“If you are afraid of yourself, only then are you afraid of other people. If you love yourself, you love others. If you hate yourself, you hate others. Because in relationship with others, it is only you mirrored. The other is nothing but a mirror. So whatsoever happens in relationship, always know it must have happened before, within you — because the relationship can only magnify. It cannot create; it can only show and manifest.” ~ Osho
Question: Why is it so difficult to relate?
Osho: Because you are not yet. There is an inner emptiness and the fear that if you relate with somebody, sooner or later you will be exposed as empty. Hence it seems safer to keep an people; at least you can pretend you are. You are not. You are not yet born, you are only an opportunity. You are not yet a fulfillment — and only two fulfilled persons can relate. To relate is one of the greatest things of life: to relate means to love, to relate means to share. But before you can share, you must have.
And before you can love you must be full of love, overflowing with love. Two seeds cannot relate, they are closed. Two flowers can relate; they are open, they can send their fragrances to each other, they can dance in the same sun and in the same wind, they can have a dialogue, they can whisper. But that is not possible for two seeds. Seeds are utterly closed, windowless — how to relate? And that is the situation. Man is born as a seed; he can become a flower, he may not.
It all depends on you, what you do with yourself; it all depends on you whether you grow or you don’t. It is your choice — and each moment the choice has to be faced; each moment you are on the crossroads. Millions of people decide not to grow. They remain seeds; they remain potentialities, they never become actualities. They don’t know what self-realization is, they don’t know what self-actualization is, they don’t know anything of being. Utterly empty they live, utterly empty they die. How can they relate?
It will be exposing yourself — your nudity, your ugliness, your emptiness — safer, it seems, to keep a distance. Even lovers keep distance; they come only so far, and they remain alert to when to turn back. They have boundaries; they never cross the boundaries, they remain confined to their boundaries. Yes, there is a kind of relationship, but it is not that of relating, it is that of possession: the husband possesses the wife, the wife possesses the husband, the parents possess the children, and so on and so forth. But to possess is not to relate.
In fact to possess is to destroy all possibilities of relating. If you relate, you respect; you cannot possess. If you relate, there is great reverence. If you relate, you come very close, very, very close, in deep intimacy, overlapping. Still the other’s freedom is not interfered with, still the other remains an independent individual. The relationship is that of I-thou, not that of I-it — overlapping, interpenetrating, yet in a sense independent. ~ Osho