There is this story of an enlightened master who used to meditate every day near an ocean. Several seagulls would fly and play near him. He evoked a positive vibe that made them come close to him.
One day a small boy saw the seagulls surrounding the master and pleaded, “Oh master, these birds fly so close to you. Could you please catch one and give it to me?” The master’s heart softened and he agreed. When he sat again in meditation, strangely this time the seagulls kept away from him.
It is interesting to note how an enlightened master who had renounced everything and thought he was perfect all of a sudden developed and acted on an ingenuous greed to possess and confine a seagull.
While working as a clinical psychologist with couples, I often find that one major source of all relationship problems is an illusion that one is perfect. People believe that their personality, needs, likes, dislikes, ways of being with the partner, negative sides are all beyond fault and it is the partner who happens to be the culprit. Thus starts a fierce battle in which both the partners want to find mistakes and put down each other. Both harbour the illusion that they are perfect and, therefore, they never look at their own self with a critical perspective.
Perfection is a myth. No one is perfect. Till the time one believes that one is perfect, one is closed to understanding. Understanding is the key to a successful relationship. We need to constantly work towards understanding ourselves and our partner.
Rather than getting lost in narcissism, it is important to realise that each person is bound to be different. . Rather than denying differences and fighting to force the partner to give up his or her uniqueness, it is worthwhile to understand each other’s perspective. Learn to accept differences to live a harmonious life.