V. The Holy Instant and Special Relationships, P 2
2 The past is the ego’s chief learning device, for it is in the past that you learned to define your own needs and acquire methods for meeting them on your own terms. We have said that to limit love to part of the Sonship is to bring guilt into your relationships, and thus make them unreal. If you seek to separate out certain aspects of the totality and look to them to meet your imagined needs, you are attempting to use separation to save you. How, then, could guilt not enter? For separation is the source of guilt, and to appeal to it for salvation is to believe you are alone. To be alone is to be guilty. For to experience yourself as alone is to deny the Oneness of the Father and His Son, and thus to attack reality.
The past is the ego’s chief learning device. I easily see how that is true. As a child, probably as a baby, I learned that having my parent’s attention was vital and felt good. I learned that people in my family were more important than other people. I can remember my mom instructing us to take care of each other and stand up for each other, to defend family. I also learned what was required of me to keep my family’s loyalty and goodwill. Friends began to take on significance in my life as I entered school, and I learned that it was important to be part of a group. I learned what it takes to keep them loyal as well.
These things and more I learned as a child and they carried over into all my future relationships. Relationships became alliances and were more about survival than love; at least they were more about getting my needs met than about love. This is not to say that there was no love involved in the relationships. I love my children and I love my ex-husbands and my friends. But there was a strong need in these relationships and neediness is not love, and I have discovered that love becomes obscured by neediness.
All relationships defined by neediness are special. If someone loses their child, I feel compassion for them, but if I were to lose my child, I would feel like the world ended. I love lots of people, but I love my family more. This seems natural and normal to us because we pretty much all feel the same way. We all grew up learning the importance of family and that family is special and essential to us. If not, we transfer that need to others, friends or partners, our pets. But, special relationships are a source of guilt.
The reason this is so is that it is separation. I separate out the people in my life and designate which ones are most important to me and so which I love more. I learn which ones I need to meet my needs. I decide which ones matter the most. I decide which ones are against me, and therefore, are undeserving of my love. This separating out increases the guilt in my mind because it is an attack on God’s Wholeness. It makes me feel guilty and afraid even though I may not really know why or even that it is happening. It might just feel like low-level anxiety running in the background.
I have tried to love everyone the same and trying doesn’t seem to do the trick. I think that what I have to do is to notice when I don’t love someone and let the Holy Spirit work with my mind to heal it. I also think it helps a lot that I have reached a level of healing that allows me to desire love more than I ever have before. I am also more willing to love unconditionally and to love without exception. So my true desire to be the love I was created is coming forward. This desire is permission for the Holy Spirit to heal my mind.