Neale Talks About... Relationships
In my life there has been no greater challenge than the challenge of relationships. I am speaking here now of romantic relationships, although all of my relationships—parental, familial, personal, business—have been a test for me from the very beginning.
I suspect it has been this way for many others as well. Perhaps, for most others. For me, this has been because I never really understood the real purpose or the true meaning of relationships. I didn’t understand how they worked, or how to get them to work. I didn’t know what they were for. I only knew that without them I was miserable.
I’ve had multiple marriages in my life, and that is not something I brag about. Two of my former wives died early in their lives, both after our relationship ended, and I will always regret the sadness and the pain that I know I caused them.
I wish I could go through the rest of my life without hurting anybody. I know now that I don’t stand a chance if I don’t know and understand the purpose of relationships from the ground up.
Unfortunately, there’s no school that teaches these things. You can’t take a high school class in Relationships 101. It’s hard to even find such studies in college. We think we’re teaching it in Social Studies, but that’s not even scratching the surface. It’s going nowhere near the real issues. We have to keep our schools as non-controversial as possible, passing on to our children only that with which everyone agrees, and so we pass on no Grander Wisdom at all.
Only when Conversations with God came along was a door finally thrown open for me. Only when these dialogues occurred was I at last given a beginning grasp of the true miracle and the true gift of relationships—much less a strategy for how to negotiate them.
And I must say that CwG turned all of my previous understandings of relationship—limited as they were—upside-down. Because CwG said things about relationships that were the exact opposite of everything I had ever heard before.
For instance, the startling statement “Relationships Work Best When You Always Do What Is Best For You.” All my life I had been taught that the way to make relationships work was to do what was best for the other. And so, I’d been going around trying to make the other person in the relationship happy, trying to make the other person satisfied, trying to make the other person glad, and fulfilled, and complete.
Now along comes this book of messages from the Divine telling me that I’ve got the emphasis all wrong. It is me that I’m supposed to worry about. It is me that I’m supposed to please. It is me that I’m to pay my attention to.
CwG says that there are only two questions to ask when considering a romantic relationship:
- Where am I going?
- Who is going with me?
And the important thing, CwG says, is not to reverse the order.
All my life I had been doing that. “Who is going with me?” I would ask, then I would decide where I was going. Or, more accurately, where we were going, which was, more often than not, not where I thought that I was going to be going.
In relationships, it’s important to keep things going well by going where you were going to be going. If you’re not going where you were going to be going before the relationship began, then you may not know where you are going—and the relationship may soon be going to hell.
What this little play on words means is that we had better not give up who we are in order to make a relationship work, because all we will do is lose who we are, and the relationship will not work anyway.
You cannot abandon yourself in order to find yourself.
So often in my life I thought that I had finally “found myself” in another. I hated being alone, and so would trade almost anything to have the company of another. What is understandable is wanting the company of another. Humans are social creatures. We do not do well in isolation. That is because we know, intuitively, deep down inside, who we really are (one with everything and everyone), and we wish to experience that. What is sad is wanting the company of another so badly that we give up the company of ourselves. That is, we disappear ourselves so that another may appear.
I did this over and over again in the first five decades of my life. Yes, that’s right, I said the first five decades. It wasn’t until I was a half-century old that I began to figure things out. And here is one of the things I finally figured out:
I will not be alone if I am my true self. Only by trading my true self for the companionship of another have I ever made myself alone. Because when I gave up my real self, I wound up resenting my “significant other” for “making me” do that—and it was this resentment that ate away at our relationship.
I now see clearly that the rock-the-boat truth in Book 1 of the CwG series—that relationships work best when you always do what is best for you—is a life-altering insight. It saves relationships, it does not destroy them. It creates harmony, it does not disrupt it.
That’s because all we are talking about here is honesty. You must act honestly in relationships—that is, you must be true to yourself—and only then do relationships have a chance to really work functionally. Oh, we can have dysfunctional relationships very easily, and all we want, but if functional relationships are what we prefer, then “to thine own self be true” becomes a maxim that cannot be ignored.
