There are two kinds of relationships that we enter into. I tend to call them, “Given” and “Acquired.”
Given relationships are your parents, your children, you can’t trade them in. They’re given. Friends on the other hand are acquired. You can drop them. Marriages are an ambiguous place; you can look at it either way. We changed marriages from a given karmic situation into an acquired karmic situation, where you can change it if it doesn’t work well.
When you have relationships that are “given” karmically, you have people that are from all different levels of consciousness. You’ve been thrown together with them, and it becomes about, “I can’t understand why we’ve been thrown together.” It’s the chance to see the way in which you have catered to your personality, and a chance to push against it a little bit.
I’m playing with such a delicate and uncomfortable edge, which is the idea that fulfilling roles brings freedom, and the roles are not just responding to your personality desires and yourself.
Gandhi once said, “Civilization is the art of voluntary renunciation.” Which means you give up certain things in yourself in order to be able to play a part in a dance.