The fact: We found a little cat (15-day old) almost 8 months ago. She was close to death. We took her in our home and after a period of one month she (we call her Tsitsos) was completely healthy. After a few months we found that Tsitsos couldn’t accept to exist in the same place with another cat. And this made us nervous, anxious about her. We worried if she will enjoy her life if not able to accept another cat, to play with her, to share tenderness etc. And we made this fact a problem. A few days ago we found 3 little sisters kitties that were abandoned and we brought them home to feed them, give them antibiotics and drops for their eyes. And we were hoping that Tsitsos will accept one of them. Yet Tsitsos was again pretty nervous and depressed. And again we were disappointed about her suffering. And then came a very clear seeing. Our intention to change Tsitsos, to make her accept another cat was a violent, brutal movement with the really popular excuse that our pressure was for her own good.
The writer has noticed that this is a cliche approach to relationships. The two members of a relationship are in a constant battle in order to change the other part according to their ideas/hopes/expectatations. Which makes relationship a rather horrible place where conflict is continuously taking place. To force one change according to your expectations appears to be rather violent, yet to make him change “for one’s own good” seems a rather gentle, high intend, born of love. But if we carefully observe we will see that violence, egotistic motives, neurotic demands are hidden behind both movements. If we carefully watch such efforts to make the other change – even if we think its for one’s own good-, we will see that this is somehow connected to our urge for pleausure and avoidance of pain – which is the essence of Ego-. These efforts to change someone are completely irrelevant with Love.
Let’s say I ask persistently, demandingly, that my sexual partner worries less about everything “for her own good” or be less jealous with no reason “for her own good”, but if I observe more carefully I will find my agony, my demand for her change is all about my own calmness and peace. We also ask our parents to stop smoking, to work out, to be careful about their eating habits and once this doesn’t happen we get frustrated. We encourage our friends to stop grumbling about their jobs and while they keep complaining about injustice there is exasperation (which may probably hide a secret satisfaction that is connected with a sense of superiority comparing to them). Its just our ideas about right and wrong, fair and unfair that get hurt and makes us react angrily.
Try it, watch it, watch this movement very closely and probably you will be surprised with what you will find.