A Course in Miracles Blog

The ego's game of special relationships

  • By Paul West
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  • 3 minutes 24 seconds
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In our special relationships, we think of a particular person as our savior, idol, bestie, or appointed partner. We adore them with very exclusive terms and special attention. Things that we reserve only for them and for no-one else.

This is the main mode of functioning of love in most people. Special love, for special people, in special ways. Or in other words, limited love, in exclusive situations, with a very small handful of individuals.

The ego in us loves this. It loves to love only a tiny subset of the Sonship. It loves to isolate and limit and constrain all love to one special chosen target recipient. It loves to really strongly play up how important and special and relied-upon that person is, because what this indirectly implies, is that everyone else sucks bigtime.

Special relationships therefore feed the ego 'persona' - the parts of life that it wants to keep and approve of - which is a very limited slice of reality - which it will eventually still attack and destroy. And while it feeds this persona, it relegates everything else to prison, which goes into your own mind as your 'shadow' self, filled with rejection and hate and attack. And that shadow self will attack your persona self and attack your special relationship and eventually try to destroy it. And as such romance turns to resentment. That's what the ego has in store for you when you play along with the special-love game. It ends in tears.

Ok so, being a bit dramatic ;-)


The point is, most people are stuck in this game, and there is a whole other way to experience life. And that means, bringing specialness into question, which is especially difficult when you have special relationships. It means that you will have to confront a sense of not depending on special people, but instead depending on God. It means you will have to examine why you can only love this one person and not everyone else, and also find out what it is within yourself that refuses to love everyone equally. Typically it's because you do not want to love yourself at all times, but only when you yourself are 'special' to yourself, which is probably not often.

Sometimes therefore special relationships have to go through a transition in order for the relationship to become 'holy', which means, the specialness (which is really a form of conditionality and limitation) has to be brought into question. And indeed, it may have to be released, which can be very painful, in order to make way for a greater expansion of love that overflows beyond the borders of the special relationship. How can you be unconditionally loving and uncondtionally yourself without letting go of the specialness that limits and imprisons you?

This doesn't have to mean the end of a relationship or necessarily its destruction, but at times it can seem that the special aspects of the relationship undergo a breakdown, to reveal a deeper unconditionality, a deeper more genuine more honest love, that doesn't put on a mask of pretense and perhaps doesn't play into the appearance of a typical special relationship. This means the relationship is becoming holy, in which the 'real selves' are starting to relate on terms of deeper honesty and greater willingness to love. Love actually increases, but it becomes in a sense less personally confining. It become more freeing, more allowing, more accepting, and that's different than how a special relationship typically starts out.

What remains then is a TRUE relationship, not only with another person but also with yourself, where you yourself are more genuine, where you are not dependent on the other person for the source of your love, where you are able to be of service, where you love them unconditionally, love yourself unconditionally, and also love beyond the walls of the 'relationship' unconditionally. What applies to you must apply to all. And as such, as you mature into unconditional love, you are maturing into a relationship with the entire Sonship, based on love instead of rejection and special attention.

This ultimately is the only way to love yourself.

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