Yet CwG opened the door to more than the Land of Self-Honesty for me. It also unveiled for me the real secret of relationships—which is their purpose.
If you want to have some fun sometime, just go around asking people a simple question. Tell them you are taking a survey. Ask them, “What is the purpose of relationships?” You’ll be amazed at the answers you’ll get. What will most surprise you, though, once you’ve read CwG, is the one answer that you will not get. At least, not very often. In fact, hardly ever.
“The purpose of relationship is to provide a Contextual Field within which you may choose and declare, express and fulfill, experience and become Who You Really Are.”
And this is done not through what you get out of your relationship, but through what you put into it.
Relationship does not exist to give you something, relationship exists for you to have something to give.
Outside of the context of a relationship with some other person, place, or thing, you will have no one and nothing to give to. And it is the giving of Who You Are that brings you the experience of it.
And, of course, experiencing Who You Are is why you came here. It is the purpose of all of Life.
So now it looks as if we have come full circle, yes? First I’m saying, “Do what is best for you,” and now I’m saying “it’s only what you give to others that brings you happiness.”
I can see how, at first, this could seem like a contradiction, but stay with me here.
What if giving to others IS what’s best for you? Then you are doing what’s best for you WHILE you are giving to others.
Yet how could giving to others be what’s best for you? Only if you decided that the definition of YOU was larger than your previous definition, and included others. Perhaps, even, ALL others.
If you decide CwG is correct in declaring that We Are All One, then your definition of YOU suddenly takes in everyone and everything—and it certainly takes in the person you say you are in love with.
Therefore, what you do for that “other,” you do for yourself.
Now we have a whole different ballgame. Now, what formerly looked like selflessness begins to look like selfISHness. Which is how it should be. You should feel SELFISH when you do something for another—because there’s nobody else in the room but you.
This depth of understanding of the true nature of relationship renders resentment virtually impossible.
But wait. Does this mean that we have to give up the wants and desires of the “local self” in order to satisfy the wants and desires of the Larger Self?
For me, the answer is no. For only when I have made the Local Self happy can I begin to be happiness for the Larger Self. That is why self-honesty has become so important to me. I have to be honest with my Local Self first, and act in accordance with what I know my own truth to be, before I can even start to think about moving out from there to the Larger Self.
Interestingly, this is what the Larger Self wants!
I know of nobody who is going to feel good if they think that I am sacrificing everything I am and everything I choose in life in order to make them happy. What they really want is for me to be clear about what makes me happy, then to come from that clarity and to live that clarity in all my announcements, choices, and actions. Then they can decide accurately, not based on false data, whether they can be in harmonious relationship with me.
This is what everyone wants. Everyone wants to be in a relationship that works. And that means a relationship that works for everyone—not just for one, not just for some.
Is it possible to achieve this? Is it possible to create it?
I believe it is. CwG says that it is. When I live the messages of CwG as a spiritual discipline, I experience that such relationships become the norm.
-- Neale Donald Walsch
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Message from Marion
Hello my friends:
Things at the Foundation have been changing and moving forward in a great way this last week. We’ve made some important changes in the Life Education Program (LEP) hoping that it will meet more people’s needs and be more affordable to everyone both monetarily and with a shortened time required for the onsite training in Ashland, Oregon. We’re still going to do our Holiday Retreat and follow that up with the new LEP programs, which gives all those involved the experience of Ashland at Christmas time.
This weekend members of the Foundation staff are going to Portland to do Neale’s new one-day event “Happier than God.” It’s been a long time since I’ve attended an event and I’m really looking forward to it. It should be fun for all.
I hope some of you are planning to join us here in Oregon during the Fall and Winter seasons. It’s always fun to meet new members of our CwG family.
As for me, well I don’t have a clue what’s going on right now, but almost everyone around me is working on truth telling and having experiences that require the telling of the truth in order to either step to a higher place within relationship or to redefine relationships. That’s both intimate relationships and family, friend and acquaintance type relationships. I’ve been about the business of truth telling at the highest level for many years and it’s one of the biggies in CwG that I love, so I find that often people come to me for guidance and input about learning to share their truth.
