It can be difficult to know when to cash in your chips and get out of a relationship. One of the crucial aspects of this question is how you feel. When we’re under extreme pressure, the temptation to leave the relationship can be almost overwhelming.

Surprisingly, this could be all the more reason to remain engaged in the relationship. The urge to flee can confuse our ability to recognize that the relationship itself may have unfinished business. If we just leave, we may wind up carrying forth unresolved patterns of behaviour from the current relationship into a new one.

When considering whether you’re ready to leave, look at how well you’re feeling. It’s best to be well aligned with your desires prior to leaving a relationship. You may need to do some inner work before you’re ready to head off on your own.

Being in vibrational harmony with your desires is the secret to manifesting. Moreover, you may find that once you’re in alignment with your desires, the relationship you’re in may shift in ways that make you no longer want to leave.

When you’re in alignment with your desires, you’ll be happy whether you stay or leave. Interesting, isn’t it?

  1. I thought that when we were both in alignment with our desires in our relationship it would be worth staying together. Unfortunately my partner who expressed the same thoughts decided to move on without notice. Very disappointing I thought. Then I rethought … how did I get it so wrong?

    Eventually I realised I had miscalculated his personality; that despite the words used they didn’t have the meanings we would normally give to those words. With someone who is narcissistic your feelings don’t count. No one else counts in any way.

    A new day, a new dawn ..

    • Hi, Lyn.

      It sure can be challenging to keep yourself solidly grounded in those situations!

      • Compassion is a critical tool in any person’s psychological makeup for without it we do not relate to others. Some believe they are enlightened because they have no attachment to other people or to things … can detachment be a tool for handling life?

        Detachment can be an excuse for not dealing with the hard things which turn up in life. As such, it’s glib, facile and ultimately meaningless.

        On the other hand is there a way in which complete detachment to the world, people and things around us could be worthwhile?

        My real thought is that isn’t living about finding the balance which suits us? People confuse the idea from buddhism that we should be detached so that we can be of service to the world around us with their personal relationships in which some degree of attachment can be purposeful. Why be attached to an idea [of detachment] when you are unable to be attached to any relationships with people or events. Res ipsa loquitur

        • I think that the idea of detachment and enlightenment literally got lost in translation. Buddhism is a very old philosophical school and there’s little doubt that translating from ancient Tibetan, Chinese or other Eastern languages is a complex issue. Personally, I see the Buddhist view of detachment to be equivalent to non-attachment to outcome.

          It does NOT mean that one doesn’t care. Non-attachment to outcome is a state of allowing. One puts forth thought and action, and subsequently trusts that things will unfold in the desired fashion. We observe the flow of events and act in ways that opportunistically guide them toward our desired outcome. And all the while, we hold close the knowledge that all will unfold in harmony with our highest possible good.

          So, don’t confuse detachment and aloofness with being a part of reaching enlightenment. They are not at all in the same realm. Enlightenment is all about being in such harmony that we move with the flow of creation and act appropriately within that flow.

          • Perhaps ultimately all relationships come down to one single thing … are they “enabling” or “disabling”?

            Although I can see that one might be in an enabling relationship without love and passion so perhaps I should amend the above statement to “enabling with passion”???

            On the other hand there are so many types of relationships to be had and fortunately we are not all seeking either a relationship at all or the same kind of relationship. There is a lot to be said for spending quite a lot of time on one’s own to savour the world around us, the fresh sea breezes, the garden with all its glory and butterflies, the feeling of oneness with nature.

            Another way to think of relationships is that there are three parts : the first is to find out who you are, the second part is to meditate and the third part is to put into practice what you discovered in parts one and two?

            [very big smile]

  2. Lyn,

    The software won’t let me reply directly to your comment (only so many levels, I guess), so forgive the new “thread” here.

    I’ve come to view all relationships as being potentially enabling. My reasoning for this is that we always come into a relationship carrying certain behaviours. The more consciously we work in the relationship to grow as an individual, the more enabling the relationship will be. Relationships that end up being disabling are always so because we are unable to react to our experiences within the relationship in a healthful manner.

    “Enabling with passion” is an interesting phrase and one which I will have to think on for a bit. I have to giggle a bit because the whole passion thing resonates pretty strongly for me. I asked for a lot of passion, got it and, eek. As the saying goes, “Be careful of which you wish, for you must may get it”. And then there’s the old, Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times”. Heh. 😉

    The biggest thing I’ve learned about relationships is that they are mirrors of ourselves. We always attract to us a relationship that emotionally mirrors our mode of reacting. If we find ourselves in a relationship that causes us to routinely erupt in anger, it’s because we are prone to that behaviour. Our shenpa has hooked us and we trigger over and over again.

    I’m in a place now where I’ve learned just enough about shenpa and sitting with my feelings that I can actually have a really functional relationship. Boy, that sure is a nice feeling.

    I like your thoughts on the 3 parts of a relationship. I do think that meditating is precisely how we find out who we are, though.

    Thanks for sharing. Your presence here is greatly appreciated.


  3. Thank you Trane. I really enjoy the posts and wisdom!

    I found these quotes on Million Meditators site run by Paul Wilson and think they are worth sharing in the light of our conversation :

    Thich Nhat Hanh
    “Meditation is not to escape from society, but to come back to ourselves and see what is going on.”

