is, however, this need to control becomes the very obstacle to love.
2) Losing oneself.
Giving up your own values, hobbies, desires and sometimes friends and family to please the other person. Believe it or not, this is the ego’s attempt to get love. Operating from the ego, we think that the way to get love is to alter ourselves into something the other person wants. The problem is, as we seek approval externally, we lose ourselves and our self-respect in the process. The farther away from our authentic selves we get, the less loved we feel. The need for approval becomes the obstacle to receiving love.
3) Flat line behavior.
“Flat lining” is basically when we are at a stage of giving up and just trying not to raise the other’s wrath. We walk on eggshells, and try to disappear. Flat lining may look like depression, withdrawal or energy, intimacy or engagement.
Most of us think when these signs appear, it’s time for a new relationship. And while that may be true, there is still hope for the old one. If we do not evolve to the skills of spirit, we will likely just repeat the same behavior choices in the next relationship. Either way, new relationship or old, what is required is transcendence of the ego and a recalibration with the spirit.
A real relationship is steeped in an inner knowing of ones’ inherent value. It blooms from well-loved and maintained foundation of self-knowledge, self-respect and clear values. Finally, it has integrity, acceptance and responsibility at the core.
In any and every given moment, try this:
Stop. Take a deep breath. Drop inside and access courage, calm and gratitude. Breathe these qualities throughout your being. Then choose your next words, thoughts and actions in alignment and watch how quickly your results—and your relationships—change.
This article was originally published with Spirituality & Health; republished with the kindest permission.[image: via shutterstock]
About the Author
Eve Eschner Hogan is a relationship specialist, and author of several books including The EROS Equation: A SOUL-ution for Relationships. In Real Love with Eve, she shares skills, principles, and tools for creating healthy, harmonious relationships—with friends, family, lovers, co-workers, and the world at large. Her uncommon approach to common sense will help you sail away from ego battles and into the calmer waters of real love. Learn more about Eve’s Heart Path retreats at SacredMauiRetreats.com