Daily Insight from Eckhart Tolle's Stillness Speaks
Writes Eckhart Tolle, “When you lose touch with yourself, you lose yourself in the world.”
One of the most difficult issues any of us has to face concerns what people commonly refer to as “losing yourself in relationships.”
The feeling we are losing ourselves to another person happens not just in romantic relationships but also in families, the workplace, and social settings.
Being able to hang onto ourselves in relationships and not become subsumed in the other party is a barometer of whether we are truly in touch with our center, our essence.
People constantly report that they lost themselves in a relationship—that they began living their life to please another person, until they no longer knew who they were or had any real clue what they wanted for their life.
When we feel like we are losing ourselves, we have a tendency to blame the other person. We may see the other as controlling, domineering, or abusive. Ourselves we cast in the role of a victim.
Many of us want to blame the other person for “causing” us to lose ourselves. We see the other as abusive, as if we were not in the picture except as someone who is being victimized.
This can be a gross distortion of what’s really going on. The reality is that no one can “cause” us to lose ourselves. The only person who can feel lost in any kind of relationship with others is someone who isn’t in touch with their true being in the first place.
We can only seem to be “losing” ourselves because we don’t actually know ourselves.
If we are once awakened to who we are, grounded in divine Presence as we are, we can never lose ourselves.
So why does it feel like we are losing ourselves to another person?
Simply because, when we aren’t close to another person or a group of people, we can appear quite “together.” But it’s a front, a mask that’s never been tested because such only gets tested in close relationships.
In other words it works exactly the opposite of how most think it works. Relationships don’t cause us to lose ourselves. We lose ourselves in relationships because we have already lost ourselves. We have forgotten who we really are, as the Namaste Publishing book Your Forgotten Self explains.
All of our relationships can become a useful tool for discovering our essential being and fostering its development. Instead of seeing ourselves as victims, we realize that whatever is happening to us in a relationship is actually seeking to awaken us to our powerful center, which is one with infinite being, and which will never allow us to play the victim role once we are in touch with it.
*Editor's note: We invite you to join us in the weekly course Journey to Higher Consciousness, which is accessed on the homepage of this website, and also to go deeper into what it means to be true to ourselves in the daily blog Consciousness Rising.