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How Do I Behave When You Don't Follow My Plans?

Nighttime Tryst, Kishangarh, 18th century, Bonhams.

The idea that relationships end because something went "wrong" is based in entitlement.

We are not entitled to continuing relationships with anyone. Life itself, the certainty and finality of death, shows us that at any moment a loved one can leave our life. Death is only one manner in which this can happen.

This is where, when I follow my own delusions of entitlement, I find their root. My sense of entitlement is my resistance to death and mortality. Every delusion births from this delusion--"I should continue to live." I'm even tempted to suggest that "I should continue to live" is a delusion that defines and shapes our humanity, one essential to continuing life.

I should continue to live, and since I will continue to live, those I love should continue to live. Not only should they continue to live, they should continue to live in ways that are convenient to life as I believe it should be lived. They should continue to live in close relationship with me, so long as I desire that.

If this delusion doesn't go as planned, something is wrong! An error has occurred in the world and I must investigate and correct it! I am not getting my due.

In reality, circumstances and people change. In reality, no one else is subject to my delusions, they're only for me.

If I believe I'm entitled to my thoughts and plans coming true, something must be going wrong when they don't come true. This entitlement, this decision that something is wrong, creates suffering where we might instead experience peaceful transitions or mere lulls in relationships. It creates conflict where we might explore, learn, and love more deeply.

I always have the choice to stay in reality. Here is what is happening, how will I choose to meet it?

By Hannah Taylor

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