What Is Love

Love—Romantic Relationships

"No matter how far along we are in our healing however, there will still be issues / levels that are more healed than others. There will always be a new layer of denial to peal off in relationship to our relationship with some issue. And the way we will uncover and discover those new levels is to have them triggered by some outside stimuli.

Romantic relationship is the arena of interaction that produces the most stimuli in connection with the vast majority (if not all) of our issues."


"Unfortunately, men in this society have been trained to be co-dependent on their work/careers - and have been programmed to be emotionally dishonest. This results in many men being incapable of emotional intimacy, and - since their self definition and self worth are focused on what they do rather than their interrelationships - to not have the motivation to change."


"We are taught in this society to play games. To act a role, put on our best face, when we are starting to get to know someone. We are taught to be dishonest in the beginning of a romance in order not to scare the other person away. Like "duh", how can we have an honest, healthy relationship if we start off dishonestly."

This page focuses on Romantic Relationships.

By Robert Burney

Spiritual Teacher, co-dependence counselor, grief therapist, author...

Joy To You And Me  Reprinted by Permission. Robert Burney Enterprises.

Well, my column on the True Nature of Love has now become a 6 part series. The final column in the series will come next month with an article on "Twin Souls, Souls Mates, and Kindred Spirits." (This is one I actually promised quite awhile ago, but realized needed to be set up with foundation information.)

This column will be the one in which I talk about "how to differentiate between looking outside for the source and combining our energy with some outside influence to help us access the Source within." It will really be about all of our relationships with people, places, and things outside of us but will be specifically focused on Romantic Relationships - because that is the arena where the greatest growth is possible in my opinion.

"Romantic Relationships may be the most powerful, meaningful, traumatic, painful, explosive, heart wrenching single topic for most people."


"Almost any "problem" encountered in a Romantic Relationship is a symptom/effect of some deeper "problem" within our relationship with our self! And we live in a culture where we are taught that the "right"/successful Romantic Relationship can make all those other problems go away! Like, duh, no wonder we have problems with Romantic Relationships."

"Romantic Relationships are part of the curriculum in this school of Spiritual Evolution—not the place we find happily ever after. Life is a journey—it is not about reaching a destination."

"Co-dependence Recovery is not self-help. We are being guided. The Force is with us! The Spirit is guiding us down our path. Romantic Relationships are one of the most important arenas of Spiritual growth available to us - it is important to our souls to be willing to take the risk of Loving and losing.

It would be good to read the previous articles in this series if you have not already. I am trying not to repeat myself as much as possible - but the core issues of the wounding and the healing will be repeated somewhat. Here are a few quotes from the last column just to lay a foundation for this one.

"We have to clear up our relationship with our self in order to see our self clearly before we can start to see our relationship to other humans clearly. And I want to make a point right at the beginning of this article that this is a gradual process of finding a sense of balance - not an absolute destination."


"The real point that I am trying to make here is that the healing process is an inside job. No one outside of you can drain you of energy, or exert power over you, unless it fits into the intellectual paradigm that your emotional wounds have set you up for. The cords / chains / threads of energy that connect us to other people connect us because of our beliefs. By changing the beliefs we can disconnect from the unhealthy linkage we have to other people. We can then learn how to connect energetically in ways that are healthy and Loving - We can learn the difference between healthy interdependence (which involves giving some power away over our feelings) and co-dependence"


"I am going to have to put off talking about the details of energetic clarity in relationship and"how to differentiate between looking outside for the source and combining our energy with some outside influence to help us access the Source within" until my next column (this one is getting too long) in order to to make one point very clearly here. It was impossible for me to start to get clear energetically in my relationships with others and life until I started to have boundaries that told me where I ended and other people began. As long as I believed that I was responsible for other people's feelings and behavior I could not start seeing myself clearly. As long as I was looking to other people for the juice / energy / power to feel OK about myself, I was set up to be a victim and recreate the old patterns.

