- To teach us lessons.
- To be an outlet for our fulfillment.
Fletcher notes that in the Western world, we tend to think a successful relationship is one where we get married, have kids, and buy a house. For Fletcher, this way of thinking ignores the true gifts relationships have to offer. As Fletcher says, “I really believe each new relationship is like a new syllabus, a new grade in school, and if you learn the lesson, you get to uplevel to a new grade.” Relationships, for Fletcher, are vehicles for learning about ourselves.
She also says that in the West, we often seek relationships in order to fill ourselves up. This attitude is summarized by the Hollywood phrase “you complete me.” Fletcher holds a contrary view about this popular conception of relationships. For Fletcher, a relationship is a result of being fulfilled, rather than a tool to fill ourselves up. “If we are looking outside of ourselves for the fulfillment, we will always be disappointed…fulfillment exists within us,” Fletcher argues. She concludes that meditation gives us access to “limitless fulfillment,” because it allows us to accept, open up to, and appreciate the world the way it is. If we are already fulfilled, relationships are simply gifts.