As with every other area of our lives, there is a symbiotic relationship between the depth of our translucence and the way we view otherness. Translucence naturally shifts our habits of relating, without our doing anything about it. We have less to defend as we come to know ourselves as bigger than our own story, and our relating naturally becomes less strategic. As we see the other as myself, even if only in snapshots, we find that compassion occurs effortlessly. We develop more humor about the idiosyncrasies of our personality. We have less investment in laboriously working things out, and a greater willingness to breathe a sigh and return to innocence. The need to change others relaxes, since we are less tied to them as a source of our well-being. All these things can happen more or less spontaneously as by-products of waking up. At the same time, the attention we bring to our habits of relating can deepen and stabilize our expression of translucence. We can always bring more skillful means, more as an art form than as self-improvement, to our relating. We can become more aware of, and tell the truth about, the old habits that have created separation. These old habits run deep, and they will not necessarily die on their own. Our social environment reinforces them. When we are willing to put awakening into the fire of relationship, it will reveal all old habits and allow them to be released. Says Gay Hendricks:
“I think therein lies the difficulty, as well as the awesome beauty, of relationships. The universe is attempting to meet itself in play. When one person meets another, as that space links up with that space again, it pushes to the surface all the little places where we’ve withdrawn from space. Whether it’s being physically beaten, or starved to death, or criticized, or in beating others, those are the places where we’ve withdrawn and crystallized into mass, and then that has to come to the surface.”
The many translucents I interviewed about relating are deeply committed to bringing more awareness, more humor, more practice to every meeting, every day. But this practice is not in the service of making the relationship better; it is in the service of deepening translucence itself. Relationship becomes the most effective tool, better than yoga and meditation and every self-help seminar rolled into one, to free us of all that is not love. Jett Psaris elaborates:
“One can use relationship to develop one’s full humanity. At some point, our seed begins to vibrate, our essence wants to unfold, and if our defenses don’t give way, then our potential remains unrealized and untuned. The motivation begins to shift. There is nothing else that I know of that can as reliably, as methodically, bring us to the places where we are unfolding, and the places where we are trapped in our defense system. So it becomes a path, an awakening to our humanity, to what it is to be fully human: not just spacious but also contracted. To embrace that humanity wholeheartedly, we become vehicles for love and consciousness and for evolution itself.”
This willingness to recognize old habits is no longer merely in the service of improving a specific relationship; it becomes a spiritual discipline that affects our whole life. The old addiction to needing something from another, or needing the other to change, is no longer the primary force driving us. Rather, we can use our relationships, all of them, from those with our parents and children to those with lovers and co-workers, as a practice to deepen the actualization of latent love. Relationship is not an end in itself. If it were, the limits of our vision would cause us to suffer. By noticing the way we answer a question from our young child, or the way we greet our beloved when we first open our eyes in the morning, we are paying attention to the way we relate to all of existence, at the level where it is most tangible and real. We can use relationship as a skillful means to awaken the Current, to allow the Current to flow through the old habits, and in this way to allow more love to ooze into this parched world. If love is not given away, if relationship is not a discipline radically affecting our meetings with everyone, it has all been wasted. The unequivocal commitment to meeting in shared translucence will naturally lead us into a cycle of alternating rapid expansion, as we embrace greater space and contraction, as we feel and release habits of nonlove. Kathlyn Hendricks calls this “carving space”:
“When these barriers would come, it was really carving more space. We would
see over and over again in our relationship, and in thousands of other people’s
lives, that the capacity for having the blood and neurology run that much energy
was limited. We top out the thermostat, then have some very typical personal
themes that look like they are real, but are simply expressions of our own limited
capacity. Now we put a lot of our attention on what will allow us to
increase our capacity so that we can experience more co-creation in space and
less time in the gunk. We put most of our emphasis on that, and only now
and then on the story. We’re not very interested in the story, and do our best
to get other people unfascinated with the story. We’re more interested in what
is happening at the edge of our own spaciousness, especially when coming into
contact with someone we really love. What happens to the energy between us is
When we enter into relating with the commitment to continuously deepen translucence, we need to know how to be with these periods exposing the story, without getting lost in them. Below we will discuss four potent means of bringing more translucence to our relating. Making Agreements Translucent relating begins with clear and unequivocal agreements about why we are meeting and how we might dedicate our relating to the deepening of translucence. We may enter into such agreements as friends, as lovers, or even as a community. We need to make sure that we are all on the same page before we enter into relating as a translucent practice.
When meeting with both couples and individuals in retreats Chameli and I lead to amplify translucent relating, we suggest that agreement can be made in four stages:
1. Take some time alone, if possible, a few days. Stay with the question, “Why am I alive?” Discover what is most important to you, what you most deeply value. For example, you might discover that you are alive to express and share love, to remain open, no matter what.
2. Find out where you are naturally committed. For example, you might discover in stage one that intimacy is important to you, and now in stage two, you realize that you are committed to honesty or to listening. We discover where we need to “take a stand,” in order to have a fighting chance to live what we most value.
3. Discover how you sabotage your commitment. These are the old habits, which a translucent relationship will uncover and eventually dissolve. For example, you might be committed to honesty but find you easily sabotage your commitment by censoring, because you are afraid people will not like you. When you have explored these three questions alone, you can bring them to your beloved, to your family, or even to a group of friends. Take your time to share everything you discovered, and to listen to others’ discoveries too.
4. Now it is possible to make clear agreements in any relationship, agreements that serve what you most deeply value, that allow you to honor where you are naturally committed, and that can liberate the ways we all sabotage ourselves.
To read more about translucent relationships and translucent living in general, pick up your very own copy of Translucent Revolution today.