Here’s some of a letter I wrote to a dear friend recently on the topic – I thought I’d share it with you, because it says almost everything that feels important about the topic right now. For those of you who don’t know me – to provide you with some context – I was an addict and a criminal until 1990. That’s when truth telling began for me:
As for truth telling, my friend, I’d like to share a bit of my experience of it with you. First, you have to know that my commitment to it is not noble. It’s not anything more than a deeply ingrained belief that my sobriety and in turn, my very life, depends on my ability to tell the truth and the level of my commitment to truth telling. It’s a bit easier to tell the truth. I imagine that when you look at it from a matter of a life/death choice at every instance where there is a decision to be made to tell the truth or not, then it’s not so much a matter of courage as a choice to live or die. It’s that serious in my life.
When I started on this truth telling path in 1990, every word that came out of my mouth was a lie – I didn’t know how to tell the truth. It was tough, but it was a matter of life or death and I bit the bullet and every time I told a lie – every time an untruth passed my lips – I turned right around and cleaned it up and forced myself to get humble and own to the other(s) the lie I’d told. I mean little things like coming to work late and telling the boss my car wouldn’t start – by the time I’d get to the time clock and punch in I’d know it was an untruth and I’d force myself to march right into the boss’s office and say, “You know what, I lied. My car didn’t breakdown. I pushed snooze too many times on the alarm and that’s why I’m late.” The funny thing is, my friend, never has there been even one time when I did something like this, whether over a big thing or a little thing, that I didn’t earn respect and find freedom in the telling of the truth.
When inclined to lie or omit or deceive these days, I know in my heart that the truth ALWAYS survives. I may not be found out in the moment – I may never be found out – but I’m always found out on the inside. Eventually I came to understand that alignment inside of myself could never be found in the telling of a lie for any reason – not a lie to myself or a lie to another, no matter the reason or how little it may seem to be. For me there are no little lies – no white lies – none of that, because those are slippery slopes that truly serve no one.
I’ve also found that truth telling is as most of life, a layered onion. For years I’d have sworn to you that I was always truthful. Then one day talking from a podium in front of a room, I noticed that a story I was telling about something in my life wasn’t even a story of my own, even though I was telling it as such. The truth was that it was a story someone had told me about their life and I’d taken it to be my own. From this vantage point I looked over all the stories I was sharing in the telling of my tales, and I had to get honest with myself and others and really pick those stories apart to go back and remember what was really truth and what was embellished or not even my own. I had to get honest about the fish that had grown bigger and bigger with each telling of the tale over the years – because what I came to understand was that those tales made me and how others received me and held me based in lies. The truth of me was not being seen. This was really a tough challenge, because my stories of me were so much grander, I thought, than the truth of me. I loved how those untrue or embellished stories made me feel when I’d get to see how they were received, or when I clearly was able to hit a home run into someone’s heart with such a tale. Ugh, how I hated giving that up!
Another thing I watch people struggle greatly over, is the idea that another’s feelings will be hurt by the telling of the truth. This is the BIGGEST lie – because I have seen and experienced so much more despair and agony over the lies of others when the telling of the truth would have set everyone involved free. I think this is because the truth speaks to the soul and we know lies – even lies of omission and commission. We may not know the lie, but we feel the lie.
I tell you this, my friend, the truth is scary stuff. The perceived risk is huge, but the reward is the greatest freedom to be found – freedom within and without. Everyone comes to know you as you really are – some hate you, some love you, but that’s what’s true even now – however, all will respect you and your truth in a way that few do now. They will honor you deeply, much as you do me.
One thing someone told me – and I guess I’ve heard it said about me a lot over the years, and it feels good – “Marion we may not like what you have to say – we may not like how you say it – but we always know where you stand and that you are in your truth. In that knowing, we feel very safe.” Interestingly enough, in my knowing of the world and myself this truthful way I, too, feel safe in many ways!
Over and over in the past few weeks I’ve had to say much of what I’d put in this letter to others in one form or another – it seems as if it’s a time of great changes around us and, to accommodate the changes as best we can, the telling of one’s truth becomes vital.
