A healthy life stems from a healthy relationship. They say we become the sum total of the five close people we surround ourselves with. The reasons for having relationships could be many- emotional, psychological, financial, sexual, societal, etc. But in essence, the purpose of having a relation in human life is to grow interdependently. But how is it that many of us end up getting hurt due to relationships?
4 years ago, I was blessed with a few meditation techniques that even if achieved 1%, would be the most powerful life tool for any human life. These learnings have been fundamental to everything I have experienced in life. Including this beautiful phenomenon of relationships. The one discussed in this blog is in the context of romantic relationship although there are many similarities that can be drawn for our other relationships too. I truly believe that the learnings I received are gems of life that each and every human deserves. This blog is an attempt at sharing those with you all😊
When we love, we feel this sweetness within ourselves. We look at our lover, and we experience butterflies in our stomach. There is a stimulation. Whatever happens is so exuberant that birds start singing, the earth starts moving. All of these experiences are essentially happening within us, stimulated in our very self. We used another person as a key to open this within us. One way of a relationship is to extract love from someone, the other way is to share the love with someone. Joy or misery, the source is within us. How to use this source to draw joy is what I try to explain in this blog.
Following are the 2 things I’d tell a person who’s starting a new relationship or is experiencing a challenge in dealing with a breakup:
Open your mind to the only constant in your life- Change
Even the most positive people on this planet, the likes of Meditation Gurus, would agree that life has miseries attached to it. And all of them are rooting from how we respond to the phenomenon of one of the biggest truths of human life- Change.
Few years ago, I thought my biggest problems were not knowing what to do with my life, a dysfunctional family and a love relationship that won’t work. A Vipassana trip later, I saw it crystal clear how it was my own perspective that was the real problem. And I was not the only one. In fact, you will be surprised how a large part of our humanity suffers because of some of our own and quiet dangerous perspectives to life.
There’s this thing I’d like to call the "human rut" that fuels the cycle of our miseries. I’d like to do a separate blog on it as it does need some explaining. But I’d give some context here for our continuum.
(To be read slowly, with purposeful cadence after each sentence)
In Vipassana, beginners are explained the Law of Impermanence using two categories that sum up all our thoughts that matter to us- Thoughts we like and thoughts we don’t like. Now stay with me here:
When we like something, we start wanting it more and more. It could be a thing, a person, a feeling or a delusion, anything. I may like my clothes, my new car or I may like being loved and would expect my parents to be around always. But my clothes will wear off one day, my car might crash completely, or tougher- my boyfriend might abandon me some day and my parents will die someday too. Most externalities cannot be controlled. And what happens when these things do happen? When our want or desire isn’t met? We completely break down! In intense desires, life may even seem “colorless”, “lifeless”. Haven’t we all been there? Liking isn’t our problem. Liking or loving are great emotions to experience, we most certainly should enjoy feeling them. It is the desire for more that opens up a problem.
Now this same theory applies to things we don’t like. Not liking isn’t a problem but running away is. I may not like someone I have to face every day at work, or I may not like my father to smoke on top of cancer, or I may not like to be abandoned by my loved ones. But I may have to live with all those things. I may do everything to change the things I don’t like. But tell me if that is 100% success and that all those battles are worth fighting for? Let’s not even get started on why these things bother us in the first place.
You see, this is a cycle of expectations and misery we cause to ourselves. And how does this cycle stop? The super-power to put an end to this cycle of miseries lies in the hand of none other than each one of us! All it takes is a true realization and acceptance of the most powerful truth of life called the Law of Impermanence or the Change. This is your tool to end the cycle of miseries.
Our perceptions of things we like and dislike need to start coming with the awareness of their temporariness. On the foundation of realizing the striking truth in the Law of Impermanence, in Change. Good or bad, liked or disliked, it all comes and passes. When we feel this truth every day, remind ourselves of it by mere observation; Starting from observing our breaths, to experiences in our lives, you will definitely notice a weight lift off of your shoulders. What is the point of getting desperate or miserable upon not getting something we liked when it’s all temporary? We may not have it today but who has seen tomorrow? Same way, what is the point in being sad and miserable for things that we dislike when we know it too shall pass for it is temporary. Isn’t it a foolish business to fall in this cycle of misery with our own hands?