This is The big paradigm shift. Shifting our intellectual paradigm - our attitudes, definitions, and beliefs - is necessary in order to raise our consciousness and open up to consciously accessing the Transcendent vibrational energy of Love, Light, Joy, and Truth. I had to stop looking outside for the answers and start accessing the Truth within. Only when I started to open up to the idea that perhaps, maybe, I was Lovable and worthy in a way that was not dependent on outside or external conditions, could I start to let go of defining myself in reaction to other people and other peoples belief systems.

In order to get clear on how to connect to others in a healthy way we must first realize and define how we are separate from others. On the level of our physical being, our ego-self, we are separate and need to own that before we can open up to consciously experiencing how we are connected to everyone and everything. We need to see our relationship with ourselves clearly in order to see our relationships to others clearly.

Outside or within?

So, how to differentiate between looking outside for the source and combining our energy with some outside influence to help us access the Source within.

First of all this, this is not a black and white process. Healing and getting healthier is a process of increasing the percentage of the time we are able to be present and emotionally clear in the moment.

And even when we are able to be present and emotionally clear with ourselves in the moment there are still multiple levels of interrelationship involved in any interaction. There are always multiple levels involved in any interaction we participate in. That means, every moment of the day —in our interactions / relationships both internally and externally—there are multiple levels coming into play.

Different parts of our being are reacting in different ways to every type of stimuli we come into contact with. The goal is to be conscious of as many levels as possible—and to be able to choose to give the most power to the mature adult within us who is on a conscious Spiritual Path.

The more we align the intellectual paradigm that is governing our emotional, experiential responses to life with Spiritual Truth (which we cannot do without being in the process of healing the emotional wounds) the higher percentage of our power we are giving to accessing the Source within rather than looking outside for the source.

There will still be some aspect of any interaction that reacts to old programming and wounding —some level of looking without—but the more we heal, the smaller percentage of our reality is being influenced by those old tapes. As our healing process unfolds and we take our power back (access the power that is inherent in who we really are as Spiritual Beings,) we will start responding out of our new relationship with life intuitively so that we do not even have to be conscious of the old.

No matter how far along we are in our healing however, there will still be issues / levels that are more healed than others. There will always be a new layer of denial to peal off in relationship to our relationship with some issue. And the way we will uncover and discover those new levels is to have them triggered by some outside stimuli.

Romantic relationship is the arena of interaction that produces the most stimuli in connection with the vast majority (if not all) of our issues.

To explain this in another way here is a quote from the most recent chapter of the History of the Universe that is part of Book 1 of The Dance of the Wounded Souls Trilogy which is being published in my online Journal.

"It would not be possible to measure the level of consciousness of a person on a vertical graph. In other words, we could not make a graph and number it 1 to 100, and then figure out where a person scored as far as how high they had raised their consciousness. The reason this is not possible is because you have a level of consciousness in relationship to every relationship, and type of relationship, in your life.

The reason for saying "every" and "every type" is that there is an energy field of consciousness for both individual interactions (relationships) and various types of interaction categories. For example: you may have a level of consciousness in relationship to: your ex-wife, all women, all blonde women, all women named Shirley, etc. It depends upon what mental attitudes you are holding and what issues you have repressed emotional energy in relationship to. Thus if you were scoring your level of consciousness on a chart - you would need thousands of charts.

As has been stated, this dance is all about relationships, and Spirituality is your relationship to self/Self, everyone and everything in your environment, and the God Force. The point is that there are a lot of relationships that need healing—consciousness raising in relationship to—and they all have to do with your relationship with you. All of the relationships outside are reflections of what is within, everything is symbolic on some level. There is no single level of consciousness. Levels of consciousness are relative in relationship to relationships. Any individual may be high in some areas and low in others. You may have a high level of consciousness in relationship to understanding Spiritual Truth or emotional healing, and a low level in relationship to your relationships with the opposite sex, or you own body, or whatever.

So, when you consider all of the relationships in your life—to people, to other life forms, to things, to ideas, to language, to the past, to nature, etc., etc.—there is a lot of room for growth in your levels of consciousness. The goal is to become balanced and integrated in the moment most of the time. A Spiritual being who is celebrating the human experience as much of the time as possible by being able to let go of attachment to the illusion and Tune into the Love that is our True Essence. By doing enough healing to have the freedom to be in the moment with whatever we are feeling—which gives us the capacity to tune into the music of Love, Joy, and Truth more often.

