The New Relationship ~
Change Five Agreements to Make Love Come True

I woke up in the middle of the night and wrote down five things, and went back to sleep. In the morning, I found them, and thought they were interesting, and began talking about and teaching them. I tried to add a couple, and change the order, but they finally settled down as the original five. These five new agreements that can break many of the old beliefs and agreements that limit how you love are summarized here, and will be available as a book one of these days.

To order an individual CD of each agreement or a set of all five (recorded live at a singles group), go to the Joydancer Store.

In this new Millennium, there is a growing awareness that old forms of relationship are not working, and that something new is needed. The old agreements about why people enter into romantic partnerships and what happens in those relationships are not serving many people. In the past, the rules of relationship were relatively structured and well enforced by families and cultures. Many relationships were based on the need for security and financial well being in an uncertain world. Often, mates were chosen based on others' expectations, class, race, or religious backgrounds.

Now, with financial independence being available to most, and ethnic and cultural distinctions blurring, men and women are left more to their own discernment and integrity for choosing mates and establishing the rules and expectations of relationship. Along with this freedom has come increasing confusion and uncertainty in relationships of romance and marriage.

It is exciting that there are many new models of relationship being offered and tested in the laboratory of human experience.

All relationships are based on agreements. The largest percentage of those agreements are usually unconscious and unspoken. In order to create relationships that serve the highest good of individuals and society, I suggest that we must create new agreements that are conscious, spoken, and based on integrity and self love.

The following Five Agreements for The New Relationship are my suggestions for breaking the old dreams of romance and relationships of all kinds. Once we have awareness of the old agreements, and are ready to discard those that do not serve us, we can go about the work of replacing them with new ways of relating and respecting each other. These new agreements are applicable in romantic relationships, of course, but also have value in your relationships with parents and children, friends and neighbors, bosses and employees, and ultimately and most important, with yourself.

Your response, feedback, experience, and suggestion are always appreciated.

New Agreement #1:
"Your nature is Love. You are the source of Love in your life."

Love is a grand and wonderful thing. It has been exalted, suffered, and written and sung about since the beginning of time.

The meaning of Love and the expression of romantic relationship has evolved and grown with changing needs, religions, and economic conditions. It is a great challenge for individuals and cultures to change traditions and morals to keep pace with the evolution of the human mind. I can think of no area of our western society more in need of change than this, and at the same time more resistant to that change. There is probably no emotion more misunderstood, distorted, and confused than "Love."

In the Old Dream, you agreed that others were the source of love, and that you had to bargain for that love. Love became a commodity that lived outside of yourself, you needed it to survive, and you had to be good and get it right in order to assure your share of the precious commodity.

You came into this world through Love, as Love, being Love. You were the manifestation of Life itself. You came here knowing no fear, no judgment, no conditions, and had no expectations. You simply WERE. In order to gain the acceptance of parents, teachers, playmates, and religious leaders, you learned to deny your truth and accept theirs. The first truth you had to deny was the truth that you were and ARE Love.

If you believe that love is a commodity that lives outside of yourself, and that you have to be good or get it right to earn and receive that love from someone, you will suffer. There will always be the undercurrent of fearó the fear that you will not be good enough or will not do it right enough. Even in the moment of receiving love, there is the fear that you will do something to lose it. In that fear, you are not open to actually fully receive the love that you have worked so hard to deserve. You came into this Life as Love, as Life itself. Even though you were required to agree otherwise, it is still true. It was never the truth that love was a commodity outside of you. In order to enter The New Relationship, you must break this old agreement. You must release the need for the love from the outside, you must stop bargaining for your supply, and you must stop offering your love as a bargain to others who are searching for their supply. It does not serve you, and it is a dream of love based on a lie.

Try out this new agreement: "My nature is Love. I am the source of Love in my life." Know that Love flows through you as Life itself, as that Divine nature that is in and through all of Creation. There is nowhere in Creation that this Divine Force is not present. It is in and through YOU. It is your nature. It is now, and it always has been what you are. Today, instead of going into your world looking for sources of love, attention, or appreciation, try going out there wondering where you can share YOUR love. How many ways can you say "I love you" to your Beloved and all of Creation today?

Ultimately, relationship is not about two or more people interacting, but it is the dance of Love recognizing itself.

New Agreement #2
"You are not responsible for other people's
emotional reactions to your reality."

We saw in Agreement #1 that you were taught to believe that the source of love lives outside of you, like a commodity that you have to earn by being good or doing it right. Once that agreement was made, you were taught that you had the power to create emotional reactions in others.

When a parent says to a child: "You make me so angry when you spill your milk! Why wonít you pay attention to what you are doing!!??" the message is clear. The child learns that they have the power to make the parent angry, and that it is not good to make the parent angry, so they must do and be different than they areó which in this case means "paying attention" (whatever that is!). You were taught that it is bad to hurt other peopleís feelings, to be selfish by taking the last cookie (1/2 of the cookie seems to be OK), or to act in ways that make people angry. You learned to bargain away your integrity and emotional truth to protect the feelings of others. You agreed to create responses in them that assured you that you were worthy of receiving your share of the love commodity.

Agreement #2 for The New Relationship challenges all of these "rules." It affirms that you are not capable of creating emotional reactions in other people. At the core of this new agreement is the understanding that we are all "dreaming," and that each of us interprets reality in our own way. Every one's emotional reactions arise from their interpretations and assumptions, not directly from the actions of others. You cannot create emotional reactions in others, and they cannot create emotion reactions in you. You release your illusion of control over other people's emotional reactions, and trust them to deal with their own emotional realities.

