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The Compassionate Eye

The Voices of Namaste Publishing and Our Guests

How to Connect Meaningfully With Another Person

Apr 05, 2011

Spiritual Insight from Eckhart Tolle's Stillness Speaks

So many relationships flounder and eventually founder because people imagine that a relationship is meant to meet their needs.

To relate to someone doesn’t mean they are there to do something for us. To relate is to enjoy someone for who they are, and to enjoy being who we are around them.

Expectations of getting something from another are destructive of meaningful connection, yet this is how most relationships function. To seek to get from another leads to resentment, withholding, and emotional distance. It’s counterproductive to what we are actually seeking.

Sharing ourselves with someone, freely and without demand, is entirely different from becoming needy of each other. When there are no expectations that we will meet someone’s needs, we are more inclined to want to do nice things for them.

Eckhart Tolle says of the expectations we have of others:

What you want from them may be pleasure or material gain, recognition, praise or attention, or a strengthening of your sense of self through comparison and through establishing that you are, have, or know more than they. What you fear is that the opposite may be the case, and that they may diminish your sense of self in some way.

When we have been used to expecting someone to meet our needs, it can feel really threatening to entertain the idea that a relationship isn’t meant to meet our needs. We are afraid we won’t experience the connection with the other for which we long.

We cannot relate successful from our ego, which is a false sense of self, not who we really are. As long as we need someone to boost our ego, or to shield us from pain, a relationship fails to be authentic—and authenticity is the only real basis for a loving connection.

If you are interested in connecting meaningfully with someone in your life, whether a lover, a parent, a friend, or someone at work, becoming a person who’s real is paramount.

Michael Brown’s Namaste Publishing book Alchemy of the Heart is a tremendous help in the journey toward authenticity. To be our own person, not needing someone else to prop us up in any way, is where all true relating begins.


*Editor's note: The Compassionate Eye appears Monday through Friday. Eckhart Tolle's second book, Stillness Speaks, which followed The Power of Now and preceded A New Earth, is available in hardback and also on CD. To go more deeply into living in the present moment in an ongoing state of consciousness, especially as it relates to being true to ourselves in our relationships with others, join us in the daily blog Consciousness Rising.

Kate123's picture

As I read the first three words of your title today: How To Connect, the thought came, "Those who know their Oneness with their Source/Creator, realize their oneness and connection with all." When we make the companionship with our Creator our greatest treasure, the secondary relationships come along already connected with us as free gifts. As you state so well so many times throughout this blog, the false self has no ability to connect with anyone, yet when we are still blind to it, it will never ever give up trying to. As we get used to living in our Real True Self,( our Oneness w/God) it becomes more and more evident that this ego/false self has no existence.

Eckhart has said that in his experience, he was released from the pain-body/ego sense in one fell swoop, where for most of us we go through layers of dealing with the remains of this puff of smoke( which has no real substance in our lives).

If we become more aware of when our pain body or ego is kicking in, we can start to reclaim our True Selves by having a conversation with our Source, thanking It for bringing us aware to who we are not and Who we really are. As we strengthen this foundational relationship by having these chats, we find others drawn to us without any effort on our part, wanting in on what they feel when they are around us.

David Robert Ord's picture

It's so true that the ego, the false self, has no real existence. It's entirely a conjecture of the mind. A picture of ourselves that we carry around in our head, and nothing more. That's why simply relaxing into stillness quickly shifts us out of ego.

Kate123's picture

Hard to believe I've been having my life struggles with only a puff of smoke...conjecture of the mind. Yet it is true. The next time I think it strange when I see someone walking around talking to themselves when obviously no one is there, I need remember it is the mental state we are all born into. Those of us who don't speak out loud in public to this illusion may think we're on a whole other level than the man on the street, but we are only living our own hypnotic trance secretly inside.

Thanks so much for the conversation today.