August 3 2017 at 11:01pm ·

I constantly evaluate relationships and the connection with the divine. The act of divine giving is one of giving without the expectation of receiving anything in return. No quid pro quo. For example, a wife will ‘take care of her husband’ but in return wants him to be sensitive to her, loving towards her, listen to her etc. etc. etc. A husband may shut up and avoid a fight (thinking he is doing her a favour) as long as she can just shut up and let him watch the rugby or go out with his buddies. This is trading. Firstly, the expectation is not always communicated to the other person and secondly, even if it were, it often comes out as a demand or a criticism of how the other person is not meeting your needs. The result – conflict. If your relationship contains a measure of purer love, the ‘return on investment’ becomes less important. The act of loving and giving without any expectation of return releases the giver of the stress that comes with waiting for payment. It becomes a pure act of giving for the benefit of another. Where does gratification come in then? Is the need for some form of gratification not also a basic human need? Can human beings exist only to serve others? The truly selfless act of giving becomes possible and more plausible if the essential purpose is for the pleasure of God. The gratification then comes from sufficiency of the connection with God. That sufficiency comes with the comfort of knowing that all reward, subliminal or material comes from Him. Like the adoration of a proud child who impressed his mother. This ultimately means that you relinquish the need for appreciation, reward, compensation acknowledgement from human beings, and derive worth and value purely in the pleasure of the Creator. The release unto the Divine in my experience, comes with an overwhelming freedom. Freedom from the need for approval or anything else from human beings. My slender release unto the divine love of the Creator has given me a glimpse of this beautiful freedom. Not that I have reached the nirvana of controlling my baser desires. By no means. My journey has ups and downs and I sometimes succeed and sometimes not. My aim is to increase the successes by constantly reminding myself and implementing the practice of yielding to a higher will and a higher purpose. My most meaningful evolution has been in my relationship with my husband, companion, friend and esteemed father of my children. I used to live the clichés I mentioned previously, for many long years. A merciful epiphany overcame me when I changed the direction of my focus. I looked at the same situation, the same man from a different angle. I stopped looking to him to make me feel worthy. I stopped needing him to be the perfect companion, to yield to my specific needs in the way I wanted. I stopped doing things for him in the hope that he would fulfil these emotional needs that I had. If I did anything for him, it was because I wanted be of service him and not because I expected him to be eternally grateful. I stopped looking for validation and self-worth from my husband. I realised that no person is physically capable of giving validation and self-worth to another person. If I didn’t find that in myself, any affirmations from other people would not be enough. I had to realise my own self-worth. When I acknowledged my own talents, strengths beauty and flaws without judgement to myself, I knew I could do the same for my husband. The love and kindness from my Creator was suddenly evident in everything. Suddenly all my misgivings about myself became futile. It exposed how ungrateful and blameworthy I was towards Him who brought my soul here and guided me through the wilderness of my existence unfailingly. Every mistake I made I blamed on someone. Ultimately, I was blaming Him. When I truly saw that I had designed my own failures and that He was showing me all along the beauty and truth in every situation, I realised my self-loathing was destroying me and others around me. When I was molested as a child, I let it poison my view of the world. I Became aggressive, judgemental, self-critical, defensive and a control freak. I chose to see myself as a victim rather than a victor who had overcome and gained from an experience that made me grow. Only when I was ready to claim responsibility over my life and my actions was I able to forgive and love myself. I could forgive myself, because I knew that He forgives me. I could love myself, because He created me and loves me. If I cannot forgive and love myself, how would I ever be able to forgive and love anyone else. I was even able to forgive the man who stole my innocence. When I made strides towards this self-acceptance and validation through my love and appreciation of the favours from my Creator, I was able to show love, appreciation and forgiveness towards my husband. Only then was I ready to give to him with purity of heart. I no longer yearned for validation from him. I no longer felt a fear of not being loved. I no longer felt the need to own him, control his thoughts and behaviour or dictate how he should live his life. I was finally able to let go of my fears of loss and unleash my love to him without wanting payback. Without feeling resentment and hurt over irrelevant things because I felt insecure. Without expecting quid pro quo. Only when I realised this, was I released. Released from the prison of my own fears and self-loathing which I projected onto my husband. To my wonderment, he suddenly became the husband I wanted him to be. I was able to appreciate the completeness and beauty of the man I had been privileged to marry. I had to look again at his strengths, weaknesses, eccentricities and beauty, and accept the totality of his existence in as much as I accepted my own. I love. I have to extend this experience to my relationships with all the other people in my life. My children, family, friends and colleagues, with humanity at large. My service is boundless as long as I am alive. Humanity is in need. It is not an easy road. The struggle to maintain balance continues day by day. Moment by moment. I also must manage regression from time to time when I slide into old habits and find my way back again. Is this not the nature of the struggle of our existence? To constantly strive, accept that we err but make strides to correct them and evolve to a higher consciousness of existence. With love Radia 💙