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Our minds cannot comprehend 'being together' and 'being free' at the same time. Within the dichotomy of the mind, it can be only one or the other, never both. As a result, most 'relationships' become a battle of wills, both internal and external. Partners try to balance commitment with freedom and parents struggle with sacrificing themselves to fulfill obligations to their children. Compromise replaces life and a good compromise is when no one is really happy.

You can never really be with another person unless you recognize that you are always free to be elsewhere. This can be a difficult concept since it seems to imply a degree of irresponsibility. In fact, we are talking about the ultimate level of responsibility and honesty to the people around you. It requires an awareness and sensitivity that most people are not currently accessing or practicing. If you are truthful with yourself and your loved ones, when it is appropriate for you to be together, you will be together. When it is appropriate for you to be apart, you will be apart. Simple.

As you read these words, your mind is already in catastrophe. You envisage the break down of the family and much resulting chaos. But this is already happening. The way we are 'loving' each other is not working. We need to reconsider our values and our options.

"I love you." For most people these three words carry an implication of commitment and obligation, which has nothing whatsoever to do with loving another person. Current ideas and beliefs suggest that sacrificing yourself to your partner or your child is proof of your love. But this kind of bargain does not serve anyone since everyone is required to pay in order to be loved; everyone is diminished by this agreement.

If you truly love someone, you want him or her to be totally, completely and utterly true to themselves no matter what the consequences. This is their due and this is the optimum situation for you, too. Stop trying to be perfect and simply be who you are. Then the message that you offer to each other might be closer to "wake up" than "go to sleep". You will be saying "live your life, be independent and true to yourself " rather than "depend on me, do what I say and live a life of obligation".

To your essence, what is of value is the experience of being loving, rather than being loved, because loving is the expression of your true nature. You current beliefs about love are in the way of your natural loving. When you start to allow your loving to emerge you will see that it has nothing to do with anything outside of you. It is unshakable; it is not dependent on anything outside. Your loving cannot be impacted by external forces and, therefore, it is not dependent on being loved in return. You will also see that there is no formula for being loving. There are no inherently loving or unloving acts. Everything is contextual, relational and momentary. Being loving requires awareness, sensitivity and the willingness to experience everything that life has to offer. What could be more alive?