    SiddhALrtha Gautama (Buddha)
    “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”

    Wayne Dyer
    “Meditation gives you an opportunity to come to know your invisible self. It allows you to empty yourself of the endless hyperactivity of your mind, and to attain calmness. It teaches you to be peaceful, to remove stress, to receive answers where confusion previously reigned.”

    “Health, a light body, freedom from cravings, a glowing skin, sonorous voice, fragrance of body: these signs indicate progress in the practice of meditation. ”

    Psalm 131:2
    “But I have stilled and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.”

    Alan Watts
    “Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment.”


    • Those are all great! Thanks for sharing. I consider meditation to be a vital component in the spiritual journey and I try to sit for at least a few minutes on even the busiest of days.


  4. “Relationships … are mirrors of ourselves. We always attract to us a relationship that emotionally mirrors our mode of reacting” Trane [above]

    I’ve thought about your remark here Trane and agree partly. I would rather say that we attract to ourselves a relationship which has not been completed in the past; say one in which there is still work left to do. For example, my recent past relationship was really centred on my incompleted relationship with my father. The personality of the other person was a mirror image of my father’s personality and the inability of the other person to deal with their own life issues were the same ones my father experienced.

    For those who are thinking shock, horror, incest .. not at all. There was no incest. Also my reactions within the relationship were different to the defence mechanisms I used in my father’s case. So to that extent I have managed to “grow a little” even if ultimately the relationship was unsuccessful. Thinking upon it more generally still … I wonder why I needed to continue this work and hope that next time I choose a more suitable person, not one who is intractable and unreachable.

    Lessons for us all!


    • Hi, Lyn. 🙂

      “I would rather say that we attract to ourselves a relationship which has not been completed in the past; say one in which there is still work left to do.”

      We’re in complete agreement with this. I think of this as another expression of the mirror I stated earlier. The reason I say this is because when we have unresolved relationship issues, they create patterns of behaviour and resonant triggers within us (shenpa). When a relationship has unfinished business, we are vibrationally aligned with the dynamics found within that relationship, and so we draw new relationships to us that reflect those dynamics.

      As we work through the issues, our behaviours subtly alter until we finally find a swing point wherein we can make a dramatic shift. Sometimes, that shift can come so swiftly and unexpectedly that we don’t even see it in motion. It’s only in taking stock of things after the fact that we realize just how much our experience within the relationship has encouraged us to change.

      Keep smiling and know that as long as you view your experiences as an opportunity for growth and, therefore, are grateful for having experienced them – even the painful ones – you’ll come to that swift change sooner than later. When we are able to accept our full participation in our experiences and take complete ownership of our actions, warts and all, we become truly empowered. Through unconditional love, we create unlimited potential for change.

      So, keep loving yourself. Meditate on the question of why you needed to continue the work. Ask Source for the answers to that question and then let those answers come to you, without second-guessing them. (That last bit has always been a stumbling block for me. I seem to have made a career out of second-guessing myself!) The answers will come in the stillness. Embrace them and embrace yourself without reservation.

      In the meantime, see yourself in a relationship with a person who is open, honest and flexible. Be grateful for the experiences you’ve had up to now, for they have given you clarity in what you want in a relationship. Lessons for us all, indeed. 🙂

  5. A wonderful piece of advice on creating unlimited potential for change through unconditional love .. thank you Trane. I shall read it several times more!


    I really enjoyed this article in the Buddhist Journal ‘Tricycle’ on differences between ordinary human compassion and the Buddhist view of unlimited compassion ..


    • Hmmmm.

      For me, the answer to true, unconditional compassion/love lay in the absence of judgment. In the absence of judgment, one experiences complete acceptance. And in complete acceptance lay compassion.

      It’s very worth exploring how one’s judgment affects one’s choices in treating others.

  7. Hi Trane

    I liked the article because I suspect a lot of people are limited by “selfish genes”/whatever and find it hard to be compassionate. Since it’s not possible to have a world in which everyone is mindful perhaps we should be pleased when someone gets to the right result in the end.

    • I agree. I think the selfish genes are very much influenced by our judgments. I think altruism and lack of judgment go hand-in-hand.

  8. NOW you’ve got me thinking … why do altruism and lack of judgment go hand in hand?

    • Humans tend to act in accordance with whether we feel others are deserving. The basis of deciding whether somebody is not deserving of being on the receiving end of altruistic behaviour involves a judgment call.

  9. I’m struggling with your initial statement that altruism and lack of judgment go hand in hand.

    >Altruism Meaning and Definition. (n.) Regard for others, both natural and moral; devotion to the interests of others; brotherly kindness;<

    Trane given this definition of "altruism" how does the concept itself go hand in hand with a lack of judgment?

    Apologies for my denseness … esp. in such a time of crisis for you! I'm hoping to distract you a little

    • Hi, Lyn. It’s always a pleasure! 🙂

      How about this definition: “The belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.”

      So, given that we agree on the idea that altruism is selfless by definition, how could one act selflessly while holding him-/herself in a position of assumed moral superiority? If it’s possible, I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around it. Maybe I’m the one being dense here. 😉

      I consider judgment to be the spiritual opposite of unconditional love, and it’s the expression of unconditional love, I think, that births altruistic behaviour. So, to turn it around, when one lives in a state of unconditional love (and, therefore, a lack of judgment), one naturally gravitates towards acts of altruism.

      Compassion and altruism are, I think, closely bound. Mother Teresa was, I suspect, not inclined to judge, but VERY inclined to act altruistically and with compassion.

      trane 🙂

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