Q #1280: I recently ended a seven year relationship with a partner I was planning to marry until he told me he wasn't sure. I gave him several weeks to decide, but he was unable to, saying he felt he was not good enough for me. I ended the relationship very sadly and reluctantly, still not knowing what he really wanted. I understand from the Course that everything that happens to us is made by ourselves. I would like to know if this situation, including his uncertainty and his not feeling good enough, was caused by my guilt, because I was looking for something outside myself. Was I mistaken to want the relationship to move to a deeper level? I am now uncertain if I gave up a loving relationship for the sake of wanting marriage. A: A Course in Miracles tells us that this physical life is a dream and that we are the ones dreaming it. So, ultimately, it is true that everything we experience here is of our own making. However, it is not as the individual we think we are that we dreamt all this up. That occurs on a level outside of time and space -- a level that we cannot get in touch with or comprehend from within this dream. Therefore, we do not have to take responsibility for all the thoughts, feelings, and actions of everyone around us. In fact, doing so could be very detrimental because, rather than leading us to greater understanding and forgiveness, it tends to root us more deeply in guilt and fear. This is so because the "I" that tries to take responsibility is just as made up as that which it is attempting to take credit for. Thus, we wind up wrongly attributing power to a false self that is already terrorized by the mistaken belief that it has the power to destroy Heaven and banish God forever.
The message of the Course is exactly the opposite: We do not have power over God. Despite all the horrors we see and pain we feel, not one note in Heaven's song has been missed (T.26.V.5:4) . We remain "at home in God, dreaming of exile but perfectly capable of awakening to reality"(T.10.I.2:1) . What will help us move toward awakening is not trying to take responsibility for what others do, but rather taking responsibility for our reactions to what they do. Because we script our lives to be full of pain as a defense against remembering God's Love, the key to getting out of our pain is recognizing that it comes not from external circumstances but from our own choice to feel it. The process of the Course consists of asking the Holy Spirit to be our internal Teacher and help us realize that we would be much happier if we chose God's Love over our pain, guilt, and fear. And so, in a situation like the one you have described, the Course would not tell you whether you have made a right or wrong decision. What it would do is encourage you to explore whether you made the decision with the guidance of the ego or the Holy Spirit. Certainly, there is nothing wrong with wanting to get married and deciding you would like a partner who shares that desire. However, since the ending of your relationship was confusing and emotionally difficult and you are now second guessing yourself, it seems likely that there may be other issues involved.
None of this is reason to feel guilty. Indeed, virtually everyone here has relationship issues since it was our relationship issue with God that compelled us to fall into this dream in the first place. It does sound, though, like it might be helpful for you to look at the beliefs, feelings, and expectations you have around intimate relationships so that future ones go more smoothly. A good first step would be taking the Holy Spirit's hand and asking Him to help you look at what you have just experienced through His loving and non- judgmental eyes.