"The Dance of the Wounded Souls Trilogy Book 1 - "In The Beginning . . ." History VI

The process of healing our wounds and Awakening to our True Self so that we can integrate Spirituality into all of our relationships is a very complex and complicated process because we are complex and complicated beings. It is also a very simple process.

"Co-dependence causes us to have a distorted and repressed emotional process, and the only way out is through the feelings. Co-dependence gives us a scrambled mind, a reversed dysfunctional way of looking at ourselves and the world, and we have to be able to use the wonderful tool that is our mind while changing our attitudes and reprogramming our thinking.

It seems awfully complicated, doesn't it?

That is because it is!

On another level it is also very simple. It is a Spiritual Dis-ease. It can only be healed through a Spiritual Cure. It cannot be healed by only looking at the symptoms. That is backwards."
(All quotations in this color are from Co-dependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls)

So, the point I am trying to make here is this:
It is not about doing relationships right or wrong - black or white - everything in this human experience involves the interplay of black and white.

Everything in life falls somewhere in the gray area. What we are trying to do is bring as much Light into the gray as possible. Therefore, the goal is to be coming from—in terms of our intentions and agenda, our perspectives and expectations—as high a percentage of Light as we are capable of in any given moment. (And because the great majority of our emotional and intellectual programming empowers the illusion that we are wounded human beings, we are not able to be in our Lightest space all of the time.)

As we grow and heal - shift our intellectual paradigm and heal our emotional wounds—we will raise our level of consciousness, and ability to be conscious and present, causing a progressive increase in the percentage of Light and Love that we are owning for ourselves and therefore capable of reflecting out into our relationships. The darkness caused by reacting to life out of fear due to our emotional wounds and negative attitudes will progressively decrease as we open up to receive the Love, Light and Truth that is available to us. ( That is, as we decrease the areas and levels on which we are still harboring—consciously or unconsciously—the darkness of denial)

We will all have moments that feel very dark—and others that feel Light and Joyous. But the more we grow, the Lighter our dark times become—while our times of connecting with the Light and Joy are less attached to anything outside of us.

The measure of a persons level of consciousness is not how high they feel when they are at their most Joyous, but rather how much Light is still shining through at the lowest moments. The more we grow, the more moments we are able to stay in (or access) the Joy and Love no matter what is happening outside of us. The more we heal the shorter the times that feel dark and painful last.

There will always be some aspect of us (an age of our wounded inner child, for example) who wants to look outside for validation and Love. The more we learn to give ourselves that validation and Love, the less attachment we have to receiving it from outside.

There is no destination. There is no absolute right and wrong. We are works in process. The goal is progress not perfection. That is why it is so important to develop a sense of balance—a feeling for what a balanced, centered, clear space feels like so that we can recognize it when we are off balance, when we are in reaction (to old wounds and tapes or reacting to dysfunctional attachments—i.e. when we are allowing our self worth to be dependent on some outside situation or agent.)

The key to differentiating between looking outside for the source and combining our energy with some outside influence to help us access the Source within is in how we are feeling.

And Always Keep In Mind The Most Important Factor

  "What we live with we learn,
and what we learn
we practice, and what we
practice, we become...
and what we become
has consequences"...
AND almost always, I have
found, who we become
has little to do with who
we were meant to be.

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(Est. 4.15.96)

DISCLAMER: Before you start to look at the material that I have assembled for you I want to make clear that I claim very little original authorship here. Even where I don't give credit I probably should because there are very few original words of wisdom left in recovery. I want to especially thank Terry Kellogg, whom I do believe has a lot of original stuff, John Bradshaw whom I believe has the ability to synthesize others material better that anyone I know, and I guess if we wanted to be completely accurate we should not quote the serenity prayer out of content nor without giving credit to the author. I also want to give permission to anyone to use anything on this site for the benefit of recovery as long as they do not make any more money off of it. This offer only extends to what I have the right to give.

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