Question: How to get rid of a relationship that gives pain in leaving?
Acharya Prashant: A few things must be clear.
One, if it is really a bad relationship, then you can have no pain in leaving it because the pain is already there.
How can there be a pain in leaving it because there is a lot of pain in living it?
You cannot have pain in leaving it; rather you are leaving the pain.
Second thing, dropping a relationship, does not mean dropping the other person. If you think that dropping the other person will lead to a change in the relationship, you are mistaken.
All your relationships are fundamentally a reflection of yourself.
You chose the other person.
If you remain the same, then you will find another person to have the same kind of relationship with.
You are a drunkard; you go to the market to fetch some liquor. If one shop is closed, what will you do? You will go to another shop, establish the same kind of relationship with that shop and get the same kind of intoxication from that shop.
You may keep changing shops, that does not change the relationship.
It is a very fine thing that you must understand. You can keep changing persons in your life, and yet you will find that your relationship is just the same because you haven’t changed. You have kept dropping the persons, you may keep changing shops, but wherever you go, you are just asking for liquor. So your relationship with any shop is just the same. Even if you are going to a shoe shop, you are asking for liquor.
That is one approach, the other approach is, “I chose the other person and if I remain the same, I will keep choosing persons of the same quality.” Why drop the person? Every person is a universe. What do I relate to, in that person? What does that person become in my presence? Can I let the person ‘be’ and rather change the relationship?
The first approach was, let the relationship be and change the person. The other approach is, let the person be and change the relationship. The first approach is a cowardly approach; the second approach is the approach of the Faithful, the valorous.
Change yourself; you will find that your relationship with the other has changed. Now, you don’t need to go head-hunting. Now, you don’t need to put out, a vacancy.
The pain that you have talked of if not the pain the other person gives you. It is the pain that you experience, in being yourself. It is the pain that you are carrying within yourself. You might be having a tumor here, in the intestines. Faintly it keeps making its presence felt. You go to a doctor; the doctor pushes right where the tumor is, and you cringe. Has the doctor caused the pain, really?
No, the pain is within you, the relationship is not causing that pain. Rather, the pain has caused the relationship.
Our relationships are founded on our ‘pains’, and ‘inadequacies’, and ‘complexes.’
That is the center from where we proceed when we want to have our relationships. Feeling lonely, get a boyfriend. Feeling horny, get a wife. Need somebody to chat to, get a few friends. Need somebody to hit, dream up an enemy.
Our relationships start from our pain, and our pain is the pain of our being.
The way you are, you don’t have pain, you are ‘a pain.’
Don’t drop the other person, drop yourself.
-Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: How to be free of all troubles?