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Robert is the author of the Joyously inspirational
The Dance of Wounded Souls
|This page includes quotes from Codepenence: The Dance of Wounded Souls and quotes
from other articles, columns, and web pages written
by Robert Burney. The internal links within this article open in a
separate browser window.
The Heart Break of Romantic
by Robert Burney
"The thing that is so important about
the issue of Romantic Relationships is to realize how we were set up to
"fail" in romance - to really get it on a gut level, so that we can forgive
ourselves. Once we start letting go of feeling responsible for something
we were powerless over, letting go of the false guilt and toxic shame about
our "mistakes" and "failures" in romance - then we can start to learn how
to take healthy risks. Loving and losing is much better than never
loving at all."
The issue of how we are set up to fail to get our needs met in Romantic
Relationships is so complex - multi-leveled, multi-faceted, and multi-dimensional
- that instead of writing an individual, fully contained article here I am
going to make this Web Page a collage of different facets of this issue -
individual vignettes with quotes from my books and articles. I am going
to use some quotes from my Question and Answer pages also - the Q & A
# at the end of the quote will be a link to the applicable page - any articles
or columns cited will also be linked. (The Q & A pages
are from the original Joy to You & Me Web Site.)
I am thinking of this web page as if it were a crystal with multiple
facets. Each facet reflects a little different perspective on the
issue of Romantic Relationships. I am going to limit this page to seven
of these different but very much interrelated facets.
Facet # 1 - Causes and Symptoms
"It is the heart afraid of breaking that never
learns to Dance."
Our hearts have been broken
because we were taught to do the Dance of Love in a dysfunctional way/to the
The True nature of the Dance
of Life is Spiritual - become aligned with the Spiritual music of Truth and
you can Open Your Heart to the Abundance of Joy & Love that you deserve.
We are set up to fail to get our needs met in Romantic Relationships
in the same way that we are set up to fail in life - by being taught false
beliefs about who we are and why we are here in human body, false beliefs
about the meaning and purpose of this dance of life.
Our mental attitudes and beliefs set up our perspective
and expectations which in turn dictate our relationships.
With everything. With our self as human beings, with life, with our
own emotions, with our bodies, gender, and sexuality - with our concept
of God. With the concept of Romantic Relationship and what constitutes
success or failure in a Romantic Relationship.
In taking a look at our basic relationship with Romantic Relationships
it is important to take note of how far out on the cause and effect spectrum
it resides. All of the relationships described in the third sentence
in the above paragraph are in the cause realm in relationship to our Romantic
Relationships. In other words, not only does our basic relationship
with our self, with life, with our concept of a God-Force have a profound
affect on our Romantic Relationships - but our relationships with our own
emotions, bodies, gender and sexuality are also cause that have effects/consequences/impact
on our Romantic Relationships. Any problems/wounds/dysfunction we have in
our relationship with our own gender (or sexuality or emotions, etc.) is going
to effect our Romantic Relationships.
Now, to make my point here very clearly:
Almost any "problem" encountered in a Romantic Relationship is
a symptom / effect of some deeper "problem" within our relationship
with our self!
And we live in a culture where we are taught that the "right"/successful
Romantic Relationship can make all those other problems go away!
Like, duh, no wonder we have problems with Romantic Relationships.
It starts in early childhood with Fairy Tales where the Prince
and the Princess live happily-ever-after. It continues in movies and
books where "boy meets girl" "boy loses girl" "boy gets girl back" - the music
swells and the happy couple ride off into the sunset. The songs that
say "I can't smile without you" "I can't live without you" "You
are my everything" describe the type of love we learned about growing up
- that is, an addiction with the other person as our drug of choice.
If a successful Romantic Relationship will cure all of our self-esteem,
self-image, gender/body/emotional issues then the other person is set up
to be our Higher Power. This is a formula, a set up, to cause dysfunctional
Romantic Relationships. (I am using dysfunctional here to mean: does not
work to help us get our needs met - mental, emotional, physical, and Spiritual
Any time we set another human being up to be our Higher Power we
are going to experience failure in whatever we are trying to accomplish.
We will end up feeling victimized by the other person or by our self - and
even when we feel victimized by the other person we blame our self for the
choices we made. We are set up to fail in Romantic Relationships because
of the belief system we were taught in childhood and the messages we got from
our society growing up.
Facet # 2 - Outer Dependence
"As was stated earlier, Codependence
could more accurately be called outer or external dependence. Outside influences
(people, places, and things; money, property, and prestige) or external
manifestations (looks, talent, intelligence) can not fill the hole within.
They can distract us and make us feel better temporarily but they cannot
address the core issue - they cannot fulfill us Spiritually. They can
give us ego-strength but they cannot give us self-worth.
True self-worth does not come from temporary
conditions. True self-worth comes from accessing the eternal Truth within,
from remembering the state of Grace that is our True condition."
"As long as we believe that someone else has the
power to make us happy then we are setting ourselves up to be victims."
Codependence: The Dance of
Ultimately we feel lost because we feel disconnected from
our Spiritual Source. We have a hole in our soul and we keep trying
to fill it with outside things because that is what we were taught defined
us. We grew up in emotionally dishonest societies that taught us that
if we were good enough, did enough, did it "right," we would get rewarded.
That when we met our soul mate and got married we would get to live "happily
We have all been lost, trying to fill the hole in our soul with
whatever we could find that would work in the moment to help us keep from
feeling the emotional pain - alcohol or work or family or sex or religion
or whatever. For many of us that meant Romantic Relationships.
If we just found the right Romantic Relationship, or changed ourselves (or
the other person) enough to make the one we were in work - then everything
would be OK.
"As long as you believe that the other person is
the source of your happiness you will feel compelled to try to control them
so that you can stay happy. You can not control them and be happy."
Wedding Prayer/Meditation on Romantic Commitment by Robert
"Codependence is about giving power
to external or outer forces (including other people) over our self-esteem
- over how we feel about our self. That is dysfunctional - it does
not work. What we are striving for is to learn to be Interdependent
- to make allies, form partnerships - not make someone or something outside
of us (i.e. our career, money, etc.), or external to our being, our higher
power that determines if we have self-worth.
I have a column about the difference the
Codependence vs Interdependence
Codependence is also a disease of reversed
focus - it is about focusing outside of ourselves for self-definition and
self-worth. That sets us up to be a victim. We have worth because
we are Spiritual Beings not because of how much money or success we have -
or how we look or how smart we are - or who we are in relationship with.
When self-worth is determined by looking outside it means we have to look
down on someone else to feel good about ourselves - this is the cause of bigotry,
racism, class structure, and Jerry Springer.
The goal is to focus on who we really are
- get in touch with the Light and Love within us and then radiate that outward.
I think that is what Mother Theresa did - I can't know for sure because
I never met her and it can be difficult to tell looking from the outside
where a person's focus is - Mother Theresa could have been a raging codependent
who was doing good on the outside in order to feel good about herself -
or she could have been being True to her Self by accessing the Love and Light
within and reflecting outward. Either way the effect was that she did
some great things - the difference would have been how she felt about herself
at the deepest levels of her being - because it does not make any real difference
how much validation we get from outside if we are not Loving ourselves.
If I did not start working on knowing that I had worth as a Spiritual Being
- that there is a Higher Power that Loves me - it would never have made any
real difference how many people told me I was wonderful."
A # 2
No one has the power to make someone else love
him/herself, we only have the power to change our relationship with our self.
We cannot love someone else enough to make them love them self.
You may read the rest of this web article by going to The Heart
Break of Romantic Relationship part 2
(Includes Shame Core - Inner Child Healing and Emotional Dishonesty - Emotional