The corollary to this agreement is: "You ARE responsible for YOUR emotional reactions to other peopleís reality." You accept that your interpretations of reality-- the stories in your dreaming mind-- create your emotional responses, and you take full responsibility for them. You no longer blame others for hurting or betraying you, nor do you believe that others can make you happy. In The New Relationship, the partners are free to be who they are and feel what they feel, and they respect each otherís capacity to honor and embrace their own emotions. They do not manipulate their integrity in the name of taking care of their beloved.

New Agreement #3:
"Being the source of love, you are complete within yourself."

Many of us learned, as children, to deny or disown parts of ourselves in order to earn the love and acceptance that we needed to survive. These disowned parts of the self we pushed into the "shadow," and those aspects of the self that were acceptable became the personality.

If you were criticized for being lazy, you might have become very industrious. If you were shamed for being messy, you may have adapted by becoming exceedingly neat. If your feelings were rejected, perhaps you learned to deny them and to be very intellectual and thoughtful. Whatever the strongest (and most defended) aspects of your personality are, you will probably find a corresponding part that has been disowned because of the judgment of others.

The soul longs for a reunion of these wounded parts, and searches the world for them, in the hope of reunion. Finding those lost parts of the self in another person can be very familiar, and exciting. If the other person also recognizes their split off parts of themselves in you, you may know each other as the instant remedy for the emptiness within.

The unfortunate truth is that by projecting the lost parts of yourself on to another person, what you are falling in love with is yourself. Thus, there is no resistance nor boundaries to this love reunion. The experiences of "Love at First Sight" and discovering a "Soul Mate" arise from this mistaken belief that something lost inside can be found outside.

When you recognize that you are complete within yourself, and you know you are the source of love in your life, you are able to see people for who they truly are. You build your relationships on that reality. The compatibility in your relationships comes from common interests and values, rather than from the attractions of "Mutually Compatible Disowned Selves."

New Agreement #4:
"The Truth is more important than the outcome of the Relationship."

This agreement is only for the brave of heart. You should not read this if you are attached to the outcome of your relationship(s). The old agreements about relationships insist that you should often sacrifice your truth or integrity in order to take care of our partnerís feelings. In the old system, when you believed that you could create emotional responses in others, and believed that those responses were your responsibility, it was important to create the appropriate response. You were taught that to hurt other people's feelings was bad, and to make them happy was good.

In order to create the appropriate responses, you learned to be aware of what other people wanted and needed from you, and to change your reality in order to give it to them. If they had "good" emotional reactions to you, then the feedback you received was that you were are good person. The fear of being a "bad" person is the fear of rejection and abandonment, based on the old belief that the source of love, comfort, and survival lies outside of you (see New Agreement #1).

When you modify or deny your truth in order to satisfy the need of another, we could say that you are creating a false self to be in relationship with them. If they use the same agreements, they will create a false self to be in relationship with you-- or, more accurately your false self. The relationship then becomes two (actually many more) false selves, manipulating their feelings, responses, and integrity in order to be accepted by each other.

If you are relating in this way, you may have said or thought; "I just don't seem to feel very connected to my partner/ work/ friends/ life." Perhaps that is because it is your false selves that are living your life, not you.

In The New Relationship, you know that you are the source of Love, not your partner, friends, or work. You know that you can not control how other people dream you, and their emotional reactions to you. You are not holding on to anyone because you believe that they complete you, and that if you lost them it would rip out your soul and break your heart forever. You are willing to show up and be yourself, in the truth and integrity of who you are, without being attached or trying to control the outcome.

In The New Relationship, you and your partner agree that each of your feelings, your reality, and your truth are the most important aspects of the relationship. You are willing to risk living as your true self, and let the relationship grow and change accordingly. By not being attached to the outcome of any relationship, you learn to trust that all outcomes are perfect for you-- they are not failures or successes, and have nothing to do with your value or worthiness.

In the past, we have put our faith in our ability to control outcomes, to control other people's emotional reactions with our careful behavior, and hold onto love. With this new agreement, we are willing to put our faith in Life itself, trusting that if we live Life as who we came here to be, Life will unfold in front of us as a perfect expression of who we are.

If you are Life, and you live guided by the integrity that arises in you as Life, then you will find that the Life you are resonates with those aspects of Life in the world that are perfect for you. Your partnerships, work, friendships and relationships with all of Creation will resonate with the deepest parts of who you are, and reflect back to you that perfection.

Live life as you, show up in all of your relationships as who you are-- especially your relationship with yourself. Let go of your attachment to the outcomes, and put your faith in Life. You will be very happy.

New Agreement #5:
"True happiness is the result of love coming out of you."

Knowing that your nature is Love itself, you discover a happiness that cannot be taken away from you. You are not concerned with how your love is received, because it is your loving, as an expression of your Divine nature, that fills you. Your only desire is to love all of Creation, to see its perfection, and to know and love yourself as a reflection of that perfection. You New Relationship is based on this love. You are free to love without conditions or expectations. You are free.

 

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Allan Hardman is an author and expert on personal and spiritual transformation, relationships, emotional healing-- and a Toltec Master in the lineage of don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements.™ Allan teaches in Sonoma County, CA, and from “The House of the Eagles,” his winter home in Chacala, Nayarít, Mexico. He guides Journeys of the Spirit to sacred sites in Mexico, and hosts wellness vacations in Chacala. He is the author of The Everything Toltec Wisdom Book, and co-author of two books with Deepak Chopra, Caroline Myss, Dr. Andrew Weil, Prince Charles, and others. Visit Allan’s extensive website at www.joydancer.com, and TACO, his online spiritual membership community.