The greatest gift we can give one another in a relationship is our true selves being who we are. For some this is not difficult, but for most it takes practice to take off the masks and become real.
At first it can seem frightening to stop playing games, and just be. However, much of the trouble that arises in relationships is because we are unwilling to do this. We think the games we play protect us, though they are actually the cause of the problems we have. Our need for real contact is so strong that when it is not there, our partner can easily feel lonely, rejected or as though they don’t matter much.
There are all kinds of ways we keep the games going. Instead of finding out who our partner truly is, or what they really need from us, when something happens we don’t like, we rush to label them. They become an object to us, a stranger, or opponent in some way. Before we give them a chance to reveal themselves, we throw them away. In this way we constantly separate ourselves from one another and then wonder why we feel so alone. The biggest need we all have is to stop playing games, trust who we are and realize that each person who comes into our lives is there for a reason; they are worth knowing truly. We must learn to build bridges between ourselves and them; allow open communication to take place. When we are unwilling to do this, it is usually because we are hiding, afraid of being known.
How To Let Go of The Games We Play
To start on our journey of becoming real, it is useful to look closely at the roles we play-the fantasies we so cherish. These roles are often exactly what get in our way. Roles can be hypnotic, it is easy to fall in love with a role or fantasy and begin to believe it is who we truly are. Or, more commonly, we fall in love with the role someone else is playing, become mesmerized by it and have no idea at all who the real person is. When that happens, we are not falling in love with the person, but with the fantasy they are creating for us. It can and does come as quite a shock when things change and, one day, we find out who they truly are. At this point, many relationships get rocky.
There are many reasons it may feel dangerous to let go of a role or image. For some, the idea of being true has become confused with the idea of being selfish, not caring about the feelings of others. Oddly enough, just the opposite is so. When we are able to respond truthfully, real caring can begin to arise. On the other hand, when we act from our roles and games, we are implicitly demanding this kind of false response from others. This way of relating is deadening; and takes the enthusiasm, fun and aliveness away. Everything becomes predictable. Boredom sets in.
The biggest danger of being lost in a role is that we lose touch with the reality of who we really are and what’s going on, both for ourselves and others. An incredible amount of misunderstanding comes about when we are glued to a particular fantasy or role. Unglue yourself a little.
In order to unglue ourselves from the usual roles we play, it is helpful to step into another’s shoes. Try seeing the situation from your partner’s point of view. Pretend you are them for a few moments; what would you need or want if that were true? Look at yourself through their eyes. You may be in for quite a surprise. As our compassion for and understanding of others increases, our stereotyped reactions melt away.
We constantly need to broaden our horizons. No relationship can stay the same forever. If it does grow, it begins to fade. If we do not expand, we begin to atrophy as well. As we become real and respond from the truth of who we are, a sense of fresh possibilities, flexibility and aliveness comes to us. It brings excitement and adventure as well. This a sure fire way to bring the greatest gift, both to others and to ourselves.