It seems that the people I’m strongly attracted to are never right, or don’t respond.
MICHAEL: There are many things to consider here. If you continually attract people who are not right for you, perhaps you need to develop in yourself a clearer understanding of what is right for you.
You might ask also yourself what they symbolize to you. Being attracted does not necessarily mean that you are being attracted to potential mates. There may be a quality in them that you want to have more of in yourself. Opposites do often attract. If, for example, you are easygoing, you might attract dynamic types of people because you want to learn to be more dynamic. If you practice being more dynamic, you may find that your attraction to them on that basis begins to fade.
I’m with someone right now with whom I’m very comfortable, but I’m wondering if we’ve hit some limitations we can’t get beyond. Is it possible to be comfortable, yet still have to go on a different course?
MICHAEL: Your feelings are a good gauge of what is going on. If you still feel good in the relationship, that it is serving you and that you are growing in it, then it probably still has value. It depends on how you experience comfort. If comfort for you is an avoidance of growth and meeting issues, then you may be in a rut. But there is certainly nothing wrong with being comfortable in a relationship. In fact, it might be evidence that it is working well.
It sounds as if you feel that something is missing for you. Give some thought to what that might be, and see if you can create it in your present relationship or in a platonic friendship. If not, decide if you are willing to let go of what you have in order to seek it. Every day you stay in a relationship, you are making a choice to do so. Knowing what motivates your choice helps you choose consciously.
My husband and I no longer wish to be with one another, but we have children and an obligation to look after his mother.
MICHAEL: In solving problems, you grow and expand. Your problem here is how to meet your own needs as well as your commitments to others. When there are children involved, you do not necessarily serve them by staying together. If you are apart, it can require ingenuity to make sure that their needs continue to be met, but no doubt you can find ways to accomplish this. There may also be no reason why you could not continue to help care for your mother-in-law after the separation, if you chose to.
There is usually a way to solve a problem. You are not stuck. If you and your husband truly wish to be apart, you can likely work it out.
There are some people in my life who don’t seem to have any real problems. They have excellent marriages, and everything goes all right, without complications. How do they get off so easily?
MICHAEL: Each path in life is unique. Of course, you may not know what is really going on; you are only seeing part of the picture. But suppose that you are correct that they have excellent, smooth relationships. That may be what they chose for this life. You, on the other hand, may have chosen to deal with some important, challenging issues that require your undivided attention. Comparisons with other people in this regard are not valid; others have what they need to grow, and you have what you need. If your life could be different than it is, it would be. The fact that it is not fulfilling you in specific ways means that there are areas of growth available that will bring the fulfillment you seek.
I want to end my relationship, but my partner doesn’t. Will I form karma with him if I leave him? Wouldn’t unconditional love require that I stay with him?
MICHAEL: You do not create karma unless you violate your partner. He does not have the right to keep you in a relationship you do not wish to be in, and vice versa. You would only create karma in such a situation if you abandoned a partner who had no other means of support, and it resulted in his harm or untimely death.
You can end a relationship in a loving manner. That involves finding out what your partner needs in order to feel complete and resolved, as well as doing what you need in order to feel complete and resolved. You might undertake some counseling together to have clear communication and a more graceful shift in your relationship. It is not necessarily loving to stay in a relationship that no longer serves you. If it no longer serves you, it probably does not actually serve him either, even if it is comfortable for him. If you are unhappy in the relationship, you are not likely to give unconditional love to it. On the other hand, there is no reason you cannot be unconditionally loving as you end the relationship.
The way you end a relationship is as important as the way you start it. It says more about you and your integrity than almost any other time in a relationship. At the beginning, if you want what your partner has to give, you may be on your better behavior or do things just to please him. That is not unconditional love. When you decide that you no longer want the relationship, you reveal your true colors. Your kindness, sensitivity, and appropriateness become especially significant. But being kind does not mean staying in a relationship that is stunting you. Being kind means communicating your experience in a way that is honest yet not unnecessarily hurtful. Being kind means taking his needs into account, so that you allow the transition to be fair and workable. You do not just leave; you end the relationship with grace and care. You balance your needs with his.
If you commit to a mate relationship with someone, presumably you love him, however you define love. If it is genuine love, your care and concern do not stop just because you no longer wish to be in that relationship. If you now feel that you do not love him in any way, you probably did not have a true or mature experience of love all along. In that case, some self-examination is warranted.
If your partner was irresponsible and uncaring both during a relationship and while ending it, how do you deal with that and break the attachment?
MICHAEL: It is important to have support from others. Those who have gone through something similar can be especially helpful.
If someone is irresponsible and uncaring in a relationship, recognizing that you are fortunate to be free of him can aid you in breaking your attachment to him. Examining why you became attached to someone with those qualities to begin with can also be helpful. Learning to fill more of your own needs, meeting other people, and the simple passage of time can all assist you in the transition.
Could you suggest some techniques for dealing with unresolved feelings about a previous lover?
MICHAEL: You might write him a series of letters pouring out all your feelings. Keep throwing them away until you find it natural to write a neutral, balanced letter. You may or may not want to mail that letter.
You also might examine what he represents to you, and why he is still on your mind. Changing something in your life now may help you release these feelings.
How does homosexuality fit into all this? Is it okay to go in that direction if you feel you want to?
MICHAEL: The principles governing relationships and intimacy are the same regardless of sexual orientation. In fact, they apply not only to mate relationships but to other kinds as well.
There is nothing intrinsically wrong or right with either homosexuality or heterosexuality. It is a matter of what your path is. If you are in conflict over it, resolving that conflict is part of your life task and will bring you growth. Many people in such conflict are in fact bisexual, yet are blocked for one reason or another in the full and free expression of that bisexuality. Working to release that or any block can be beneficial.
Channeled by Shepherd Hoodwin