Step 2: Put Yourself in a Context for Fulfillment
The solitary life is suitable for very few people; the vast majority prefer social connections. We all have them, but are yours the kind that fulfill you emotionally? If not, then the whole value of relationship is being missed. Proximity isn’t the same as bonding. There is a sliding scale for bonding, from least to most intimate, which is as follows:
  1. I have nice friends and enjoy their company.
  2. I have at least one close friend in whom I can confide; this friend is like a part of me.
  3. I am bound with a loved one in a deeply personal relationship. We have our own private world together.
  4. I have someone in my life who inspires me. I feel bigger and better in their presence.
  5. I am on a deep spiritual path, and someone as dedicated as I am walks beside me.
  6. I feel blessed to be in the presence of the divine, which I feel through everyone I meet.
Relationships reflect who you are inside, which is why the experience of bonding can go from shallow social contact to the merging of souls. If you want to be true to yourself, find the context in this scale that reflects your inner life, and if you don’t really know where that is, consult a friend, a confidant, a mentor or a therapist who can help. You need to speak with someone who can give you a clear view of yourself (which far more important than someone who is friendly and sympathetic).

Once you find the right context, build upon it. Relationships exist for the purpose of mutual fulfillment. If they exist for other reasons—status, financial security, feeling wanted, meeting the social norm—you can certainly be happy, perhaps for a long time. However, that’s not the same as being true to yourself deep down and allowing intimacy to move into the region of the soul.

Next: View your life as a never-ending journey


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