“Use, in any form, leads to bondage, and so to perceive a world based on use is to see a world where freedom is impossible.” (ACOL, C:9.43)
When we use another for our own ends, we do ourselves and them a great disservice. We, this passage would tell us, are in bondage as well as they. And freedom is impossible.
We need to be of service to each other, of course, but this is different from “using” another. We have often, in egoic terms, looked out on our world and tried to imagine what we might gain from another. Our special relationships are virtually always based on this fallacious way of thinking.
In special relationships, we look around for people who have exceptional traits, traits that will complement our own. Often these traits are superficial attractions, often physical appearance. As the special relationship proceeds, we are caught in more and more ways by our ego. We seek to have what our special other has, to consume rather than to give. And this never works very well.
The fact that special relationships are meant for “use” rather than “service” is often not noticed by the individuals involved. But we notice the great drama that occurs in the context of these relationships, the highs and the lows. The highs entrap us, so that we don’t want to let go, and, importantly, we often do not want either to transform the relationship into something better. That something better is a holy relationship with service at is center. Service to the other, which also gives to ourselves, for giving and receiving, as I have noted, is described in A Course of Love as being equal.
We want to fall into expressions of love, and this in itself will transform the special in our relationships into holy. This is not simply saying “I love you” at the right times. This is a fundamental change of outlook. A choice of the selfless in which the Self is truly found. And the Self is the Christ in us.
So don’t look for the ways that we can use each other. This will never work well, and it won’t work at all for very long. The way to a lasting and transformed relationship is to love without any thought of what we can get in return. And this takes “use” out of the equation.
Ask today, in prayer, what we might do to transform all of our special relationships into holy ones. That is the aim for all, ALL, of our relationships.
And it will be no surprise that we are healed.