I mention change right on top because the first step in starting any new relationship is to be ready for it. All of the deep diving in the phenomenon of change was to clear a healthy path to begin a new relationship. We need to let go of all the past expectations or resentments that we might have had around the idea of love. All those deep-rooted, conscious and subconscious expectations around love need to go.
We may be too smothered by our mothers, or have had a tough childhood, or have had our past lovers dancing around our needs on cue, or are used to being neglected or are having trouble in being honest with our partners. Whatever it is that causes expectations, needs to be wiped out.
Sometimes, a poorly handled breakup causes rough expressions in the next relationship. Sometimes, we need to make a few amends to pave a way for a new beginning. Identifying these areas that need attention and addressing them is important. There’s no room for negativity. If your last relationship ended on a bitter note, look at it as a blessing. This is an opportunity for you to explore your life. If things happening to you have to transform, you have to transform. Take this opportunity and run with it. Use the Law of Impermanence as your strong tool for creating a healthy environment in achieving the clean slate.
Make way for the new by clearing out the old. Start with forgiveness, for you and for others. Forgiveness is powerful. I’ve seen it transform hearts. It’s absolutely alright to take time to heal yourself. You are a brave one. Keep an open heart. Only when you have love can you share love, and that’s why we make relationships- to share love.
Don’t look for the “Right” person, become one:
This point is a continuous idea to our first one. If you have had the chance to follow any of the teachings of Sadhguru, notice how he repeatedly says- "Your life is a complete life." This life is a whole on it’s own. Millions of cell and complex structures make us, evolve us and one day exhaust the physical aspect of life. Earth goes back to Earth. In no way were we constructed to live an incomplete life. So why do we? What are these gaps that we seek to fulfill from relationships? We all end up expecting one thing or another from our closest people. Things that we want from them. But is there such a thing as a perfect person? Are we 100% perfect ourselves? How then do we expect the right person to come along and transform our lives? If another person can make your life, your idea of life is fickle. Once that person moves on, or dies, what happens to your idea of life? If another person can hurt you, how fickle is your idea of love?
Life isn’t incomplete for someone else to fulfill it. Expecting these things from someone else leads us to disappointments only. First of all, keep your cup full. “You can only love someone when you love yourself.” There are some sentences that get repeated so much that we get desensitized to them and the aforementioned sentence happens to be one of them. This is much deeper than it sounds. We, humans, are capable of so much love and conscious living. Realize the process, the truth of this life. Heal the parts of you that need healing, allow yourself to love yourself. That is where you attract the ‘right’ things in life for you.
That’s your second learning - become love. The secret of finding love is to become love. When we love a certain person or object, we address our love to them. We love our mother, our lover, our pet. But these are all things that come, evolve, change and then exit one day in one way or another. What’s loved is a variable but love is a constant. Relationships themselves are variable, changing and evolving but what fuels them is the same- love itself.
Our love doesn’t go away when our loved ones go away. This love is a variable to another human, an externality. But the true fruits of love are when it is a constant, not a variable. When you love yourself and experience true peace within yourself, love becomes a natural energy flowing in you. It’s a very rewarding phenomenon. A true energy of nature. And an energy doesn’t have an address. It just flows and reaches out to everything around it. Does an energy expect to extract something from the people and object it touches? No. There’s no unrealistic expectation, no want, no desire.
Love is in sharing, growing, watching each other evolve together, holding up each other in synergy to grow ahead in life. Life is truly an amazing phenomenon to have happened to us, and it’s beyond words to express how lucky we are to have it. Imagine how fulfilling it must be to share it with another beautiful life. It can truly do wonders to us.