I urge you all to look inside – get a handle on what your truth is and share it with all you can – share it when you’re afraid to – share it when you don’t want to – share it gently and with love and when you can’t do any of that – keep your mouth shut – and choose not to compound the problems with anything less than your truth.
Hope you have a great week.
Marion Black, CEO
ReCreation Foundation, Inc.
dba Conversations with God Foundation
PS: My email is marion@CwG.org or my cell number is (541) 301-0365
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Questions and Comments from CwG Readers
Dear Mr. Walsch,
Thank you for being the vehicle through which the CwG material has been transmitted to the rest of the world. It has been said that many are called but few are chosen. Clearly you have been one who has been chosen, or perhaps it is more correct to say you are one who chose. It’s also been said that it is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness. Well, my friend, the light from your candle has already touched over a million souls…and you have only just begun.
Basically, I have one question. I am asking your assistance for further clarification, too. In CwG God said through you that in life there is nothing to learn per se. We are here to remember, to remember who and what we truly are. Well, as you have said, there is really nothing new in CwG. All this information has been given to us again and again by God. I recognize much of it. However, for me this last statement is new. So new, in fact, it represents a major paradigm shift. I was taught this, and as a spiritual counselor, teacher, healer, etc., I have passed this lesson along many times. That is, this is “school house earth,” and we are here to learn our soul lessons. We get to do them over and over again until we get them right, too. Then we go on to the next level, etc., until ultimately we return once more to the source—that is, we become one with God again.
It is said that experience is the best teacher. The “school house earth” paradigm has not only been my understanding and belief, it has been my experience, too. The “school house earth” concept worked. How can it be transitioned into “remembering”?
Therefore, if you would be so kind and please share with me your insights and understandings! I ask this help not only for myself, but for all who have shared this concept, especially my beloved teacher. She is a wonderful person who helped awaken me to a spiritual path.
Thank you for responding to this question. May you live your truth, be in joy, and always be surrounded by love.
Blessed Be, Harold, AZ
Think of remembering as recovery from amnesia. The amnesia that we have been given provides us with a fertile field within which to plant the seeds of new remembrances. God chooses to experience Godself as the creator.In order for God to experience Godself as the creator, God has to enter the act of creation, for the creator creates.
Now we’ve got a problem here, because everything’s already been created, so there isn’t anything to create.So God, therefore, wants an experience that’s impossible for God to have.The creator seeks to create, yet all already is created, so there is nothing for God to do, Therefore, God has a problem.So what God has done is say, “Oh, I know what I’ll do, I’ll have the various disparate parts of me forget that I’ve created all that stuff, and I can create it over and over and over again.”
So, our selective amnesia, our forgetting who we are, has a very divine purpose.If we all remembered who we were all the time, we could never be who we are.In the beingness of it, we could never experience becoming it, but we’d always just be it, and it’s in the becoming of it that we become God.God is then caught, like Allen Funt used to say, on “Candid Camera” in the act of being Himself.God is caught in the act of creating Himself.Yet you cannot create yourself if you already know what you are!
So, to make it really simple, as I say in my lectures, let’s pretend that my greatest desire is to be six feet tall.If somebody walked up to me and said, “Hey, you’re already six feet tall,” I’m going to go (whiny, sad voice) “Don’t tell me that, don’t tell me that!I don’t want to know that!You don’t understand.My whole desire was to become six feet tall.I wanted to experience creating that, and now you’ve gone and spoiled everything by going and telling me that.See, I’m going to have to take a pill here, and forget that I’m six feet tall.I may even go so far as to forget that there’s such a thing as six feet tallness!I may forget the whole damn thing so that I can come to the question again, cleanly, knowing nothing about that.And when I recreate it anew, that’s when I get “Oh, I was always six feet tall!”But I then confront that knowledge with joy, not with exasperation.
That’s a brief explanation of the reason that we have been given this, what I call, spiritual amnesia.This is what I call the God game, the forgetting, remembering, forgetting, remembering, that allows the breathing in, breathing out, of God to continue eternally and forever more.
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